The new junta in Niger tells the United States to pack up its war and go home.

by Nick Turse, Tom Dispatch

Dressed in green military fatigues and a blue garrison cap, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, a spokesperson for Niger’s ruling junta, took to local television last month to criticize the United States and sever the long-standing military partnership between the two countries. “The government of Niger, taking into account the aspirations and interests of its people, revokes, with immediate effect, the agreement concerning the status of United States military personnel and civilian Defense Department employees,” he said, insisting that their 12-year-old security pact violated Niger’s constitution.

Another sometime Nigerien spokesperson, Insa Garba Saidou, put it in blunter terms: “The American bases and civilian personnel cannot stay on Nigerien soil any longer.”

A US military plane lands in Africa while personnel watches

The announcements came as terrorism in the West African Sahel has spiked and in the wake of a visit to Niger by a high-level American delegation, including Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee and General Michael Langley, chief of U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM. Niger’s repudiation of its ally is just the latest blow to Washington’s sputtering counterterrorism efforts in the region. In recent years, longstanding U.S. military partnerships with Burkina Faso and Mali have also been curtailed following coups by U.S.-trained officers. Niger was, in fact, the last major bastion of American military influence in the West African Sahel.

Such setbacks there are just the latest in a series of stalemates, fiascos, or outright defeats that have come to typify America’s Global War on Terror. During 20-plus years of armed interventions, U.S. military missions have been repeatedly upended across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, including a sputtering stalemate in Somalia, an intervention-turned-blowback-engine in Libya, and outright implosions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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