Being a continent largely colonized by the Europeans, Africa has been no stranger to foreign military presence throughout its history.
Whether in the form of a peacekeeping mission, or a hostile foreign threat, Africa has a history of interacting with troops that neither fly any of its indigenous flags nor have familiar military personnel.
Most of Africa has at some point experienced some form of association with soldiers from France, Britain, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. But what is rather interesting is the fact that armed forces from the world’s most powerful military have also set foot on the continent’s home soil.
The United States, which has the world's most advanced and well-rounded army, has piqued interest in some of Africa’s military affairs.
Although not as prevalent as their European counterpart, the US military has set up bases in Africa to foster joint operations against a common foe or to protect its interest, utilizing its weapons systems, such as drones, radars, military vehicles, and more.
The US also often shares common security threats with Africa and has shown that it would be relentless in snuffing out any enemy that threatens its affairs, even if that threat is hiding in Africa.
Below is a list of five US bases that have been set up somewhere in the motherland
Djibouti (Camp Lemonier): In the East African nation of Djibouti lies a US military base that was originally established as a garrison for the French Foreign Legion. The base would later be leased by Djibouti to the US in 2002. In May 2014, U.S. President Obama and Djiboutian President Guelleh signed a 20-year extension of the American lease, at $63 million a year in rent. The location has since been a base site in Africa for the war against terrorism.
Kenya (Manda Bay): This resort location in Kenya has been used by US troops as a base of operation for years now. In 2006, this base became an airfield with increased personnel, aircraft, and operations. According to the US, this base was set up to train African partners, respond to crises, and protect U.S. interests. On the 5th of January, 2020, about 30 and 40 al-Shabab fighters launched an attack on Cooperative Security Location Manda Bay, causing the death of three Americans, U.S. officials, the injury of three people, and the destruction of six US aircraft.
Niger (Air Base 101, Niamey, and Air Base 201, Agaedez): Both these airbases are located in the West African country of Niger. Both bases are operated by the U.S. military as drone bases. U.S. forces assigned here have the mission of sharing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) data with allied and partner nations and training local military units to combat terrorists on the ground. The troops' presence in Niger according to the US has helped stifled terrorist activities in the region.
Egypt (MFO South Camp): The Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) is an international peacekeeping force that has a base in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. This team was created to ensure that the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is being adhered to. The US military also runs a naval medical research unit in Cairo known as Namru. This base is used for researching infectious diseases and their prevention.
Cameroon (Contingency Location Garoua): This is yet another US military base that was set up to aid Africa in fighting a common enemy. Set up in the West African region of Cameroon, the US troops sent there are on a mission to assist the Cameroonian Defense Forces in their effort to combat regional violent extremism.