In a testimony delivered to the House Armed Services Committee, General Thomas Waldhauser (USMC), the commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), offered some valuable insight into American initiatives and, more importantly, state and non-state threats.

General Waldhauser stated that, contrary to popular belief, “the threats we are working against aren’t necessarily a threat to the homeland and may not be a threat to the region overall.” In fact, most of the terrorist groups active in Africa aren’t dedicated to terrorism, but diversify their activities to include weapons trafficking and local crime, among other things.

“These groups may hang out a shingle and say, ‘We’re with ISIS today,’” added General Waldhauser. “But they may or may not have the intent or capability to attack outside their particular part of the country. Even though they may call themselves al-Qaeda or ISIS, sometimes it’s difficult to say they’re a threat to the homeland.”

Notwithstanding, U.S. presence and initiatives in Somalia and Libya will not diminish. The two countries, according to AFRICOM, are the only ones in which American forces have the green light to conduct kinetic operations.