Black Misleaders Back Susan Rice as Top Diplomat

Glen Ford, BAR Executive Editor 19 Nov 2020

Black Misleaders Back Susan Rice as Top Diplomat

Susan Rice with her great “friend,” the late Ethiopian warlord Meles Zenawi

Genocide in Congo and militarization of the African continent are Susan Rice’s specialties, but Black Democrats see her as a “role model.”

“Rice cultivated relations with every pro-U.S. warlord in Africa.”

No one in high levels of U.S. government has been more intimately complicit in the death of more than six million Africans in the Democratic Republic of Congo than Susan Rice, the bloodstained Democratic Party political operative who is actively seeking the job of secretary of state in the incoming Biden administration. If recent history is a guide, we can expect the entirety of the Black Democratic establishment to support this uber-criminal’s elevation as a fitting reward to Black voters for putting Joe Biden in the White House – thus implicating all of Black America in the largest genocide since World War Two.

Rice is a protégé of former secretary of state Madelaine Albright, who in 1996 infamously described the sanctions-induced death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it ” to punish the Saddam Hussein regime. But Rice has bested her mass murderous mentor in total career body count. As President Bill Clinton’s national security advisor (1993 to 1997), senior director for African Affairs (1995 to 1997) and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1997 to 2001), Rice was the point person in Washington’s massive coverup of the invasion, pillage and depopulation of Congo by the armies of U.S. client states Rwanda and Uganda. In service to the Obama administration (ambassador to the United Nations, 2009-2013, national security advisor, 2013-2017), Rice smothered a United Nations Mapping Report  that documented Rwandan and Ugandan crimes against Congo, including potentially genocidal offenses, and protected Uganda from the International Court of Justice’s award of $10 billion in damages  to the Democratic Republic Congo. 

“Rice was the point person in Washington’s massive coverup of the invasion, pillage and depopulation of Congo.”

When the United Nation’s highest court issued its verdict in 2005, the death toll in Congo was estimated at 3 million. By 2010, with Ambassador Susan Rice at the United Nations, the uninterrupted genocide had claimed six million  lives, while the looting of Congo’s vast mineral resources financed the rise of a gleaming skyline over Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, a nation that has no significant mineral deposits. Multinational corporations are the biggest beneficiaries of the ”blood” minerals; it is these conglomerates whose interests Susan Rice protects. 

Today, Congolese speak of eight million dead, but nobody in the Congressional Black Caucus is listening. Half of the Black Caucus voted against a measure that would have halted President Obama’s bombing of Libya , in the summer of 2011. Obama claimed that the Euro-American air war in support of mainly jihadist opponents of Muammar Gaddafi’s secular government was not subject to the War Powers Act, because no Americans had died – a totally novel definition of war in which only American bodies matter. Rice was then ambassador to the United Nations, where she successfully pressed for a “no fly zone” as a cover for NATO’s war against Libya. “This resolution should send a strong message to Colonel Qadhafi and his regime that the violence must stop, the killing must stop and the people of Libya must be protected and have the opportunity to express themselves freely,” Rice told reporters . But the bulk of violence was committed by U.S.-backed “rebels” against Black Libyans and south Saharans working in the country. Tawergha , a Black Libyan town of almost 50,000 people, was utterly destroyed, its inhabitants killed, imprisoned or scattered – with not a peep of complaint from the Black American woman at the UN or the First Black President of the United States. The branded faces  of Black migrant workers sold into slave markets are Rice and Obama’s Libyan legacy. 

“Rice successfully pressed for a ‘no fly zone’ as a cover for NATO’s war against Libya.”

The unprovoked war against Libya, which removed a bulwark of African independent economic and political development, was heralded as AFRICOM’s “first major combat operation  on the African continent.” There would be many more, as a Black U.S. administration methodically occupied the continent, from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans. 

Rice cultivated relations with every pro-U.S. warlord in Africa. She was especially close  to Meles Zenawi, the deceased former leader of the dictatorial Ethiopian regime that invaded Somalia with the full support of U.S. air, ground and sea power in December of 2006, ousting a moderate Islamic Courts government that had brought a brief period of peace to the country. The Somali war, now effectively run by the CIA, has engulfed the Horn of Africa – another bloody feather in Susan Rice’s cap.

When Rice was a candidate for secretary of state under President Obama in 2012, the entirety of the Black Misleadership Class circled their wagons around her, to counter Republican claims that Rice was to blame for the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya by U.S.-backed jihadists. Ignoring Rice’s and Obama’s crimes against Africans, Black American politicos rallied to Rice’s defense  as a “a role model to all women” who “represents a rich and important legacy of strong women leaders in foreign policy.” Twelve female members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including anti-war icon Barbara Lee, offered Rice their sisterly support. “We will not allow a brilliant public servant’s record to be mugged to cut off her consideration to be secretary of state,” said DC congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The Black Misleadership Class circled their wagons around her.”

None of Rice’s Black boosters gave a thought to her culpability in the ongoing terror in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a 2011 study  estimated that “nearly two million women have been raped…with women victimized at a rate of nearly one every minute.” (See Black Agenda Report, “The Shameless Vacuity of Susan Rice’s Boosters,” Dec 5, 2012.)

Rice’s bid for the top State Department job was frustrated in 2012, but she’s once again shamelessly campaigning  for the office, reportedly with the backing of Obama . The Black Misleadership Class – eternally full of themselves – puts forth the worst possible image of Black America to the rest of the world, with not a iota of embarrassment. Having “arrived” at positions of influence in the belly of the beast, they strut about like any other variety of “ugly Americans” who want nothing more than to be full citizens of empire – humanity, including Africa, be damned.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at


“Time for an Awakening” with Bro. Elliott 7-22-18 guest BFAA-Memphis Pres. Thomas Burrell


“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 7/22/2018 at 7:00 PM  our guests was Activist, President, Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association-Memphis, Thomas Burrell and Activist, Farmer, Bishop David Hall. We learned more about the lawsuit filed by Black Farmers against the Stine seed company, for fake seeds being sold to our Farmers in the Black Belt. Hear more about this and other topics from the President of BFAA-Memphis, Mr. Thomas Burell.


Building Movement Politics Means Fighting Democrats

Glen Ford, BAR executive editor

Building Movement Politics Means Fighting Democrats

In the absence of a renewed, grassroots street offensive against the armed occupation of Black communities, there will be no relief from the daily slaughter.”

Cops “have the right to shoot us, they get away with it every day,” said a despairing Dawnya Walker, one of 300 community residents that descended on Sacramento, California’s city hall to protest the police killing of Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard . The numbers show that Walker is correct: U.S. police enjoy near-absolute impunity to gun down young Black males without any reasonable fear of punishment. Eight years of a Black, Democratic president in the Oval Office made not the slightest dent in that American reality, despite the re-emergence in 2014 of an incipient social justice movement under the heading of Black Lives Matter.

The youthful insurgency lost momentum — waylaid by the inexorable pull of Democratic Party politics and corporate philanthropy — long before Donald Trump entered the White House and installed a pure Dixiecrat as attorney general. Trumpian malevolence cast an orange chill across Black America. “It has been a long time since any victim was given as much attention as Stephon Clark,” writes Margaret Kimberley, in the current of issue of BAR.

“We are enveloped in a toxic miasma of Russia-hate that, by sheer weight and repetition, has infested every aspect of American political thought.”

There is “movement” afoot in the U.S., but it does not “arc towards justice.” Ever since Trump’s electoral victory, the collective national consciousness has been smothered in a maddening fog of manic, industrial-scale propaganda, spewed non-stop by corporate communications conglomerates working hand-in-glove with the most aggressive elements of the surveillance-intelligence “community” and the bi-partisan War Party. We are enveloped in a toxic miasma of Russia-hate that, by sheer weight and repetition, has infested every aspect of American political thought, distorting and subverting even the most progressive-minded “movements” struggling to find a way towards human dignity under late stage capitalism in a profoundly racist country. Voices for peace and social justice are asphyxiated in the pestilential plume — unless they find their own air.

Damn right, there is a conspiracy — possibly the loudest one in history! — megaphoned by a billionaire-owned media screaming “War, War, War” day and night, fouling the public mind with pure reactionary malice. The duopoly contest has devolved into a dance of death between Donald Trump’s raw white supremacist nationalism and Democratic Party corporate imperial warmongering. Only fools claim there is space for progressive maneuver in the interstices between such forces.

“The Democratic Party remains under the firm control of the Clinton/Obama forces that reinforced mass Black incarceration in the Nineties and militarized the police in this century.”

What is needed is clarity among genuine leftists and serious Black liberationists in the face of rampaging reaction. There is no lesser evil in this house of fear and apocalyptic brinksmanship. The Democrats have colluded in a budget whose gargantuan military outlays will inevitably doom what’s left of the U.S. social safety net — that is, if the human race is not annihilated, beforehand. They have replaced and outshouted the John McCain’s and Lindsay Graham’s of the Republican Party in demonizing, not just Vladimir Putin, but every government and movement in the world that resists U.S. lawlessness and aggression.

The Democratic Party remains under the firm control of the Clinton/Obama forces that reinforced mass Black incarceration in the Nineties and militarized the police at unprecedented levels in this century through the Pentagon’s 1033 program. In the absence of a renewed, grassroots street offensive against the armed occupation of Black communities, there will be no relief from the daily slaughter and the accompanying political evisceration of Black America.

Yes, it is certain that Trump’s very presence encourages the most swinish elements of the police. But it is also true that the Democrats — including Black Democrats — have controlled the city governments that maintain the police state in Black neighborhoods and relentlessly disperse our people through gentrification.

“What is needed is clarity among genuine leftists and serious Black liberationists in the face of rampaging reaction.”

And now it is the Democrats that take the lead in purging the Internet of dissenting political views, under the guise of defending fragile American minds against foreign manipulation. Silicon Valley — the big business sector most supportive of Clinton/Obama Democrats — is thus given license to shape reality in ways that make corporate dictatorship appear both logical and inevitable. Trump’s troglodytes could never finesse such a hijacking of fundamental democratic rights, but the Democrats are pulling it off with alarming speed. There’s nothing “lesser” about this evil.

When the Democrats got their wish, that Trump win the Republican presidential nomination, they became the predominant party of the U.S. ruling class and the most aggressive defenders of empire. Into Hillary Clinton’s campaign “Big Tent” slivered the dregs of the national security state, for whom peaceful coexistence among nations is anathema. Bernie Sanders cannot purge them from their central position in the party. The World Socialist Web Site reports that “an extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.” By WSWS’s count, if the Democrats capture a majority of seats in the House this November, “candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress.”

Such a party is incompatible with any domestic social justice agenda — and a threat to the survival of the species. The Left’s job is to disentangle our people from the political clutches of the ruling class and to build independent people’s organizations. The Republicans are a white people’s problem, but Black activists cannot confront the police, the oligarchs or the warmongers without fighting the Democrats.


“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C.) the Host of REVIVE Radio!!! 02/28/2018

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

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Afro Soca Love: Afro Soca Love is a collective that aims to strengthen the connection between Africa and Caribbean Carnival culture through the arts, community, and creativity. Utilizing the extraordinary facets of our diverse cultural makeup, they strive to connect people throughout the world.

BossedUp: BossedUp where art and fashion meet. “A person who is BossUp believes in their own ability more than anything” #BU2k17


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Black Americans are over-represented in media portrayals of poverty

And that underpins some toxic beliefs

NBC reported recently that at a meeting last year with the Congressional Black Caucus a member told President Donald Trump that his planned welfare cuts would hurt her constituents, “not all of whom were black”. Mr Trump is reported to have replied: “Really? Then what are they?” If the president had not realised that most welfare recipients are white, he is not alone. And the media are partly to blame, for black Americans are overwhelmingly over-represented in media portrayals of poverty.

The poverty rate amongst black Americans, at 22%, is higher than the American average of 13%. But black people make up only 9m of the 41m poor Americans. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit focused on health care, found that in only five states for which it had data and the District of Columbia, were there more black poor people than white. Black Americans are more likely to be recipients of means-tested welfare programmes like Medicaid or Housing Assistance – at 41% participation in one or more programmes in 2012 that is about twice the national average. That suggests black people make up about 26% of all recipients.

Media news suggests that the percentage is very much higher. Travis Dixon at the University of Illinois analyzed a random sample of television, print and online news stories over 2015 and 2016 and found that 59% of the poor people discussed or depicted in them were black. White families, by contrast, accounted for only 17% of poor people shown, though they constitute 66% of the poor population. It is possible that, with a new emphasis on the frustrations of poor white Americans, that Mr Trump tapped into in 2016, media portrayals will begin to change; it is too soon to know.

The bias isn’t limited to right-leaning news sources. In the news coverage Mr Dixon looked at, CNN depicted seven poor families—all seven of them were black. And all five of the poor families depicted in Dixon’s sample of New York Times coverage were black.

Unsurprisingly, this tendency, which has a long history, has informed the way Americans think about race and poverty. Martin Gilens, a politics professor at Yale, found that in a survey in 1994, 55% of Americans thought that all poor Americas were black and only 24% thought the reverse.

And this, in turn, has set some Americans against welfare spending. Katherine Krimmel and Kelly Rader, political scientists, have found that individuals who are more likely to benefit from government spending tend to support it. Richer people in poorer states are notably keen to cut domestic spending. But they found that racial resentment has an even greater influence on attitudes to government spending. They measured resentment via two questions about whether blacks should overcome prejudice “without any special favours” and whether “generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.” The impact of resentment on attitudes towards spending was four times that of income differences and larger than measures of self-interest including being unemployed. If welfare is seen as overwhelmingly benefiting blacks it is little surprise that whites displaying racial resentment might oppose it.

The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group for criminal justice reform, has found a similar pattern regarding violent crime.  Crimes perpetrated by African Americans were disproportionately likely to be covered on television –especially if they involved a white victim.  While only 10% of victims in crime reports were whites who had been victimized by blacks, these crimes made up 42% of cases televised by local news. Popular perceptions of crime reflect the coverage bias: a survey from 2002 found that respondents estimated 40% of people who committed violent crimes were black; surveys showed the proportion to be 29%.  And white Americans who more strongly associated crime with black Americans were more likely to support punitive criminal justice policies including the death sentence and three strikes laws.

A media focus on black poverty may be well-intentioned. It probably has its roots in the pre-Civil Rights era when the plight of poor black Americans was too often neglected. But it has helped underpin a toxic set of beliefs about poverty and race. It would be better, of course, if people did not decide their support for programmes based on the skin color of beneficiaries. But until that is the case a more accurate understanding of the diversity of welfare recipients would help.


Minister Farrakhan Responds After CBC Accused of Burying 2005 Photo of Him Alongside President Obama

Farrakhan Obama Photo
Photographer Askia Muhammad said he was contacted by the CBC the same day he took the photo of Obama and Farrakhan. (Youtube video screenshot)

Tanasia Kenney

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan is setting the record straight amid reports the Congressional Black Caucus tried to bury a 2005 photo of he and then-Illinois senator Barack Obama.

Farrakhan took to Twitter, Sunday, Jan. 28, to share a 2016 video explaining why he chose NOT to release the photo of him and the Black senator who would be elected president just three years later.

“You’ve never seen it,” Farrakhan said of the photo during a past speaking event in Atlanta, Ga. ” … It’s of me a Barack shaking hands [but ] I knew if I ever let that go out, they’d use that to hurt that brother. So, you never saw it.”

“I have always, by God’s grace, been able to see the bigger picture,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

The minister’s response comes after photojournalist Askia Muhammad released the top–secret photo last week, revealing that the Congressional Black Caucus pressured him to keep it under wraps all these years. Speaking to the Trice Edney News Wire, Muhammad said he believed it “absolutely would’ve made a difference” in the 2008 election had the photo been made public.

The photographer also appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” where he claimed the CBC reached out to him the same day he took the photo of the pair following a group meeting on Capitol Hill.

“A staff member from the black caucus called me and said ‘we have to have the picture back,’ and I was kind of taken aback,” he told Carlson. “… And we talked a couple of times on the phone after that, and I said ‘Okay, I will give the picture back to Minister Farrakhan’s chief of staff.’ ”

After giving the original copy to a member of Farrakhan’s staff, Muhammad said he kept a secret copy for himself because “it’s my art, and it’s my intellectual property.”

“I owned it, and I wanted to keep it,” he said.

Like Farrakhan, however, Muhammad acknowledged that the minister’s reputation had the potential to hurt someone like Obama, who was at the time working “to win acceptance in the broad cross-section.” The young senator was also poised to make his bid for the U.S. presidency.

“The members of the Nation of Islam helped him in his Senate campaign and on the South Side of Chicago,” he revealed. ” … “In fact he had people from the Nation of Islam working on his staff and in his office in Chicago, his Senate staff.”


“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 1-14-18 guest Diallo Sumbry

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 1/14/2017 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) guest was Organizer, and The Adinkra Group CEO, Diallo Sumbry. We talked about The Adinkra Group, and it’s deal with the Ghana Tourism Authority to promote tours and investments in Africa for Black Americans, along with related topics. Then we transitioned into current news topics along with reflections on MLK, the day before his Birthday observance. In 2018, from the need to develop a new mindset in our communities, to our political and economic empowerment, the solution to these problems must come from us. Let’s also talk about some solutions. You can join us and be part of the conversation on this and other related topics. Information, insights and dialogue from a Black Perspective


“Proof of Consciousness” (P.O.C.) the Host of REVIVE!!! 12/31/2017

Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:

“Sunday Edition” 


#TrendingTopics #CurrentEvents



This episode on REVIVE is entitled “Sunday Edition!” This is a jam-packed show with amazing guests and dynamic conversation! Join in the fun and spread the word! It would be amazing to hear your perspective. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. Don’t miss “What’s Buzzing” hosted by TLS Politics every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. 

We are going out with a BANG STAY LOCK TO REVIVE Radio for a FULL RECAP of 2017 with some dope Bloggers, Youtube Channel Hosts, and one of the dopest entertainment websites around this Sunday Edition of REVIVE we are going to highlight some of the most epic moments of the 2017! Don’t miss our 3 special guest on #REVIVE : @themediaprince, @aunyealachelle and @itsonlyentertainment



It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter, Facebook & IG @REVIVE_POC !


America’s shadow war in Africa

The U.S. has deployed at least 1,500 troops to the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions, with little public debate and what experts call an unclear strategy.


Soldiers carrying remains are pictured. | AP Photo

America’s little-known war on terrorists in Africa is becoming more perilous as the U.S. deploys growing numbers of troops to the continent’s most lawless regions, including the part of Niger where four special operations soldiers died in an ambush last week.

The escalation is occurring with little public debate — and, some military experts say, too little attention from top decision-makers in Washington. The U.S. military presence in the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions has grown to at least 1,500 troops, roughly triple the official number of American troops in Syria, according to Pentagon and White House figures.

As with Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, the dispatch of hundreds of additional U.S. troops to countries like Niger, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Uganda and South Sudan is another instance where President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric hasn’t kept his administration from being drawn deeper into far-flung war zones. And the U.S. lacks a comprehensive strategy for pursuing its mission in Africa, military and intelligence experts told POLITICO.

“I don’t think there is any congressional oversight in this,” said Michael Shurkin, a former CIA analyst specializing in Africa who is now a researcher at the Rand Corp., a Pentagon-funded think tank.

He also pointed to vacancies in top policymaking posts in the State and Defense departments, saying they’ve left military operations such as Africa Command and its special operations component “pretty much doing their own thing.”

“It is not that there is a good policy or bad policy,” Shurkin said. “There is just no policy. It is inertia.”

Last week’s deadly attack has thrust into the limelight a series of dangerous military deployments that normally receive scant attention compared with the far larger military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A central focus of the mission is the vast desert nation of Niger, nearly twice the size of Texas, which has been a magnet for jihadists of many stripes, including those recruited locally and so-called foreign fighters drawn from North Africa, the Middle East and beyond.

In June, the official number of U.S. troops supporting Niger’s military as it fights the militant groups was 645, up from 575 in December 2016. But now it’s at least 800, according to the Pentagon.

Many of the troops are Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Marine Raiders, but officials said the reinforcements have mostly been Air Force personnel who are there to manage a surge in surveillance flights by unmanned drones and manned spy planes.

That’s a significant jump from the 100 troops that then-President Barack Obama deployed to Niger in 2013, notes a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the research arm of Congress. “This trend has coincided with sizable increases in U.S. security assistance for African countries over the past decade, of which Niger has been a major beneficiary.”

Plans are also underway to accommodate more forces, including $50 million that the Air Force requested to construct an air strip in the northern city of Agadez, considered one of the most volatile areas of the country.

The U.S. military presence has also been expanding elsewhere in the region.

As of June, another 300 U.S. troops were operating in neighboring Cameroon, up from 285 in December, according to the White House notifications to Congress required under the War Powers Act.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Maj. Audricia Harris, confirmed the increase in American troops in Niger but did not respond to inquiries about more up-to-date U.S. troop levels elsewhere in the region.

U.S. intelligence has warned in recent months about the growing Islamic militant threat in the region that stretches from Mali in the northwest to South Sudan and Uganda in East Africa — and a number of countries in between.

“In North and West Africa, al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) escalated its attacks on Westerners in 2016 with two high-profile attacks in Burkina Faso and Cote d’lvoire,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, reported to Congress in May. “It merged with allies in 2017 to form a new group intended to promote unity among Mali-based jihadists, extend the jihad beyond the Sahara and Sahel region, increase military action, and speed up recruitment of fighters.”

Current and former military officials say the distinction between advising and combat is blurring as U.S. troops expand their footprint and increase the patrols they conduct in terrorist sanctuaries alongside local allies.

“You’re damn right they’re in harm’s way,” said a former military officer with direct knowledge of the Africa operations who was not authorized to speak publicly, “because we are accompanying the indigenous forces and those forces are fighting an active, thinking enemy there.”

The level of danger to U.S. troops had been on display even before the deadly ambush in Niger last week.

Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee, said after the attack that “this was the first attack on U.S. forces on the ground in Niger.”

But two military officers — one current and one former — with direct knowledge of the operations in Niger told POLITICO that troops had previously been injured by an improvised explosive device or mine, though it remains unclear whether Americans were deliberately targeted in that incident.

The ill-fated patrol last week was an Expeditionary Forces mission, in a part of the country where troops are trying to hunt down and disrupt convoys of smugglers who travel through Niger’s open brush land from Mali and Chad to Libya carrying arms and terrorist funds. It is one of several areas in the broader Lake Chad Basin where advisers accompany the Expeditionary Forces and other local units.

While the Americans “stay back from actual raid,” the former military officer related, sometimes advisers have been under fire.

“We would go to the last covered and concealed spot” when going along with partner forces on a combat mission and then stay back from the actual raid, the former military source said. “But of course there’s no concealment out there” in an arid landscape with little vegetation to hide behind.

But as the military effort ramps up, so have concerns that the Trump administration lacks a comprehensive strategy for the region. Such a strategy would also emphasize more non-military tools such as economic aid and cooperation with allies to strengthen democratic institutions in some of the world’s poorest nations.

“There is a tendency to militarize things by deferring to the military,” Shurkin said, adding that the military effort “should be part of a larger strategy that will include other types of assistance.”

“You will end up with this piecemeal approach — focused on military stuff but in a very narrow way,” he added, noting that the U.S. military is only training a few elite units in these nations.

A senior State Department official on Wednesday told Congress that the administration is seeking to do more to assist countries hardest hit by the scourge of terrorist groups.

Donald Yamamoto, an acting assistant secretary of state, told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that the the administration’s $5.2 billion foreign aid budget next year will give priority to Mali, Nigeria and other African nations where Islamic terrorist groups have gained strength.

He called promoting these fragile states “a critical priority for the United States in Africa.”

But Congress received a warning last week that the larger U.S. military presence, along with that of other allies like the French, may already be angering local populations prone to the jihadist message.

“The growing foreign military footprint in the country appears to have fed a local backlash against both the government and Western countries,” the Congressional Research Service report said.

“One risk is that it is ineffectual and we are wasting money,” Shurkin said of the African counterterrorism mission. “We can also make things worse. Mucking around you bound to inflame things, exacerbate problems. We have no idea who these people are, which could be very, very dangerous.”

Army Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, who oversees all Army special operations forces, pledged in an address Wednesday to the Association of the United States Army in Washington to get to the bottom of what happened to the troops killed in Niger last week.

“I think we owe that to the American people, we owe that to the mothers, fathers, and wives of the fallen, to look critically from every echelon to see if we can do our job better,” Tovo said. “I think it highlights the fact that really every mission around the world that we’re undertaking has got elements of risk.”

Both military sources with knowledge of the Niger operations questioned just how much the missions are accomplishing.

“I would be hesitant to say we and the Nigeriens are having significant effects in that part of Niger up near Mali,” said the former officer.

“We’re having an effect,” he added. “Is it going to win the war? No, because the war will never end.

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