Photo Illustration: Brad Howard / Photo: DoD

The Chinese military has sent a clear message for the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea: Your FONOPs will not be fun ops. Now, it appears likely that China's aggressive naval ambitions may spread beyond its artificial islands to the country's nascent military presence in Africa.

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Spc. John Lytle/US Army

Vice News has obtained a list of at least 21 named U.S. military operations that have taken place or are still ongoing on the African continent, so we might as well figure out which names are badass and which are just incredibly absurd.

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U.S. Army/Spc. Zayid Ballesteros

ISIS may be degraded beyond recognition in Iraq and Syria, but the Department of Defense is ramping up its fight against the terror organization far beyond the traditional battlefields of the Middle East.

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U.S. Army/Spc. Zayid Ballesteros

The Department of Defense reportedly plans on reducing and assigning special operations forces (SOF) in Africa by the hundreds and limit the number of SOF missions on the continent. The New York Times reported on August 1 that Pentagon officials “expected most of the troop cuts and scaled-back missions to come from Central and West Africa, where Special Operations missions have focused on training African militaries to combat the growing threat from extremist Islamist militant groups.”   

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U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Ryan Conroy

Two members of Marine Special Operations Command received valor awards for their heroism during a gun battle last year with al Qaeda militants in Northern Africa, a spokeswoman for U.S. Africa Command confirmed on Wednesday.

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