Military officials warn Congress that Russia & China could soon take over as the dominate powers in Africa
As China and Russia increase their respective influences in Africa, the United States is watching with a keen eye- and for good reason.
The two traditional adversaries are setting up shop across the continent, creating issues for the United States, which has been operating in Africa for some time.
While the Trump Administration has been vocal about Chinese and Russian expansion over the years, former U.S. Africa Command head Marine General Thomas Waldhauser and his replacement, Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, have gone so far as to warn Congress of the menace posed by Russian and Chinese influence in Africa.
With Russian Private Military Companies (PMCs) active in over 15 African nations and China having well over half of Africa’s nations as signatories to it’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, the U.S. runs the risk of losing foothold on a continent known for instability, resources and being a breeding ground for terrorism.
The U.S. has caught on, however, particularly to Russia providing military aid in exchange for natural resources.
“To thwart Russian exploitative efforts, USAFRICOM continues to work with a host of partners to be the military partner of choice in Africa,” Waldhauser wrote in his testimony.
As for China, Townsend admitted the communist country wants to tamper U.S. influence, but it’s shoddy workmanship and low-quality products -no matter how enticing to poor nations across the continent- tend to speak for themselves.
“China has provided Nigeria with armed unmanned aerial systems,” he wrote. “But the poor quality of the platforms has contributed to infrequent use. Low cost and short delivery timelines entice African partners to purchase Chinese equipment, but purchases frequently do not address the underlying military need. We need to tell this story to a greater extent.”
According to The Intercept, the Chinese have a serious potential for growth in the region and plan to open new bases across the continent.
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