U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend during a tour north of Baghdad, February 8, 2017. (Associated Press/Ali Abdul Hassa)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

A four-star US Army general on Monday issued a statement calling the reports of his death in a terrorist attack in Kenya as "greatly exaggerated."

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U.S. Army Spc. Preston Seach, assigned to the East Africa Response Force (EARF), Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, participates in an emergency deployment response exercise, East Africa, May 17, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben)

A U.S. military rapid response team has been deployed to a military base in Manda Bay, Kenya after an attack there by the Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab killed a U.S. service member and two Pentagon contractors on Sunday morning, according to a statement from U.S. Africa Command.

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U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Corban D. Lundborg

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somalia's al Shabaab militant group attacked on Sunday a military base in Kenya used by both U.S. and Kenyan forces and published pictures of masked gunmen standing next to an aircraft in flames.

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed an attack on the Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu county, close to the Somali border. The Kenyan military said the attack was repelled and that four militants had been killed. There were no immediate reports of Kenyan or U.S. casualties.

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U.S. Marines in support of the Libyan Government of National Accord. Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Austin/U.S. Navy

The U.S. forces in Libya are temporarily leaving as the security situation on the ground has grown "increasingly complex and unpredictable," the head of U.S. Africa Command, Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, said in a statement on Sunday.

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YouTube/Paul Szoldra

There's a video going around, purportedly of soldiers in an unnamed African country jumping out the back of an aircraft, and unfortunately they can't jump good.

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Major Jahara Matisek, USAF, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. William Reno is a Professor in the Political Science Department at Northwestern University.

If one accepts that the American military is the most powerful armed force in human history, why does it have a mixed record when it comes to building up foreign armies in weak states?

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