For an administration that prides itself in never letting a crisis go to waste, the Ebola outbreak is seemingly offering the perfect opportunity to achieve a long-time Western goal – to build up a U.S. military presence in Africa in the face of growing Chinese investment and influence on the continent.

President Obama’s announcement of humanitarian aid for the Ebola disaster came in the form of a major increase of military personnel in the region, declaring an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces will join the U.S. Africa Command, or Africom.

The stated goal of those forces, according to a White House release, is to establish a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to “provide regional command and control support … and facilitate coordination with U.S. government and international relief efforts.”

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