Niger, the central pivot of West Africa, finds itself at the heart of profound geopolitical transformations. While the country is redefining its military alliances, the United States, anticipating security issues, is strengthening its presence on the ground. Drones and American operating bases stand out as the pillars of this new orientation.
The United States at work in a Niger in transition
Following the breakdown of agreements with France orchestrated by the Nigerien military junta, Operation Barkhane, the pillar of French intervention, is on hold. But the United States does not intend to stay behind. In an effort to deepen their operations in the region, they are strengthening military cooperation with Niger.
The United States has deployed an advanced technological arsenal to strengthen its surveillance capacity. MQ-9 Reaper drones, equipped with advanced ISR capabilities, regularly fly over Nigerien territory to monitor the movements of jihadist groups. These drones, stationed at the Agadez air base, play a crucial role in intelligence gathering.
Additionally, U.S. operating bases, like Agadez, are continually upgraded to support ground operations. These bases house not only drone units, but also special troops and heavy equipment.
The complexity of the Sahel and the role of the armed forces
The Sahel region, marked by ethnic diversity and porous borders, is a hotbed for varied armed groups. Faced with this complexity, American forces are partnering with local armies, combining training, technology and tactical expertise. Together, they carry out joint operations, ranging from intelligence to counter-insurgency, while seeking to gain the trust of local communities.
Niger, resources and strategic opportunities
In addition to its geopolitical role, Niger is full of resources. Uranium, essential for nuclear energy, is of major importance for countries like France. But gold, oil, coal and copper add to this wealth, attracting the attention of many great powers. Niger is emerging as a central geopolitical actor. Its stability, directly influenced by ongoing military operations, has repercussions well beyond its borders, affecting the strategies of the great world powers.
Keywords: Niger, United States, France, drones, operating bases, special forces, terrorism, Sahel, diplomacy, natural resources, geopolitics, energy security, economic issues.