During World War II, Gambian troops fought with the Allies in Burma. The Gambia's capital city served as an air stop for the U.S. Army Air Corps and a port of call for Allied naval convoys. The Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom in 1965. President Yayah Jammeh took power in a military coup d’etat in 1994, and has remained in office since. Presidential elections have been held every 5 years since 1996.
U.S. policy seeks to build improved relations with The Gambia on the basis of historical ties - mutual respect, democratic rule, human rights, and adherence to United Nations resolutions on counterterrorism, conflict diamonds, and other forms of trafficking.