Pentagon Ramps Up Drug War in West Africa


Walter Pincus of the Washington Post reports that the Pentagon is ramping up the drug war in West Africa, including training programs for West African military officers:

The Pentagon is stepping up its counternarcotics programs in West Africa, in what can be considered the Defense Department's continuing expansion into the traditional territory of a civilian agency.
West Africa has experienced "a dramatic increase in drug smuggling and associated corruption and intimidation that turns weakly governed areas into nearly ungoverned spaces," according to Joseph A. Benkert, the nominee to become the first assistant secretary of defense for global security affairs.
"Currently the threat of the expanding illicit drug trade threatens Africa's fragile future," Benkert wrote in answer to a Senate Armed Services Committee questionnaire, which was released at his confirmation hearing last Wednesday.
The Defense Department already has a full menu of support for African governments, including training for top younger military officers, military assistance and foreign military sales support, and more recently, a new range of counterterrorism, troop-training and construction programs. [WaPo]
This questionnaire is part of an effort by the House Armed Services Committee to scrutinize the activities of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by