AFRICOM's has consistently minimized the scope of its operations and the number of facilities it maintains or shares with host nations, asserting that only "a small presence of personnel who conduct short-duration engagements" are operating from "several locations" on the continent at any given time. To the media and the American people, officials insist the US military is engaged in small-scale, innocuous operations in Afrika. But clearly the seemingly unending string of projects, operations, and engagements, each downplayed by AFRICOM is an indication of the growing, if not central important of Afrika in the future of US foreign policy.
The map above shows the various US military outposts, construction, security cooperation, and deployments in Africa. AFRICOM recognizes 54 nations and according to an investigation by The Nation Institute, it is militarily involved in no fewer than 49 of them. In some, the US maintains "bases"; in others, it trains local partners and proxies to battle militants ranging from Somalia's al-Shabaab and Nigeria's Boko Haram to members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb; and in other areas it is building facilities for its allies or infrastructure for locals. Many Afrikan nations, for example Nigeria and Uganda, are home to multiple US military projects. And with the growing economy of China, its expansion into Afrika, and the US's perception of the People's Reblic as a threat, the America's already vast initiatives in Afrika will be expanding into the foreseeable future.