the Army is sending small teams culled from 1st Infantry Division’s Second Brigade to Africa ostensibly to train troops in up to 35 nations how to fight the spread of al Qaeda on that continent, according to the Associated Press;
The teams will be limited to training and equipping efforts, and will not be permitted to conduct military operations without specific, additional approvals from the secretary of defense.
The sharper focus on Africa by the U.S. comes against a backdrop of widespread insurgent violence across North Africa, and as the African Union and other nations discuss military intervention in northern Mali.
I hope that Big Army remembers how “small teams” are not very well equipped to protect themselves – you know, that 80s thing in Central America when the troops weren’t allowed to arm themselves with weapons bigger than handguns. A couple of Americans paid with their lives for that stupid shit.
Operations in Africa tend to get sidetracked with that mission creep thing, too.
Gen. Carter Ham, the top U.S. commander in Africa, noted that the brigade has a small drone capability that could be useful in Africa. But he also acknowledged that he would need special permission to tap it for that kind of mission.
“If they want them for (military) operations, the brigade is our first sourcing solution because they’re prepared,” said Gen. David Rodriguez, the head of U.S. Army Forces Command. “But that has to go back to the secretary of defense to get an execute order.”
Not a confidence builder in the wake of the Benghazi consulate thing.