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NYT: Pentagon officials complain US cuts in aid to Africa hurt war on terror

RAW STORY
Published: Saturday July 22, 2006

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Pentagon officials are complaining that US cuts in aid to Africa are hurting the war on terror, according to an article in Sunday's edition of The New York Times.

"The Bush administration and Congress have slashed millions of dollars of military aid to African nations in recent years, moves that Pentagon officials and senior military commanders say have undermined American efforts to combat terrorist threats in Africa and to counter expanding Chinese influence there," writes Mark Mazzetti.

Excerpts from the Times article:

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Since 2003, Washington has shut down Pentagon programs to train and equip militaries in a handful of African nations because they have declined to sign agreements exempting American troops from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

But the policy, which was designed to protect American troops, has instead angered senior military officials, who say the cuts in military aid are shortsighted and have weakened counterterrorism efforts in places where the threat of international terrorism is said to be most acute.

Some cite this as a case where the unintended consequences of the go-it-alone approach to foreign policy that Washington took after the Sept. 11 attacks affected the larger American efforts to combat terrorism.

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Citing Kenya as an example, Pentagon officials say it makes little sense to ask for Kenya’s support in fighting terrorism while denying it the money it needs for training and equipping troops.

“Kenya is a key partner in our counterterrorism strategy and our goals in Africa,’’ a Pentagon official who works on Africa strategy said. “This hurts us, there’s no question about it.”

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FULL TIMES ARTICLE AT THIS LINK