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USA Hands Over Niger Military Base to Russia

USA Hands Over Niger Military Base to Russia

President Biden + World = Chaos

There is so much craziness in the world, filled with too many non compos mentis knuckleheads, that the media does not have the time to cover all of them—and Americans can’t process them all at once. Two related headlines have gone unnoticed: First, U.S. forces are leaving Niger; Second, the Russian military is replacing us.

Joe Biden promised to be President Steady Hand. Instead, he has left the world in such disarray that this more-important-than-you-think news cannot even make the top headlines because there are too many other wars to talk about. And it is under Biden’s incompetent watch that the news will not receive much exposure, and most of you will never hear about this strategic loss to Russia.

The United States had maintained warm relations with Niger since it became a democracy in 2011. One key function of this relationship was the use of Niger’s soil for the U.S. military to conduct counterterrorism operations against Islamist jihadis throughout Africa.


Last year, a coup took place in Niger that deposed the democratically elected government. Earlier this year, the coup government asked the U.S. military to leave. President Joe Biden quickly agreed. There are many layers to this incompetence and lack of wisdom:

  • The first failure was in anticipating the coup. When the coup took place, the United States didn’t have an ambassador in Niger. It is the job of U.S. diplomats and spies in a country to know about the political developments there and predict a coup. At the time of the coup, there was no U.S. ambassador in Niger, leaving the embassy leaderless and unable to function normally. We cannot assess intelligence failure because of its secretive nature, but all intelligence failures are political failures at their cores. They happen because policymakers do not instruct the intelligence community to pay attention and do not allocate enough resources. On both ends, we can blame the Biden administration for Niger’s transition to a military dictatorship.

  • The second failure is accepting to leave. U.S. law forbids the U.S. government from recognizing coup governments. Biden had no obligation to accept the coup government’s demands. If there is any obligation, it is to ignore them. What was Niger’s military going to do, go to war with America? Let’s not kid ourselves!

  • The third problem is Russia. Coups are increasing in Africa, and Russian footprints, in conjunction with the mercenary Wagner Group, are all over them. It is not a coincidence at all to think that this military government is supported by Vladimir Putin. Knowing the history of Soviet involvement in Africa and the current ties that Russia has there, it would have been naive to think that the Russians would not move into the house from which we were evicted.

You might think that this is not that important. That’s a mistake. 

In 2001, many thought Afghanistan was not important until 9/11 happened. Africa is filled with unstable governments, which Russia and China are doing their best to exploit. There are rare natural resources they both want access to and want to deny us access to, shaping the future of technological advancement. Additionally, there are terrorists to whom Russia and China will be happy to give sanctuary so they can attack America and Europe.

The U.S. military’s mission there was primarily to crack down on these terrorists at a very cheap price. Some special operation personnel participated in these missions, but mostly U.S. Air Force provided cover for the local militaries to conduct the raids.

Now, at best, we will have to pay a lot of money to build a new base in Africa to do the same thing. And the new base will not be as good real estate as the one we just lost to the Russians. At worst, we will not find one at all. This means that we will have to operate out of Europe, flying longer distances, which will be much more expensive.

At worst, we will stop helping the African governments altogether, allowing the unholy triangle of Russians, Chinese, and terrorists to take over the continent.

When he was running for president, Biden attacked Donald Trump for being soft on Russia. Instead, he promised to let Putin have it. It turns out that he meant that he would let Putin have the upper hand. He fears him regarding Ukraine so much that it takes years to send Ukraine military systems so old that the Army has retired them. He also fears Putin’s influence in Africa. The Russians are entering the airbase while American airmen are still there. Instead of reversing course, kicking the Russians out, and stating that the United States will not abandon an important base just because an illegitimate government asked, he is rushing to beat the clock to pack and run.

Note: the opinions expressed herein are those of Chuck Warren only and not his co-host Sam Stone or Breaking Battlegrounds’ staff.

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