Battle for the Sahel: Operation Flintlock
The situation in the Sahel is deteriorating rapidly, with the number of Jihadist attacks increasing five-fold since 2016. Operation Flintlock 2020 held in the Senegalese town of Thies and in the desert state of Mauritania, took on an added urgency.
Flintlock is U.S. Africa Command’s premier special operations forces exercise. The exercise promotes trans-Sahara counter-terrorism partnerships. Approximately 2,000 personnel from more than 30 African and western nations participated in this exercise.
Participants include Ghana, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and are trained by American, Dutch and British forces.
Ultimately, western forces will not be able to leave the region until local armies are strong enough to take the battle to the foe. British officers talk of seeking “to learn the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq”.
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