America's $280 Million Military Mission in Niger Ends in Failure

The U.S. has sunk $280 million into a massive drone center in Niger, a nation that has recently experienced a coup d'etat led by a nationalist government bent on removing foreign militaries from its territory.

Last year, Nigerien Colonel Amadou Abdramane ordered U.S. troops out of Air Base 201, declaring that "the American presence in the territory of the Republic of Niger is illegal." Abdramane also criticized a Nigerien deal to sell Iran uranium and growing Nigerien-Russian military ties.

The U.S. military presence in Niger, which is meant to help local governments fight Islamist rebels, has also elicited resentment due to growing anti-Western sentiment in the region and previous failures to address terrorism. In 2017, the Islamic State ambushed and killed four U.S. Green Berets, and local bandits robbed a van carrying $40,000 in American taxpayer money meant to pay local employees in 2022. Now, the Biden administration is seeking "clarification" on Niger's statements, while Abdramane has criticized the U.S. for denying Niger's sovereign right to choose its partners.

Some commenters argue that America's foreign policy in Africa, from offering military aid to refusing to return the investment in the drone base, is exacerbating the situation, and that the U.S. would be better off withdrawing from the region entirely.

What do you think? Should the U.S. invest billions in foreign aid and military presence in countries like Niger, or is it time for a change in policy? Do you think this is another example of the Biden administration's failed foreign policy, or is this a sensible withdrawal given the situation? Share your thoughts below!

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