12 July 2013
US drones in Niger reflect new approach in counter-terrorism
The New York Times reported on Wednesday on US drone operations in Niger that reflect the emergence of a new counter-terrorism model that moves away from a global war on terror and towards more targeted operations designed to help local forces and US allies to fight militants instead of engaging American troops directly.
The new approach faces challenges in Africa due to the shortage of resources and the weakness of US partners in the region where insurgents flow across lightly guarder borders between Niger, Mali, Nigeria and Libya. The primary purpose of the US drone base established in Niger in Febuary has been to support the French in Mali, but French, American and Nigerien officials all have a say in its operations. The base could also be used to support the newly-established UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, the NYT writes.