With the United States-Africa summit on the horizon come mid-December, Washington sent an imposing delegation to Africa, led by Straussan Victoria Nuland, Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

The delegation included Assistant Secretary of Defense Celeste Wallander; AfriCom strategist General Kenneth Ekman; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mike Heath; Greg LoGerfo, deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism; and Matt Petit, Sahel focal point at the White House.

The delegation traveled to Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. In practice, Washington’s aim was to understand why the Wagner group is replacing France in many countries.

The delegation asked each leader they met about his country’s relationship with Russia and with the Wagner private military company. Each was forewarned about the woes that would befall their country if they go down the “wrong path”.