Biden to withdraw U.S. troops from Niger as Russian and Chinese influence grows

 April 22, 2024

President Joe Biden was widely criticized after his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan led to the death of 13 Americans as well as the Taliban seizing weapons worth billions of dollars worth.

Afghanistan isn't the only place where U.S. influence has shrunk under Biden, as last week he began evacuating troops deployed to Niger.

$110 million base "will be very difficult to replace"

New York Times contributor Eric Schmitt reported on Friday that the Biden administration will abandon a $110 million base in the West African nation and withdraw roughly 1,000 military personnel over a period of months.

The troops are there as part of a training and counter terrorism mission which aimed at combating ISIS and Al-Qaeda along with other extremist movements.

In addition to menacing Niger, the terror groups also pose a threat to neighboring countries in the region and containing them has been a longstanding goal.

J. Peter Pham is a former special U.S. envoy to the Sahel region, and he told Schmitt the base represents "a strategic military asset that will be very difficult to replace."

Russian personnel are moving in as American forces withdraw

The planned withdrawal comes in the wake of a coup last year which ousted Niger's democratically elected government and brought a military junta to power.

Schmitt pointed out in his article that while Americans are departing from Niger, 100 Russian instructors arrived in the country last week.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Russia has agreed to provide training to Niger's military as well as construct an air defense system.

"We are here to train the Nigerien army ... (and) to develop military cooperation between Russia and Niger," an unnamed Russian instructor was quoted as saying.

China and Iran are also forging ties with Niger

The Daily Wire noted how Russia has been significantly expanding its presence in Africa and is using military contractors to secure lucrative mining deals in several resource-rich countries.

The website further explained that Russia is not the only foreign power to hold sway in Niger, as China has also become a major trading partner.

What's more, Niger's military government is also said to be considering whether it should enter a deal to provide Iran with uranium.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.