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Niger Threatens Retaliation Against Stalling US Troops


Breaking News From Niger

American forces are defying orders to withdraw, and now face threats of swift retaliation. Despite clear demands from the Niger junta for US troops to depart immediately, imperial Washington arrogantly stalls for time.

But fierce African pride brews anew. After years of unwanted US military presence, the junta’s patience has reached its limit. Their message is resolute: American forces must leave at once, or meet provocation head-on.

Stunned by this ultimatum, the US scrambles for an exit strategy. But momentum resides with an awakened continent that shrugs off the last chain of Western dominance.

By refusing to relinquish its uninvited forces, America risks opening an explosive new rift. Yet still US officials desperately negotiate to retain some troop presence. They seem oblivious that the era of Western interventionism is over.

Niger has spoken – Africa’s destiny will be shaped solely by Africans. Its borders are closed to those who do not heed sovereign will. The junta’s stand inspires Pan-African dreams of boundless potential ahead.

With pride and unity, the continent proclaims its future is African, period. The choice remains: US forces can leave freely, or face consequences. But make no mistake, their days in Africa are finished.

Arrogant U.S Stalls and Seeks to Retain Some Troop Presence

The era of Western military domination in Africa is coming to a close. Nowhere is this new African defiance better embodied than Niger’s brave stand against continued U.S. military presence on its soil.

After years of hosting American troops, Niger has firmly said enough is enough. The country’s leaders are reclaiming their nation’s sovereignty and ejecting the lingering vestiges of imperialism.

Washington may see its African deployments as vital to American interests. But Nigerians rightfully view them as unwelcome infringement on their independence within their own borders.

Niger’s ruling military junta, which took power in a coup last July, has stood up to U.S. pressure and demanded American forces finally withdraw. Around 1,000 U.S. troops and contractors have been conducting controversial drone surveillance and raids in Niger against local militant groups.

Yet despite Niger’s unambiguous call for withdrawal, the arrogant U.S. seems unable to accept the new reality.

Washington is currently negotiating to keep some number of troops in Niger, but the Biden administration would be wise not to press the issue. It is time for the U.S. to withdraw from Niger and recalibrate its security commitments in the region.

The U.S. military first deployed to Niger in 2013 to support counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated groups in the Sahel region of North Africa. Today, around 1,000 American service members and contractors operate drones and provide intelligence from bases near the capital Niamey and in remote northern Agadez.

AFRICOM Gives Vain Excuses For The Presence of Troops in Niger

U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, defends the mission as combating regional terror groups that could eventually threaten the homeland. But most analysts counter that these militants are locally focused, with no external agenda beyond their own areas of operation.

The U.S. troop presence in Niger serves little strategic purpose. The terrorist groups in the region are not direct threats to the United States, they have largely local grievances and local agendas.

Not only is the terror risk overblown, U.S. counterterrorism efforts have proven largely ineffective after over a decade in Niger. Terrorist attacks have proliferated across the Sahel during the American presence. Last year, the region suffered record violence with over 11,000 deaths from militant activity.

The growing insecurity in Niger and the wider Sahel is a consequence of ill-conceived Western interventions, U.S. and French forces have been unable to meaningfully improve the situation on the ground. So what are they still doing here?

With French forces withdrawn following their own disputes with Sahel governments, the U.S. presence appears increasingly exposed. American troops consolidated to fewer bases this fall as the security environment deteriorated under Niger’s new junta. Lacking French backup, they are focused more on force protection than offensive operations.

Staying on under these precarious conditions raises the specter of American casualties in Niger, evoking memories of difficult interventions like Somalia. With little at stake strategically, the U.S. military risks overextending itself in what is fundamentally a local conflict.

U.S Claims Troop Presence is to Defend Niger From Russian Influence

Given the costs and limited benefits, it’s reasonable for the U.S. to reevaluate the utility of keeping combat forces in Niger, but pushing back against calls for withdrawal, AFRICOM argues U.S. troops are a bulwark against Russian influence, citing engagements by Kremlin-linked Wagner mercenaries around the region.

But they forget that Russian access was invited by West African governments, not imposed, indicating limited U.S. sway.

But trying to counter Russia is not sufficient justification for staying in Niger, U.S. troops are merely fueling more anti-Western sentiments while achieving little on the ground.

Rather than clinging to a fraying mission, Washington should engage Niger diplomatically and through strengthened USAID programs. Avoiding a messy exit now preserves options for healthier future relations once democratic rule returns.

For the Biden administration, withdrawing now substitutes the embarrassment of abandonment for the potential catastrophe later if troops are forced out less willingly. It also removes a needless irritant as Washington focuses on larger rivalries with China and Russia.

With pressure mounting from Niger’s regime, the U.S. risks getting bogged down in an unnecessary confrontation if it resists calls for withdrawal. Handled adroitly, the coming pullout could serve broader efforts to reset U.S. foreign policy priorities and commitments.

Pentagon Claims No Formal Request Was Made By Niger

According to Pentagon officials, no formal request for withdrawal has been received yet from the Nigerien junta. But comments broadcast on local media make clear the U.S. presence will not be tolerated moving forward.

“The American bases and personnel cannot stay on Nigerien soil any longer,” said junta spokesperson Insa Garba Saidou on state television last month. His remarks followed an announcement voiding the U.S.-Niger military cooperation pact.

Addressing Congress, the Pentagon’s Celeste Wallander confirmed the status of forces accord has been nullified with immediate effect. But she indicated the CNSP has assured it will not endanger American troops.

For now, operations continue at bases like Air Base 201 near Agadez. But only around 650 U.S. personnel remain in Niger, down from over 1,000 before the coup. Most were recently consolidated to Agadez due to mounting insecurity near Niamey.

With French forces gone, the U.S. presence increasingly projects vulnerability rather than strength. Their primary task is now self-defense as opposed to offensive counterterrorism missions.

This precarious posture reflects a pattern of dilution across U.S. Africa operations. As West African partnerships deteriorate, the Pentagon is stretched thinner trying to maintain a light footprint across a vast continent.

Amid these frictions, the U.S. Embassy is urging calm, emphasizing shared interests beyond the military relationship now in question. It stresses U.S. development assistance and public health programs aimed at benefiting Niger’s population.

But realization is dawning in Washington that this low-level partnership cannot survive without the foundational security ties the junta now repudiates. A clean break appears increasingly inevitable.

Trouble For The Biden Administration

For the Biden administration, the deteriorating situation highlights the risks of open-ended mission creep around the globe. What began as a narrowly scoped counterterrorism deployment has mutated into an unwieldy commitment at rising cost.

For U.S. Africa policy, the lesson is relationships must deliver mutual value, not just transitory U.S. objectives. Security initiatives divorced from local realities breed backlash once promised stability fails to emerge.

Left with little leverage, U.S. Africa Command knows coercing access against the junta’s will could create a counterproductive confrontation. For now, it publicly promises cooperation with Niamey to reach an orderly troop withdrawal.

Behind the scenes, U.S. officials hope incremental engagement may eventually rebuild trust and open space for renewed basing once elections return. But expectations are low for any American forces remaining beyond mid-2024 at the latest.

Whether forced out quickly or with deliberate speed, the era of large-scale U.S. military access in Niger is coming to its end. The diplomatic fallout and strategic implications will reverberate long after the last planes depart.

The U.S. must wise up and realize the tides of history are turning against its antiquated imperial mindset. American troops have no place left in Africa without African consent. If the U.S. disrespectfully overstays its welcome after Niger’s withdrawal demand, it may force the proud nation to take matters into its own hands.

No foreign military presence will be tolerated on African soil against Africa’s wishes. The U.S. should cooperate with Niger’s sovereignty and depart swiftly, signaling that Africa’s future is solely for Africans to decide.

America’s era of military interventionism abroad is over – the continent seeks empowerment through African-led development, not Western militarism. Niger has firmly closed the door to U.S. interference. Washington must respect this new pan-African solidarity and leave Africa to thrive on its own terms.

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