Monday, October 3, 2016

Army sending more troops, resources to Africa

Army sending more troops, resources to Africa: With 54 countries, more than 2,100 languages and upwards of 800 tribes in its area of operations, U.S. Army Africa must continue to grow its partnerships and exercises across the vast continent, the command’s top officer said.

“It’s the land of tremendous opportunity, but the land of where, if the perfect storm brews, a lot of negative things could happen,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, commanding general of U.S. Army Africa.

More than 1.2 billion people — 41 percent of them under the age of 15 — live in Africa, Harrington said.

Economically, Africa is the fastest growing continent, and it continues to battle growing threats from Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based military group with ties to al-QaIda, and the Islamic State, he said.

“What Africa do we want in the future?” Harrington said. “Do we want the one that is contributing to the world order, where Africa’s potential is realized both economically and human-dimension-wise, or is it going to be one where we worry about people migrating in large numbers to flee terrorism? Africa will become more and more important to the United States in the decades to come.”