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Two Contrasting Views of U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s Recent Visit to North Africa

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper gives a speech while visiting the North Africa American Cemetery which houses the remains of US soldiers who died during the World War II North African campaign, close to the ruins of ancient Carthage northeast of Tunisia's capital Tunis on September 30, 2020. FETHI BELAID / AFP

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper made his first official visit to Africa last week, visiting four countries in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, Secretary Esper spoke at every opportunity about the risks posed by growing Chinese and Russian influence on the continent.

Although the Secretary was warmly received, it’s unlikely that he convinced Malta, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco to abandon their ties with either Russia or China.

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