(GIN) – Terrorist hideouts. Secret intelligence operations. Spying across jungle terrain.
It has all the makings of a suspenseful docudrama in some shadowy unnamed country.
But this is no movie. It’s a very real scenario of a shadow war aimed at dozens of African countries – from Kenya to Nigeria – where insurgents have gained a foothold in local struggles for land, power or sovereign rights.
Details of a new U.S. initiative and expanding covert war in Africa were outlined in a major piece this month by Washington Post military reporter Craig Whitlock.
Under the headline:“U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa,” Whitlock explored how the U.S. Special Operations have been stepping up spy missions, while using use private military contractors and African troops for the most dangerous jobs.
Millions of U.S. dollars have been earmarked for the bases, planes and contractors in the Africa initiative, according to documents submitted to Congress, Whitlock notes.
In an 8 page “command strategy document,” Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, justified the need for more “ISR,” - the military’s acronym for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. "(We’re) focusing on the greatest threats to America, Americans and American interests," wrote Gen. Ham – naming al-Qaida affiliates in East and Northwest Africa.
Dozens of comments followed the Post story online, including this from FuzzyTruthSeeker: "There is something incredibly cynical behind the US agenda to have spying missions in Africa, starting with the 100 covert operatives sent to Uganda purportedly to help Uganda's Museveni track Joseph Kony … I don't know where this insane obsession with perpetual war will bring humanity, but any half-reasonable person will think that it leads to disaster.”