US military refocuses on China and Russia while Africans worry about terrorism

By Julian Pecquet, in Washington

Posted on Friday, 17 March 2023 10:45
Brigadier General Eugene LeBoeuf, U.S. Army Africa's acting commanding general, and Brigadier General Sof Olowolayemo, deputy commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, visit a U.S.-run training course in Jaji, Nigeria, February 8, 2018. To match Special Report NIGERIA-MILITARY/INTERNATIONAL Capt. James Sheehan/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

The US military’s relentless focus on terrorism following the attacks of 11 September 2001 is giving way to a fixation on China and Russia that risks sidelining Africa’s own national security priorities.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 16 March, the head of US Africa Command acknowledged in his opening statement that “Africa is now the epicentre of international terrorism,” which he went on to describe as “the most immediate threat to both American lives and our partners in Africa.”