Africa is fast-becoming a continent where terrorist groups, like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, are reconstituting their numbers by co-opting local fighters into their ranks, Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, head of special operations for U.S. Africa Command said.

“Africa is providing them that safe haven, that venue where they can establish themselves,” he said Wednesday during an online interview with the American Enterprise Institute.

“Some regional militants in Africa are now primarily identifying themselves as members of transnational terrorist groups like al-Qaeda rather than with their local tribes. Once the militants become aligned, their goals change,” Maj. Gen. Anderson said.

But I don’t see it this way. My opinion is that militants are identifying themselves based on money, resources, and recruitment.

Let’s be honest; the State Department does not need the U.S. military going around killing a bunch of people in Africa, making the U.S.’s ambassadors’ jobs harder than they already are. Even the former SOCAF Commander was quoted as saying that Africa was at war, not the United States.

This makes it extremely frustrating for the very eager and capable Green Berets in Africa that have developed deep personal relationships with the local partner forces.

Several years ago, when I was in Niger, the mission approval process took forever, sometimes up to a week. It seemingly got kicked back to the team over and over again for grammatical corrections that did not even matter. Our partner force at the time was a quick response force, capable of responding to an attack within a couple of hours. The partner forces would be back, would have cleaned up, showered, and eaten while the Green Berets were still working on version 29 of the CONOP (concept of the operation) to get the mission approved. Annoying.

But wait, don’t we have a blanket CONOP with all the critical information already on it before we even get in-country? Shouldn’t the military commanders only need a few updated notes on who is going, etc.? The answer is yes.