It should be noted that in most of these countries, there is a pretty small number of troops. But it is a clear sign of the U.S. Africa Command's increasingly broad position on the continent in what could be described as a growing shadow war against al-Qaeda affiliates and other militant groups. It also shows an increasingly blurred line between U.S. military operations and the CIA in Africa.
More details of the troops deployed are below.
The United States has a base in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, since 2007. The base acts as a hub of a U.S spying network in the region, with spy planes departing form the base to fly over Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara, where they search for fighters from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The United States has troops in Congo assisting the nation in the search for Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.
On Wednesday, Washington announced that it would be sending 80 troops to Chad to help with the search for Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
In April 2013, 10 U.S. troops were deployed to war-torn Mali to provide “liaison support” to French and African troops. The Pentagon insisted they would not be engaging in combat.
At the beginning of May, a small team of U.S. troops and civilian advisers was deployed to Nigeria to join the search for the abducted schoolgirls. According to the Associated Press, these troops joined around 70 military personnel in Nigeria, with 50 regularly assigned to the U.S. Embassy, and 20 Marines there for training.
The United States has a base in Entebbe that it uses to fly PC-12 surveillance aircraft in search of Kony's LRA. The total number of U.S. troops in Uganda is said to be around 300, and they are officially in the country to “provide information, advice and assistance” to an African Union force searching for Kony.