Pepe Escobar has a long, complex, but informative piece on the latest African wars as related and caused by, among other factors, the imperial ambitions of Cameron (Great Britain), Hollande (France) and Obama (USA). These ambitions are newly rekindled for Europe. For the USA, its ambitions have a new locus in Africa. These wars, as in Libya and Mali, have not been joined by this trio of imperialists because of terrorism threatening Europe or the U.S. This is, for one thing, about controlling African governments and enabling the extraction of wealth from resources in this region of Africa. It was Gaddafi's (Libya's) sympathy and outreach toward these regions and peoples that helped bring about his downfall. He stood in the way of western business interests, and his ideas for controlling the resources for Africans could not be abided by the western business interests and their allies in government.
Another factor is the US drive for a unipolar world, with itself as the pole and pliant satellites under its control. The US does not want a multipolar world with regional powers. That is why it knocks down Iran and Libya, and why it is now into doing what it can to contain China. Clinton just spoke up against China in its dispute about some islands over which it and Japan have friction; the Chinese reacted strongly against her remarks. The US first moved against Russia in this vein by expanding NATO to Russia's doorstep. This too is why it has attempted to control Afghanistan. US imperial ambitions of empire are easily as great as any the world has ever seen from any past conquerors and empires.