In June, an American Green Beret was reportedly strangled to death in Mali by U.S. Navy SEALs, allegedly in connection with a shadowy money-skimming scheme. (The military is currently investigating.) In July, The Intercept, the London-based research firm Forensic Architecture, and Amnesty International. revealed that a drone base used by U.S. forces in Cameroon was also a site for illegal imprisonment, brutal torture,and even killings on the part of local forces. (The military is investigating.) In August, according to a blockbuster investigation by the Daily Beast, U.S. Special Operations forces took part in a massacre in which 10 Somali civilians were killed. (The military is investigating.) In October, four Special Operations soldiers were killed in murky circumstances during an ambush by militants in Niger. (The military is investigating.)
This spate of questionable, or even criminal, activity involving U.S. forces in Africa should come as little surprise. Over the last decade and a half, operations on that continent have exploded. A cast of thousands is now carrying out about 10 separate missions per day, ranging from training to combat operations, which are up 1,900% since last year alone. U.S. commandos sent to that continent have jumped from 1% of special ops forces deployed overseas in 2006 to nearly 17% today, the highest total outside the Middle East. There have also been numerous indications of U.S. forces behaving badly from one side of the continent to the other, a sign of lousy morale. Few in the mainstream media or among those tasked with oversight of such operations have, however, taken any significant notice of this. (Nick Turse. TomDispatch) 12/17/1917.