Into Africa: US to Send Troops to 35 Nations Next Year

Odierno Touts Plan for Fast Deployments Anywhere in the World

The creation of the US African Command (Africom) of course pointed to US involvements in wars on the continent, and indeed the US has since fought a war in Libya, deployed troops of Uganda, and is planning for another war in Mali.

But what they don’t have compared to, say, CENTCOM, is an established collection of nations with US troops stations waiting for wars to break out. That will soon change, as the Army is planning to send troops to “as many as 35 African nations early next year.”

The numbers will be small, at least at first, but done with an eye on Gen. Raymond Odierno’s “Regionally Aligned Forces” plan, giving the US the ability to quickly deploy troops anywhere on the planet.

The comparative lack of things for the US military to do in Africa has long kept the US out of Africa. Since the establishment of Africom, officials seem to figure that with enough troops and enough countries involved, the question of what wars and where can be worked out at their leisure.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.