Operation Silver Guardian Deployment
Reported By MAJ J.LaFlash
The situation in central Africa has been tense for the last 20 years, War chiefs and rebels have been fighting over territories, contesting the local forces and authorities. Worse, a lot of those War Chiefs and rebels became terrorist Islamist groups, pledging allegiance to Al-Qaïda or ISIS. France tried to help Sahel’s countries, but with a high number of losses and a conflict everlasting, they quickly lowered the numbers of deployed personnel there, leaving a vast area out of control.
The US has a history of having troops deployed in Africa, but mostly on the “Horn of Africa”, in Somalia and in Djibouti. Nevertheless, the United States helped France during operation Barkhane, offering no less than 800 US military personnel to work toward building a drone base in Agadez, and also deployed Green Berets to train local armies.
With the withdrawal of French troops, the local terrorist group got a boost in confidence, launching an armed assault on the not-yet finished drone base of Agadez, killing 15 US personnel in the attack. Drone Reports also state that at least 2 US personnel have been taken hostage and have been sent to central Mali.
US President Joe Biden, freshly introduced into his mandate, stated that this attack is an attack against the United States, and toward a free world. Needless to say that the 46th president needs to affirm his position with this attack, and cannot stay passive. He ordered the deployment of a force in central Africa, and negotiated an area of operation in central Mali, where the now withdrawn french forces were previously deployed.
The Secretary of Defense dispatched more resources to the U.S. AFRICOM, and tasked it to enter direct combat with local Islamist and rebel groups, including Al-Qaïda, ISIS and Boko Haram. General Stephen J. Townsend said that “the life of the two hostages is of utmost importance and saving them is a top priority”. He also stated that terrorist groups in the area will be hunted in order to free the population of the actions of local terrorist groups.
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division "Spartans" will be deployed in the Mopti region, where the two hostages were last sighted. The Report also states the presence of multiple leaders of different Islamist groups. With the weakening foreign military presence in the region, Al-Qaïda and ISIS made a truce.
The Mopti region is known to be one of the last strong bastions of African terrorist groups. With its dense jungle and empty flat desert area, the duality of the terrain makes it a difficult terrain to navigate and fight on. Many small villages are dispersed all around the area, making it a perfect place to hide assets. It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.