Why is the U.S. Military Occupying Bases Across Africa?


In recent months, many Americans have been surprised to learn that the U.S. has an extensive military presence in Africa. An intelligence snafu over fitness tracker data produced by U.S. soldiers using Fitbits and other devices while running laps provided a clear snapshot of their deployments. In November 2017, fitness database Strava produced a Global Heatmap showing popular exercise routes as glowing yellow streaks. The streaks revealed loops around airstrips in remote areas across sub-Saharan Africa that are the undeniable traces of U.S. or European troops staying in shape.

In his monthly column, Security State of Mind, Middle Eastern History scholar Eric Schewe interrogates what’s new, interesting, and strange in the world of security studies.

While domestic politics…

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