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As COVID-19 began spreading across the African continent in late March, the U.S. State Department took to Twitter to boast about American health assistance there. A March 25 tweet from the department highlighted more than $100 million in U.S. medical assistance to foreign countries, including in Africa, as evidence of America’s emphasis on mitigating “endemic and emerging health threats” and its “long-term investment in the lives of Africans.”
When it comes to Africa, the messaging suggests, America’s focus is on saving lives, not ending them. But a wealth of evidence reveals that the opposite is true in the two African countries of greatest interest to the U.S. military: Libya and Somalia.Since U.S. Africa Command became fully operational in 2008, American troops have seen combat in more than a dozen African countries and conducted more than 1,500 air attacks, commando raids, and other ground missions in Libya and Somalia alone. Yet these two countries, where U.S. forces have spent hundreds of millions on airstrikes, have fared especially poorly in terms of direct U.S. health assistance.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.