Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Qassem Soleimani. War with Iran. The Afghan papers.

These are some of the more important topics that have been trending in defense and foreign policy news. Russia and China, conversely, have been conspicuous in their absence.

But, arguably, these two countries are the most important long-term threats to U.S. national security. And their strategy, when it comes to Africa, has largely been sidelined by the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

What do Russia and China offer to autocratic African regimes? Arms and money. What does the U.S. offer? Democratic values, high-speed Special Operations trainers, and the occasional loan or grant, which, however, comes with a hefty and unenviable package — to the regimes — of domestic reforms (human rights, rule of law, democratization, etc.). Although the American option is the moral one, the foreign policy chessboard is brimming with immoral players.