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Robert Otto: ISR Tech Is Vital for Counterterrorism Efforts in Africa

Lt. Gen. Robert Otto
Lt. Gen. Robert Otto

U.S. military leaders believe that intelligence systems and increased collaboration between the U.S. and African allies are essential to fighting terrorism across Africa, Defense News reported Thursday.

President Barack Obama has proposed creating a $5 billion fund for anti-terror programs in North Africa and the Middle East, while the Senate Armed Services Committee has endorsed a $60 million budget for ISR technology in Africa, according to the report by Paul McLeary and Aaron Mehta.

McLeary and Mehta write the Army and Marine Corps have formed regional task forces to ensure security across the continent.

“The problem that we wrestle with as we support their efforts is the tyranny of distance,” Brig. Gen. John Linder, head of the US Army’s special operations command in Africa, told Defense News in a recent interview.

Gen. Robert Otto, deputy chief of staff for ISR at the Air Force, said an extended-range variant of the Reaper drone could help monitor African locations where satellite coverage is limited, according to the publication.

Otto also emphasized the need for human analytics and intelligence to aid counterterrorism missions in the region, McLeary and Mehta write.

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