MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA

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Offline Dig

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MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« on: August 25, 2009, 01:44:04 PM »
U.S. intensifies its military involvement in Africa through Africa Command (AFRICOM)
http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/65740
by Rick Rozoff
(Tuesday, August 25, 2009)

"The size and location of the continent along with its human and natural resources - oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, uranium, cobalt, chromium, platinum, timber, cotton, food products - make it an increasingly important part of a world that is daily becoming more integrated and interdependent."


The 2009 World Population Data Sheet published by the Washington, DC-based Population Reference Bureau states that the population of the African continent has surpassed one billion. Africans now account for over a seventh of the human race.

Africa's 53 nations are 28% of the 192 countries in the world.

The size and location of the continent along with its human and natural resources - oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, uranium, cobalt, chromium, platinum, timber, cotton, food products - make it an increasingly important part of a world that is daily becoming more integrated and interdependent.

Africa is also the last continent to free itself from colonial domination. South America broke free of Spanish and Portuguese control in the beginning of the 1800s (leaving only the three Guianas - British, Dutch and French - still colonized) and the post-World War II decolonization of Asia that started with former British East India in 1947 was almost complete by the late 1950s.

Sub-Saharan Africa was not to liberate most of its territory from Belgian, British, French, Spanish and Portuguese colonial masters until the 1960s and 1970s. And the former owners were reluctant to cede newly created African nations any more than nominal independence and the ability to choose their own internal socio-economic orientation and foreign policy alignment.

In the two decades of the African independence struggle the continent was marred by Western-backed coups d'etat and assassinations of liberation leaders which included those against Patrice Lumumba in the former Belgian Congo in 1961, Ben Barka in Morocco in 1965, Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana in 1966, Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique in 1969, Amilcar Cabral in Guinea-Bissau in 1973 and Marien Ngouabi in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in 1977.

In his latest Anti-Empire Report veteran political analyst William Blum wrote, "the next time you hear that Africa can't produce good leaders, people who are committed to the welfare of the masses of their people, think of Nkrumah and his fate. And think of Patrice Lumumba, overthrown in the Congo 1960-61 with the help of the United States; Agostinho Neto of Angola, against whom Washington waged war in the 1970s, making it impossible for him to institute progressive changes; Samora Machel of Mozambique against whom the CIA supported a counter-revolution in the 1970s-80s period; and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (now married to Machel's widow), who spent 28 years in prison thanks to the CIA." [1]

Some of Blum's references are to a series of proxy wars supported by the United States and its NATO allies and in some instances apartheid South Africa and the Mobutu Sese Seko regime in Zaire in the mid-1970s and the 1980s, such as arming and training the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the unspeakably brutal Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), and Eritrean and Tigrayan armed separatists in Ethiopia as well as backing the Somali invasion of the Ogaden Desert in that country in 1977.

Over the past five years French troops and bombers have waged deadly attacks inside Cote d'Ivoire, Chad and the Central African Republic either in support of or against rebels, always in furtherance of France's own geopolitical objectives. In the second application of the so-called Blair Doctrine, in 2000 Britain sent troops to its former colony of Sierra Leone and has de facto recolonized the nation, taking control of its military and internal security forces.

But in the post-World War II period there has only been one direct American military action in Africa, the deadly 1986 air strikes against Libya in April of 1986, Operation El Dorado Canyon.

While conducting wars, bombings, military interventions and invasions in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and recently Southeastern Europe over the past half century, the Pentagon has left the African continent comparatively unscathed. That is going to change after the establishment of the United States Africa Command on October 1 of 2007 and its activation a year later.

The U.S. has intensified military involvement in Africa over the past seven years with such projects as the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), launched by the State Department but which deployed US Army Special Forces with the Special Operations Command Europe to Mali and Mauritania among other locations. U.S. military personnel are still engaged in the counterinsurgency wars in Mali and Niger against Tuareg rebels.

The Pan Sahel Initiative was succeeded by the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) in late 2004 which has American military personnel assigned to eleven African nations: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative was formally launched in June of 2005 with the deployment of 1,000 American troops, among them Green Berets, in Operation Flintlock 05 in North and West Africa to engage with counterparts from seven nations: Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia.

Until their transfer to the Africa Command (AFRICOM) all 53 nations on the continent except for those in the Horn of Africa (assigned to Central Command) and the island nations of Madagascar and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean (handled by Pacific Command) were within the area of responsibilty of the European Command (EUCOM), whose top commander is simultaneously the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

As such the past two EUCOM and NATO commanders, Marine General James Jones (2003-2006) and Army General Bantz John Craddock (2006-June, 2009), were the most instrumental in setting up AFRICOM.

Jones is now U.S. National Security Adviser and at this February's Munich Security Conference opened his speech with "As the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, I take my daily orders from Dr. [Henry]Kissinger." [2]

In 2008, while serving as State Department special envoy for Middle East security and chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States, Jones said, "[A]s commander of NATO, I worried early in the mornings about how to protect energy facilities and supply chain routes as far away as Africa, the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea." [3]

Shortly before stepping down from his military posts with NATO and the Pentagon "NATO's top commander of operations, U.S. General James Jones, has said he sees a potential role for the alliance in protecting key shipping lanes such as those around the Black Sea and oil supply routes from Africa to Europe." [4]

Three years ago a Pentagon web site documented that "Officials at U.S. European Command spend between 65 to 70 percent of their time on African issues, [James] Jones said....Establishing such a group [military task force in West Africa] could also send a message to U.S. companies 'that investing in many parts of Africa is a good idea,' the general said." [5]

During the final months of his dual tenure as NATO's and EUCOM's top military commander, Jones transitioned Africa from EUCOM's to AFRICOM's control while also expanding the role of NATO on the continent.

In June of 2006 the Alliance launched its global Rapid Response Force with its first large-scale military exercises off the coast of the former Portuguese possession of Cape Verde, in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal.

U.S press reports of the time offered these details:

"Hundreds of elite North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) troops backed by fighter planes and warships will storm a tiny volcanic island off Africa's Atlantic coast this week in what the Western alliance hopes will prove a potent demonstration of its ability to project power around the world." [6]

"Seven thousand NATO troops conducted war games on the Atlantic Ocean island of Cape Verde on Thursday in the latest sign of the alliance's growing interest in playing a role in Africa.

"The land, air and sea exercises were NATO's first major deployment in Africa and designed to show the former Cold War giant can launch far-flung military operations at short notice.

"'You are seeing the new NATO, the one that has the ability to project stability,' said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference after NATO troops stormed a beach on one of the islands on the archipelago in a mock assault on a fictitious terrorist camp.

"NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe James Jones, the alliance soldier in charge of NATO operations, said he hoped the two-week Cape Verde exercises would help break down negative images about NATO in Africa and elsewhere." [7]

NATO's first operation in Africa had occurred a year earlier in May of 2005 when the bloc transported African Union troops to the Darfur region of Sudan, at the crossroads of a war-riven region comprised of the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan.

The Alliance has since deployed warships to the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, last year with Operation Allied Protector, and this August 17 NATO announced that it was dispatching British, Greek, Italian, Turkish and U.S. warships to the area for a new mission, Operation Ocean Shield. These operations don't consist of mere surveillance and escort roles but include regular forced boardings, sniper attacks and other uses of armed and often lethal force.

On August 22 a Netherlands contingent of the complementary European Union naval force off Somalia used an attack helicopter against a vessel in the area which subsequently was taken over by troops from a Norwegian warship.

Over three years before, now U.S. National Security Adviser and then NATO chief military commander James Jones addressing what was his major "national security" concern at the time, "raised the prospect of NATO taking a role to counter piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, especially when it threatens energy supply routes to Western nations." [8]

A month later both he and NATO's then top civilian leader, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, reiterated the above commitment.

"NATOs' [commanders] are ready to use warships to ensure the security of offshore oil and gas transportation routes from Western Africa, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO's Secretary General, reportedly said speaking at a session of the foreign committee of PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe].

"On April 30 General James Jones, commander-in-chief of NATO in Europe, reportedly said NATO was going to draw up a plan for ensuring the security of oil and gas industry facilities.

"In this respect the bloc is willing to ensure security in unstable regions where oil and gas are produced and transported." [9]

Two months earlier a U.S. Defense Department news source reported this from Jones:

"U.S. Naval Forces Europe, (the command's) lead component in this initiative, has developed a robust maritime security strategy and regional 10-year campaign plan for the Gulf of Guinea region.

"Africa's vast potential makes African stability a near-term global strategic imperative." [10]

Jones "raised the prospect of NATO taking a role to counter piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, especially when it threatens energy supply routes to Western nations" in April of 2006 and the Pentagon and NATO have followed through on his pledge and exactly in those two opposite ends of Africa.

At article a few days ago by Daniel Volman, director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC, called "Africa: U.S. Military Holds War Games on Nigeria, Somalia" provided details on how far plans by James Jones and the Pentagon have progressed over the past three years.

Working with what sketchy information that had been made public about Unified Quest 2008, last year's rendition of what the U.S. Army web site described in an article of this year under the title of and as "Army war games for future conflicts" [11], conducted by the United States Army War College, Volman's article included this information:

"In addition to U.S. military officers and intelligence officers, Unified Quest 2008 brought together participants from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies, academics, journalists, and foreign military officers (including military representatives from several NATO countries, Australia, and Israel), along with the private military contractors who helped run the war games: the Rand Corporation and Booz-Allen.

"The list of options for the Nigeria scenario ranged from diplomatic pressure to military action, with or without the aid of European and African nations. One participant, U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stanovich, drew up a plan that called for the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops within 60 days....

"Among scenarios examined during the game were the possibility of direct American military intervention involving some 20,000 U.S. troops in order to 'secure the oil,' and the question of how to handle possible splits between factions within the Nigerian government. The game ended without military intervention because one of the rival factions executed a successful coup and formed a new government that sought stability.

"[W]hen General Ward [AFRICOM commander] appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, he cited America's growing dependence on African oil as a priority issue for Africom and went on to proclaim that combating terrorism would be 'Africom's number one theater-wide goal.' He barely mentioned development, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping or conflict resolution. [12]

In addition to nations already shelled, targeted and threatened like Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Eritrea, even long-time and staunch U.S. military allies like Nigeria are not beyond the reach of hostile Pentagon action. Nigeria is the main power in the fifteen-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which over the past nine years has deployed troops to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire on the request of the West, but that loyalty will not protect it when its own moment arrives.

The U.S. has employed other countries as regional military proxies - Ethiopia and Djibouti in Northeast Africa, Rwanda in Central Africa, Kenya in both - and has designs on South Africa, Senegal and Liberia for similar purposes.

Since its establishment in October of 2007 AFRICOM has lost little time in marking out the Pentagon's new continent.

Even prior to its formal activation the Pentagon conducted the Africa Endeavor 2008, 23-nation military exercise with forces from Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Uganda, the U.S. and Zambia as well as representatives from ECOWAS and the African Union. [13]

The operation was held under the auspices of the U.S. European Command at the time as AFRICOM wasn't activated until October of that year but it included the participation of the then fledgling AFRICOM and U.S. Marine Forces Europe (MARFOREUR), U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the Marine Headquarters, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa [14], but "Next year's exercise will be sponsored by U.S. Africa Command." [15]

This January the U.S. Department of Defense announced that "The U.S. Army Southern European Task Force [SETAF] officially has assumed its new role as the Army component for U.S. Africa Command."

The Pentagon web site from which the above quote is taken also provided this background information and portents of the future:

"Since the 1990s, SETAF has worked with African nations to conduct military training and provide humanitarian relief in countries such as Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo and the former Zaire. [Congo is the former Zaire, as Zaire was the former Belgian Congo]

"In the coming years, SETAF, operating as U.S. Army Africa, will continue to grow and build capacity to meet the requirements needed to coordinate all U.S. Army activities in Africa.

“[U.S. Army Africa] is not an episodic, flash in the pan, noncombative evacuation operation.” [16]

In the same month, demonstrating another new AFRICOM component and the continent-wide reach of the American military and its recently acquired client states, it was reported that "Air Force C-17s will soon begin airlifting special equipment for Rwandan Peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan, marking the kickoff of the first major operation engineered by U.S. Africa Command's air component, Seventeenth Air Force, also known as U.S. Air Forces Africa." [17]

This May the newspaper of the American Armed Forces, Stars and Stripes, carried a feature on joint U.S.-British training of the Rwandan army, one which bears a large part of the blame for the deaths of over five million Congolese since 1998: The biggest loss of life in a nation related to armed conflict since tens of millions of Chinese and Soviets were killed during World War II.

Rwandan and Ugandan troops invaded Congo in 1998 and triggered ongoing cross-border fighting which persists to this day. Rwanda and Uganda are both U.S. and British military client states.

The Stars and Stripes feature detailed that American instructors "are currently working with a team from the British army to train instructors with the Rwandan army. Those instructors will then train their own troops — many of whom will serve as peacekeepers in places such as Sudan." [18]

It quoted a British officer, Maj. Charles Malet, who "leads a contingent of British forces based in Kenya," as saying "We’ve been producing short-term training in this part of the world for a long, long time. [U.S. Africa Command] has stood [up]. It’s great to link up and provide a sort of introduction." [19]

The training of the Rwandan armed forces by the United States and its NATO allies has less to do with Darfur than it does with devastated Congo.

In November of 2008 the United Nations reported that "Rwandan forces fired tank shells and other heavy artillery across the border at Congolese troops during fighting" [20] which began when former Congolese general Laurent Nkunda staged an armed rebellion in the east of the country which led to the displacement of 200,000 civilians.

The BBC revealed at the time that "journalists report that some of Laurent Nkunda's rebel fighters are in the pay of the Rwandan army.

"This has renewed fears that the fighting will see a re-run of the five-year Congolese war, which involved nine nations, before it ended in 2003." [21]

The British Financial Times conducted interviews with "former rebels and observers on the ground" who said that "the uprising – led by Laurent Nkunda, the renegade former Congolese general – relies heavily on recruitment in Rwanda and former or even active Rwandan soldiers."

Referring to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the report added, "Mr Nkunda and Rwanda’s government, military and business elite share a history....Mr Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi, was an intelligence officer in the guerrilla army that Mr Kagame, a Rwandan Tutsi, used to...seize power.

"Mr Kagame launched invasions of Congo in 1996 and 1998 and supported uprisings...." [22]

The following month a U.S. congressional delegation "traveled to Rwanda and Ethiopia to meet with U.S. ambassadors, AFRICOM officials and various ministers of each country, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Rwanda Foreign Minister Charles Murigande." [23]

Ethiopia invaded Somalia on America's behest three years ago and Rwanda's repeated incursions into Congo could not have occurred without a green light from Washington.

As an Ugandan commentary at the time of the latest attack on Congo from Rwanda stated, "London, New York and Paris are among the top consumers of minerals from Congo. They lecture humanity on the need to uphold human rights and the sanctity of property rights whilst their thirst for strategic minerals unleashes terror on innocent women and children in Eastern Congo." [24]

Last week an AFRICOM spokesman announced that "The United States military will be sending experts to the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo this week." The initial deployment will be small, he added, but "more may follow...." [25] AFRICOM would be better advised to monitor the activities of the Rwandan military it trains and arms.

Also last week the Pentagon stated it was deploying "unmanned reconnaissance aircraft in the skies above the Seychelles archipelago" in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar and AFRICOM commander General William Ward said, "We have the recent arrival of our P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft that will aid in conducting the surveillance of Seychelles territorial waters and as we look into the future, (we will) bring unmanned surveillance vehicles." [26]

Two days later Ward said "that the rise of radical Islamist militant group al-Shabab in Somalia makes East Africa a central focus of the U.S. military on the continent."

Voice of America added:

"General William Ward has pledged continued support to Somalia's transitional federal government....He made his remarks during a visit to Nairobi, Kenya, which is a key U.S. ally in region." [27]

Until last October, Africa was the only continent other than Australia and Antarctica without a U.S. military command. The fact that one has now been established indicates that Africa has achieved heightened importance for the Pentagon and its Western military allies.

An analysis of why Africa is a major focus of attention and why now rather than earlier was provided by U.S.-based writer Paul I. Adujie in the New Liberian on August 21:

"America's Africa Command, in conceptual terms and actual implementation, is not intended to serve Africa's best interests. It just happens that Africa has grown in geopolitical and geo-economic importance to America and her allies. Africa has been there all along.

"There were, for instance, reports of how the American military, acting supposedly in partnership or cooperation with the Nigerian military, literally took over Nigerian Defense Headquarters....

"It is probably important to mention that the United States already operates at least three other commands, namely, the European Command (EUCOM), Central Command (CENTCOM) and Pacific Command (PACOM), therefore the Africa Command or (AFRICOM) will be the fourth leg of US military global spread.

"America's Africa Command is...machinery for Western governments to pursue their vaunted economic, political and hegemonic hemispheric influence at the expense of Africans as well as a backdoor through which Westerners can outmaneuver rivals such as China and perhaps Russia in addition." [28]

Notes:

[1]. The Anti-Empire Report, August 4th, 2009 http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer72.html
[2]. Real Clear Politics, February 8, 2009
[3]. Agence France-Presse, November 30, 2008
[4]. Reuters, November 27, 2006
[5]. U.S. Department of Defense, August 18, 2006
[6]. Associated Press, June 21, 2006
[7]. Reuters, June 22, 2006
[8]. Associated Press, April 24, 2006
[9]. Trend News Agency, May 3, 2006
[10]. U.S. Department of Defense, March 8, 2006
[11]. www.army.mil, May 6, 2009
[12]. AllAfrica.com, August 14, 2009
[13]. United States European Command, July 29, 2008
[14]. United States European Command, July 16, 2008
[15]. United States European Command, July 29, 2008
[16]. U.S. Department of Defense, American Forces Press Service, January 28, 2009
[17]. U.S. Air Forces in Europe, January 9, 2009
[18]. Stars And Stripes, May 24, 2009
[19]. Ibid
[20]. Associated Press, November 3, 2008
[21]. BBC News, November 13, 2008
[22]. Financial Times, November 11, 2008
[23]. Times-Journal, December 8, 2008
[24]. Sunday Monitor (Uganda), November 9, 2008
[25]. Daily Nation (Kenya), August 18, 2009
[26]. Reuters, August 19, 2009
[27]. Voice of America News, August 21, 2009
[28]. New Liberian, August 21, 2009
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 01:46:23 PM »
AFRICOM: Problems and "Possibilities"
http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/item/2009/0103/comm/marks_africom.html

The establishment of the U.S. Africa Command raises some questions regarding the role of the military in U.S. Africa policy, as it will be performing many tasks generally thought of as the responsibility of State and other civilian agencies; and because its resources are much superior, it risks displacing embassies as the primary de facto American interlocutor with African governments. This essay discusses these issues and offers specific suggestions on how AFRICOM can address them and work effectively with State, AID, and other government agencies. – Ed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The establishment of the new geographic unified command – U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM – appears to be an attempt to deal with three perceived problems:
American policy towards Africa;
American policy for dealing with terrorism in Africa;
Department of Defense desire to fill an organizational lacuna.

Let me comment on these questions in reverse order, beginning with the one that may be the least important or significant.

Since World War II the U.S. military have developed an organizational structure to manage their enormous, complicated, and very resource-dominated world and to fulfill their mission of defending the United States. The core of this concern is the primary military mission of war fighting. Millions of people and vast amounts of materiel have to be managed in a manner which must be centralized and decentralized at the same time. Defining this process is an organizational and war fighting doctrine which divides their world view into three levels: strategic, operational, and tactical. Reflecting this perspective, the military side of the Department of Defense is organized hierarchically into a chain of command headed by the President and the Secretary of Defense, then a collection of unified commands, each responsible for a geographic area (e.g., the Pacific region, as in the U.S. Pacific Command, PACOM) or a mission (e.g., the Special Operations Command, SOCOM).  This system began somewhat serendipitously in WWII with CINCPAC, the Commander-in-Chief Pacific, and was over the years expanded until only Africa remained an identifiable geographic region without a designated U.S. military command.  U.S. military concerns in Africa were run out of the three adjoining geographic commands: EUCOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM.  

In a sense, then, one block on the Power Point slide remained unfilled, and several years ago DoD decided to fill it by creating a military geographic command for Africa, hence AFRICOM.  

Therefore, from a purely bureaucratic point of view, assuming that DoD continues to utilize this “COCOM” system, the creation of AFRICOM makes sense. If Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Pacific all have a military command devoted to them, why not Africa?   As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates put it to the Senate Armed Services Committee: Creating AFRICOM “will enable us to have a more effective and integrated approach than the current arrangement of dividing Africa between [different regional commands].”

AFRICOM Raises Questions
However, the introduction of AFRICOM has raised a number of questions arising from the definition of is mission, description of its organization and resources, and certain other “administrative” characteristics such as the venue of its headquarters.1
The COCOMs’ original mission of war fighting has been expanded over recent years to increasingly include humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction, although these are not uniquely DoD missions but those in which the military are involved – at least in theory – as only one player on the U.S government team.  Unfortunately, in recent years they have too often been the only player called upon by the “coach.”
Even counter-terrorism, while clearly a sub-set of the traditional military mission, is not a unique DoD mission and not primarily the responsibility of the geographic commands such as AFRICOM. Recent Pentagon policy directives have stated that “irregular warfare” (which includes military counter-terrorism) is “likely to be conducted by Special Operations forces…”
Plans for actually locating AFRICOM’s headquarters on the African continent raise significant political and practical questions.  
There are questions about the need for such a large and prominent military organization given the comparatively limited policy and operational objectives the United States has in Africa.  Unified commands are expensive bureaucratic organizations headed by very senior officers. AFRICOM will have approximately 1,300 personnel but no component military forces. Do current and projected American security programs in Africa really need this much overhead?
Various aspects of the AFRICOM plan have raised serious inter-governmental and public diplomacy concerns.

Nevertheless, given the DoD commitment to the unified command model, the desire to complete a global set of such organizations is understandable.  Let us accept therefore, that AFRICOM exists and will play a role in American policy in Africa. The question therefore is to determine the scale and scope of that role.

“Whole of Government” Policy
U.S. policy towards Africa must, obviously, be a “whole of government” policy – involving political, economic, social, and security concerns. The priority given each of these elements is a major aspect of policy judgment, and will vary from country to country.   Opinions vary, but few knowledgeable observers or commentators would place military considerations at the top of the list.  Even with respect to the terrorist challenge, “The war we are fighting is not only a military problem. It's not even primarily a military problem. ...military action alone is insufficient – it must be subordinate to diplomatic, political, and economic action,” to quote LTG James M. Dubik following his tour in Iraq.

As eloquently explained is a recent report by Refugees International:

There is broad agreement that combating today’s global threats requires a balanced, integrated approach with coordinated defense, diplomacy and development efforts. In practice, the Pentagon is largely dictating America’s approach to foreign policy. The nation’s foreign aid budget is too low; its civilian capacity to construct and carry out effective, long-term policies to rebuild states is too weak; interventions abroad are often unilateral when multilateral solutions could be more effective; and the military, which is well trained to invade countries, not to build them up, is playing an increasingly active and well-funded role in promoting development and democracy. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that U.S. soldiers conducting development and assistance activities in countries where they frequently don’t speak the language is “no replacement for the real thing – civilian involvement and expertise.”

The rising military role in shaping U.S. global engagement is a challenge to the next president. Foreign assistance represents less than one percent of the federal budget, while defense spending is 20%. … Although several high-level task forces and commissions have emphasized the urgent need to modernize our aid infrastructure and increase sustainable development activities, such assistance is increasingly being overseen by military institutions whose policies are driven by the Global War on Terror, not by the war against poverty. Between 1998 and 2005, the percentage of Official Development Assistance the Pentagon controlled exploded from 3.5% to nearly 22%, while the percentage controlled by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) shrunk from 65% to 40%.

This civil-military imbalance has particular ramifications for Africa, where Global War on Terror imperatives do not address the continent’s biggest needs for security assistance. The U.S. is only helping four African countries transform their armies and security agencies into professional organizations that protect citizens rather than abuse them. Resources are allocated in a manner that does not reflect the continent’s most pressing priorities. For example, the U.S. has allocated $49.65 million for reforming a 2,000-strong Liberian army to defend the four million people of that country. In contrast, it only plans to spend $5.5 million in 2009 to help reform a 164,000-strong army in the DR Congo, a country with 65 million people where Africa’s “first world war” claimed the lives of over five million people.

In other words, the primary contemporary requirements in Africa are governance and economic development, but the U.S. government is not organized or resourced with those priorities in mind.  Even with respect to terrorism it has been noted that “in general, terrorist networks have instead found safety in weak, corrupted, quasi-states – Pakistan, Yemen, Kenya, the Philippines, Guinea, Indonesia. Terrorist networks, like mafias, appear to flourish where states are badly governed rather than not at all.”2  Too many African governments fall into this category.

Whatever U.S. African policy is or should be, it must focus on these politico-economic questions and should be well integrated and comprehensive.  U.S. interests in Africa will be best served by assisting African governments to implement effective governance and to pursue economic development. Security concerns are of course part of this mix, both for the countries of the region and for the United States, but the security problems of Africa are not essentially military. They stem from the failure of governments to govern effectively.  

Security Subordinate to Policy
Of course effective governance requires competent and responsible security forces – military and police.  Therefore U.S. security assistance is desirable. But it is a subordinate area, subordinate to U.S. policy towards Africa. There are no significant traditional military threats in or to Africa, and therefore little need for large-scale traditional military training or equipment assistance. While security is a basic requirement for effective governance and economic development, it is a mistake to think that security is created by security forces. Power comes out of the barrel of a gun; security is created by competent governments. In fact, the basic theme of U.S. military engagement to date has reflected this essentially modest approach.  This experience is reflected in one comment on AFRICOM'S mission, given in a DoD report: “In that context the command would help build the capacity of African countries to reduce conflict, improve security, deny terrorists sanctuary and support crisis response.”

All well and good as far as it goes. The problem is that most explanations and descriptions of AFRICOM far exceed this essentially modest and security assistance oriented mission, combined with counterterrorism. However, as pointed out above, counter-terrorism is the responsibility of Special Operations Command.  Therefore AFRICOM is to focus on training local militaries and so-called “soft power” programs.  AFRICOM's web site touts the many humanitarian and other assistance missions that U.S. military personnel will perform – from donating school supplies, to providing medical care, to preventing malaria, to supporting socioeconomic and confidence building programs. In fact, this non-security focused mission is the primary justification for the creation of AFRICOM. In an awesomely ambitious statement, Admiral Robert T. Moeller, the executive director of the AFRICOM Transition Team, stated that the command's primary mission will be preventing “problems from becoming crises, and crises from becoming conflicts.”3 In pursuit of that objective, AFRICOM will focus, repeat focus, on providing humanitarian assistance, encouraging civic action, and dealing with natural disasters in addition to the more traditional military assistance programs.

Yet these tasks are the traditional responsibilities of other departments and agencies. Moreover, Congress recently created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization in the Department of State for the express purpose of acting as the lead agency within the U.S. government for crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction.

To accomplish this stated mission, AFRICOM will not be organized like the traditional combat command with its Napoleonic style war fighting directorates but is to be organized more like an inter-agency entity or joint task force.  However, the trumpeted inclusion of other agency personnel now appears to consist of approximately 13 such officials. Much is made of the appointment of a senior State Department officer as one of the Deputy Commanders, but when queried as to whether this official would have any actual command authority, answers are extremely vague. In fact, it would appear that the civilian Deputy Commander will be little more than the traditional Foreign Policy Advisor (or POLAD), that is, a senior advisor rather than an active participant in the chain of command.

Military Performs Civilian Tasks
In other words, AFRICOM will be a military organization performing tasks generally conceived as being the responsibility of other departments and agencies, notably the Department of State, USAID, the old and much mourned USIA, FBI, Department of Justice, and DEA among others.

As noted by the Refugees International report, one of the most significant trends in U.S. development policy since September 11, 2001, is the growing involvement of the Department of Defense in providing U.S. foreign aid. The Pentagon now handles more than 20 percent of U.S. official development assistance (ODA), up from 6 percent only five years ago, according to the Center for Global Development. Much of this increase in ODA is concentrated in Iraq and Afghanistan and is likely to disappear when the U.S. involvement in both wars ends. However beyond these two conflicts, DoD is expanding its operations in the developing world to include activities that may be more appropriately undertaken by U.S. civilian actors, such as the Agency for International Development or the Department of State. These programs highlight a growing DoD aid role outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, reflecting a short-term security agenda which will exacerbate the longstanding and glaring imbalance between the military and civilian components of the U.S. approach to state-building in the developing world, and may undermine long-term U.S. foreign policy and development objectives to advance security, good governance, and growth.

“Though the arrival of USAFRICOM represents the next logical step in proactive peacetime engagement implementation, the new command underscores the appearance of policy militarization and ultimate weakens the link between the two threads” of policy.4   By moving so actively, despite the repeated protestations of allegiance to the “whole of government” approach, AFRICOM is taking the lead, and it is at best an open question as to whether the military can and should take that lead.  “The critical question is why the military is leading a new organization whose stated mission is, by definition, largely the responsibility of State.”5

A specific danger in the creation of AFRICOM is the installation of a military command as the primary de facto American interlocutor with African governments.  Its current mission statement will authorize, indeed encourage, AFRICOM to engage African governments on almost every question of politics and economics as well as military affairs.  With its bureaucratic muscle and prominence AFRICOM will almost certainly outshine the civilian agencies that are in fact the responsible agents for the broad range of intergovernmental relations and economic development. General Anthony Zinni, former Commander of USCENTCOM, has dramatically described the impression created by COCOM commanders with their private airplanes, large staffs, and extensive budgets as compared to American ambassadors and other diplomats operating on shoestring budgets. With the best will in the world, and with every intention of playing as part of the “whole of government” team, COCOM commanders and their staffs almost inevitably emphasize relations with their military counterparts, further exacerbating the worrisome trend of militarizing American foreign policy.  It is important to remember that “Any military intervention is extremely significant in politics. The political fallout is the same whether you send in a platoon or an army into another country – you have placed troops on foreign territory.”6   Uniforms do make a difference.

A potentially significant long-term danger is that putting in place AFRICOM with this expansive mission and extensive resources for non-military programs may preclude decisions to move ahead and provide the appropriate departments and agencies with the necessary authority and, more important, resources to do these tasks. If AFRICOM is already “in the field” pursing these tasks will Congress and the Administration provide additional and possibly competitive resources? The desired objective of a “whole of government” approach to American policy in Africa may be stillborn even though there is serious interest, both outside and inside the U.S. government, to re-balance the three-legged stool of U.S. national security, so that the wobbly diplomatic and development legs can keep up with the defense leg. In an important lecture at Kansas State University in November 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates supported this view with a call for greater federal investment in U.S. civilian agencies, to help make a difference in fragile and war-torn states.

Specific Suggestions
However, now that AFRICOM is out of the box, so to speak, the question is how to utilize its capabilities in its area of expertise and how to fit that into the broader activities of the U.S. government.  The following suggestions may serve to that end:
AFRICOM's headquarters should be moved from Europe (a totally inappropriate venue for a U.S. organization dealing with Africa) back to the continental United States.  Alternatives could be in Florida or in the Washington area, but the objective would be to place it in closer proximity to the State Department (the lead department for African affairs), USAID (the lead agency for most of AFRICOM’s assistance activities), and the Special Operations Command (the lead military organization for counter terrorism action).
AFRICOM's mission statement should be redrafted to modify its currently over-ambitious “soft power” mission.
Implementation of AFRICOM’s “MOOTWA” (Military Operations Other Than War) type capability and activities should be coordinated and phased in, in accordance with related programs of the relevant lead civilian agencies, especially State and USAID.
AFRICOM's staffing pattern and organization should continue to reflect significant other agency personnel contributions. This program should be one element of an extensive two-way personnel exchange program between the departments and organizations involved, including at senior levels.
Innovative, direct, and robust organizational arrangements between AFRICOM, State's Bureau of African Affairs, the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, and USAID should be created to enable AFRICOM to play an active supporting role in the “whole of government” approach and to ensure that AFRICOM plans and programs are integrated at the policy/strategic level. (Extensive exchange programs should probably be initiated between all geographic commands and their State Department regional bureau counterparts, but current staffing levels in the Department of State are likely to preclude that for the present.)
The relationship between AFRICOM and Chiefs of Mission should be formally defined to ensure that AFRICOM personnel deployed in connection with security assistance, “soft power,” and other assistance programs are deployed as elements of the relevant Country Team under the overall authority of the Chief of Mission, and that these activities are fully integrated into the relevant Mission Performance Plans at the planning stage. This may require amendment of the current Chief of Mission authority.7

And finally, it would not hurt if the name of this new organization were changed to something less provocative than “United States Africa Command.”
NOTES
1. “US to Raise Irregular War Capabilities,” Washington Post, December 4, 2008
2.  Ken Menkhaus, “The Journal of Conflict Studies”
3. Quotation taken from Stephanie Hanson, “The Pentagon's New Africa Command”, Council of Foreign Relations, May 3, 2007.
4. Dennis R.J. Penn, “USAFRICOM: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy”, Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 51, 2008
5. ibid
6. General Makhmut Gareev, “Future War”, Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, February 2007
7.  “As Chief of Mission, you have full responsibility for the direction, coordination, and supervision of all United States Government Executive Branch employees in [country] (except for elements and personnel under the command of a U.S. area military commander ...).”
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 01:48:37 PM »
U.S. intensifies its military involvement in Africa through Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Yet another of Webster Tarpley's predictions coming true:

       http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2330153707536467269
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Dig

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 01:49:52 PM »
Yet another of Webster Tarpley's predictions coming true:

       http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2330153707536467269

Do not forget Professor Griff!
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 01:53:21 PM »
Oh shit, f**king wargames this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

False Flag alert fot the area. If you hear about any shit blowing up in Somalia/Namibia/South Africa, now you know it was all preplanned!

SADC countries to stage war games
http://www.afriquejet.com/news/africa-news/sadc-countries-to-stage-war-games-2009082533929.html
News - Africa news Windhoek - 25/08/2009


Angola, Namibia and South Africa will stage peace keeping exercises in Namibian waters next month to strengthen the countries responsiveness to military aggression, defence officials said Tuesday.

Namibian Naval Commander Petrus Tjandja told state-owned daily New Era that the three countries were conducting war and peace keeping simulation exercises to prepare the southern African countries for any war situation and peace keeping efforts in any part of Africa.

Tjandja said that 693 defence forces personnel were expected to take part in the war games.

'This war and peace keeping simulation will greatly improve the abilities and skills of the security and law enforcement members. All SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) countries will participate in the exercise. If our forces are required in such situations by the United Nations and or the African Union, the n we should be prepared and ready to assist,' Tjandja said.

The war games, which will start during the first week of September, will cover security on air, land and sea.

Tjandja said that the simulation would involve a fictitious political unstable republic of Lohatlha with the port of Walvis Bay as the only entry. A force stationed at the port will be tasked to protect the port and the town from enemy attack.

Reports said that a convoy of military trucks from Cape Town and Pretoria will arrive in Walvis Bay by the end of this month with naval fleets from Angola and South Africa also expected to dock at the port.

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline bigron

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 08:59:34 AM »
AFRICOM: Pentagon's First Direct Military Intervention In Africa


by Rick Rozoff



August 25, 2009 - Stop Nato

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m57324&hd=&size=1&l=e

The 2009 World Population Data Sheet published by the Washington, DC-based Population Reference Bureau states that the population of the African continent has surpassed one billion. Africans now account for over a seventh of the human race.

Africa's 53 nations are 28% of the 192 countries in the world.

The size and location of the continent along with its human and natural resources - oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, uranium, cobalt, chromium, platinum, timber, cotton, food products - make it an increasingly important part of a world that is daily becoming more integrated and interdependent.

Africa is also the last continent to free itself from colonial domination. South America broke free of Spanish and Portuguese control in the beginning of the 1800s (leaving only the three Guianas - British, Dutch and French - still colonized) and the post-World War II decolonization of Asia that started with former British East India in 1947 was almost complete by the late 1950s.

Sub-Saharan Africa was not to liberate most of its territory from Belgian, British, French, Spanish and Portuguese colonial masters until the 1960s and 1970s. And the former owners were reluctant to cede newly created African nations any more than nominal independence and the ability to choose their own internal socio-economic orientation and foreign policy alignment.

In the two decades of the African independence struggle the continent was marred by Western-backed coups d'etat and assassinations of liberation leaders which included those against Patrice Lumumba in the former Belgian Congo in 1961, Ben Barka in Morocco in 1965, Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana in 1966, Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique in 1969, Amilcar Cabral in Guinea-Bissau in 1973 and Marien Ngouabi in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) in 1977.

In his latest Anti-Empire Report veteran political analyst William Blum wrote, "the next time you hear that Africa can't produce good leaders, people who are committed to the welfare of the masses of their people, think of Nkrumah and his fate. And think of Patrice Lumumba, overthrown in the Congo 1960-61 with the help of the United States; Agostinho Neto of Angola, against whom Washington waged war in the 1970s, making it impossible for him to institute progressive changes; Samora Machel of Mozambique against whom the CIA supported a counter-revolution in the 1970s-80s period; and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (now married to Machel's widow), who spent 28 years in prison thanks to the CIA." [1]

Some of Blum's references are to a series of proxy wars supported by the United States and its NATO allies and in some instances apartheid South Africa and the Mobutu Sese Seko regime in Zaire in the mid-1970s and the 1980s, such as arming and training the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the unspeakably brutal Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), and Eritrean and Tigrayan armed separatists in Ethiopia as well as backing the Somali invasion of the Ogaden Desert in that country in 1977.

Over the past five years French troops and bombers have waged deadly attacks inside Cote d'Ivoire, Chad and the Central African Republic either in support of or against rebels, always in furtherance of France's own geopolitical objectives. In the second application of the so-called Blair Doctrine, in 2000 Britain sent troops to its former colony of Sierra Leone and has de facto recolonized the nation, taking control of its military and internal security forces.

But in the post-World War II period there has only been one direct American military action in Africa, the deadly 1986 air strikes against Libya in April of 1986, Operation El Dorado Canyon.

While conducting wars, bombings, military interventions and invasions in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and recently Southeastern Europe over the past half century, the Pentagon has left the African continent comparatively unscathed. That is going to change after the establishment of the United States Africa Command on October 1 of 2007 and its activation a year later.

The U.S. has intensified military involvement in Africa over the past seven years with such projects as the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), launched by the State Department but which deployed US Army Special Forces with the Special Operations Command Europe to Mali and Mauritania among other locations. U.S. military personnel are still engaged in the counterinsurgency wars in Mali and Niger against Tuareg rebels.

The Pan Sahel Initiative was succeeded by the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) in late 2004 which has American military personnel assigned to eleven African nations: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative was formally launched in June of 2005 with the deployment of 1,000 American troops, among them Green Berets, in Operation Flintlock 05 in North and West Africa to engage with counterparts from seven nations: Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia.

Until their transfer to the Africa Command (AFRICOM) all 53 nations on the continent except for those in the Horn of Africa (assigned to Central Command) and the island nations of Madagascar and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean (handled by Pacific Command) were within the area of responsibilty of the European Command (EUCOM), whose top commander is simultaneously the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

As such the past two EUCOM and NATO commanders, Marine General James Jones (2003-2006) and Army General Bantz John Craddock (2006-June, 2009), were the most instrumental in setting up AFRICOM.

Jones is now U.S. National Security Adviser and at this February's Munich Security Conference opened his speech with "As the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, I take my daily orders from Dr. [Henry]Kissinger." [2]

In 2008, while serving as State Department special envoy for Middle East security and chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States, Jones said, "[A]s commander of NATO, I worried early in the mornings about how to protect energy facilities and supply chain routes as far away as Africa, the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea." [3]

Shortly before stepping down from his military posts with NATO and the Pentagon "NATO's top commander of operations, U.S. General James Jones, has said he sees a potential role for the alliance in protecting key shipping lanes such as those around the Black Sea and oil supply routes from Africa to Europe." [4]

Three years ago a Pentagon web site documented that "Officials at U.S. European Command spend between 65 to 70 percent of their time on African issues, [James] Jones said....Establishing such a group [military task force in West Africa] could also send a message to U.S. companies 'that investing in many parts of Africa is a good idea,' the general said." [5)

During the final months of his dual tenure as NATO's and EUCOM's top military commander, Jones transitioned Africa from EUCOM's to AFRICOM's control while also expanding the role of NATO on the continent.

In June of 2006 the Alliance launched its global Rapid Response Force with its first large-scale military exercises off the coast of the former Portuguese possession of Cape Verde, in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal.

U.S press reports of the time offered these details:

"Hundreds of elite North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) troops backed by fighter planes and warships will storm a tiny volcanic island off Africa's Atlantic coast this week in what the Western alliance hopes will prove a potent demonstration of its ability to project power around the world." [6]

"Seven thousand NATO troops conducted war games on the Atlantic Ocean island of Cape Verde on Thursday in the latest sign of the alliance's growing interest in playing a role in Africa.

"The land, air and sea exercises were NATO's first major deployment in Africa and designed to show the former Cold War giant can launch far-flung military operations at short notice.

"'You are seeing the new NATO, the one that has the ability to project stability,' said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference after NATO troops stormed a beach on one of the islands on the archipelago in a mock assault on a fictitious terrorist camp.

"NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe James Jones, the alliance soldier in charge of NATO operations, said he hoped the two-week Cape Verde exercises would help break down negative images about NATO in Africa and elsewhere." [7]

NATO's first operation in Africa had occurred a year earlier in May of 2005 when the bloc transported African Union troops to the Darfur region of Sudan, at the crossroads of a war-riven region comprised of the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan.

The Alliance has since deployed warships to the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, last year with Operation Allied Protector, and this August 17 NATO announced that it was dispatching British, Greek, Italian, Turkish and U.S. warships to the area for a new mission, Operation Ocean Shield. These operations don't consist of mere surveillance and escort roles but include regular forced boardings, sniper attacks and other uses of armed and often lethal force.

On August 22 a Netherlands contingent of the complementary European Union naval force off Somalia used an attack helicopter against a vessel in the area which subsequently was taken over by troops from a Norwegian warship.

Over three years before, now U.S. National Security Adviser and then NATO chief military commander James Jones addressing what was his major "national security" concern at the time, "raised the prospect of NATO taking a role to counter piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, especially when it threatens energy supply routes to Western nations." [8]

A month later both he and NATO's then top civilian leader, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, reiterated the above commitment.

"NATOs' [commanders] are ready to use warships to ensure the security of offshore oil and gas transportation routes from Western Africa, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO's Secretary General, reportedly said speaking at a session of the foreign committee of PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe].

"On April 30 General James Jones, commander-in-chief of NATO in Europe, reportedly said NATO was going to draw up a plan for ensuring the security of oil and gas industry facilities.

"In this respect the bloc is willing to ensure security in unstable regions where oil and gas are produced and transported." [9]

Two months earlier a U.S. Defense Department news source reported this from Jones:

"U.S. Naval Forces Europe, (the command's) lead component in this initiative, has developed a robust maritime security strategy and regional 10-year campaign plan for the Gulf of Guinea region.

"Africa's vast potential makes African stability a near-term global strategic imperative." [10]

Jones "raised the prospect of NATO taking a role to counter piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, especially when it threatens energy supply routes to Western nations" in April of 2006 and the Pentagon and NATO have followed through on his pledge and exactly in those two opposite ends of Africa.

At article a few days ago by Daniel Volman, director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC, called "Africa: U.S. Military Holds War Games on Nigeria, Somalia" provided details on how far plans by James Jones and the Pentagon have progressed over the past three years.

Working with what sketchy information that had been made public about Unified Quest 2008, last year's rendition of what the U.S. Army web site described in an article of this year under the title of and as "Army war games for future conflicts" [11], conducted by the United States Army War College, Volman's article included this information:

"In addition to U.S. military officers and intelligence officers, Unified Quest 2008 brought together participants from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies, academics, journalists, and foreign military officers (including military representatives from several NATO countries, Australia, and Israel), along with the private military contractors who helped run the war games: the Rand Corporation and Booz-Allen.

"The list of options for the Nigeria scenario ranged from diplomatic pressure to military action, with or without the aid of European and African nations. One participant, U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stanovich, drew up a plan that called for the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops within 60 days....

"Among scenarios examined during the game were the possibility of direct
American military intervention involving some 20,000 U.S. troops in order to 'secure the oil,' and the question of how to handle possible splits between factions within the Nigerian government. The game ended without military intervention because one of the rival factions executed a successful coup and formed a new government that sought stability.

"[W]hen General Ward [AFRICOM commander] appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, he cited America's growing dependence on African oil as a priority issue for Africom and went on to proclaim that combating terrorism would be 'Africom's number one theater-wide goal.' He barely mentioned development, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping or conflict resolution. [12]

In addition to nations already shelled, targeted and threatened like Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Eritrea, even long-time and staunch U.S. military allies like Nigeria are not beyond the reach of hostile Pentagon action. Nigeria is the main power in the fifteen-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which over the past nine years has deployed troops to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire on the request of the West, but that loyalty will not protect it when its own moment arrives.

The U.S. has employed other countries as regional military proxies - Ethiopia and Djibouti in Northeast Africa, Rwanda in Central Africa, Kenya in both - and has designs on South Africa, Senegal and Liberia for similar purposes.

Since its establishment in October of 2007 AFRICOM has lost little time in marking out the Pentagon's new continent.

Even prior to its formal activation the Pentagon conducted the Africa Endeavor 2008 23-nation military exercise with forces from Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Uganda, the U.S. and Zambia as well as representatives from ECOWAS and the African Union. [13]

The operation was held under the auspices of the U.S. European Command at the time as AFRICOM wasn't activated until October of that year but it included the participation of the then fledgling AFRICOM and U.S. Marine Forces Europe (MARFOREUR), U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the Marine Headquarters, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa [14], but "Next year's exercise will be sponsored by U.S. Africa Command." [15]

This January the U.S. Department of Defense announced that "The U.S. Army Southern European Task Force [SETAF] officially has assumed its new role as the Army component for U.S. Africa Command."

The Pentagon web site from which the above quote is taken also provided this background information and portents of the future:

"Since the 1990s, SETAF has worked with African nations to conduct military training and provide humanitarian relief in countries such as Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo and the former Zaire. [Congo is the former Zaire, as Zaire was the former Belgian Congo]

"In the coming years, SETAF, operating as U.S. Army Africa, will continue to grow and build capacity to meet the requirements needed to coordinate all U.S. Army activities in Africa.

"[U.S. Army Africa] is not an episodic, flash in the pan, noncombative evacuation operation." [16]

In the same month, demonstrating another new AFRICOM component and the continent-wide reach of the American military and its recently acquired client states, it was reported that "Air Force C-17s will soon begin airlifting special equipment for Rwandan Peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan, marking the kickoff of the first major operation engineered by U.S. Africa Command's air component, Seventeenth Air Force, also known as U.S. Air Forces Africa." [17]

This May the newspaper of the American Armed Forces, Stars and Stripes, carried a feature on joint U.S.-British training of the Rwandan army, one which bears a large part of the blame for the deaths of over five million Congolese since 1998: The biggest loss of life in a nation related to armed conflict since tens of millions of Chinese and Soviets were killed during World War II.

Rwandan and Ugandan troops invaded Congo in 1998 and triggered ongoing cross-border fighting which persists to this day. Rwanda and Uganda are both U.S. and British military client states.

The Stars and Stripes feature detailed that American instructors "are currently working with a team from the British army to train instructors with the Rwandan army. Those instructors will then train their own troops — many of whom will serve as peacekeepers in places such as Sudan." [18]

It quoted a British officer, Maj. Charles Malet, who "leads a contingent of British forces based in Kenya," as saying "We’ve been producing short-term training in this part of the world for a long, long time. [U.S. Africa Command] has stood [up]. It’s great to link up and provide a sort of introduction." [19]

The training of the Rwandan armed forces by the United States and its NATO allies has less to do with Darfur than it does with devastated Congo.

In November of 2008 the United Nations reported that "Rwandan forces fired tank shells and other heavy artillery across the border at Congolese troops during fighting" [20] which began when former Congolese general Laurent Nkunda staged an armed rebellion in the east of the country which led to the displacement of 200,000 civilians.

The BBC revealed at the time that "journalists report that some of Laurent Nkunda's rebel fighters are in the pay of the Rwandan army.

"This has renewed fears that the fighting will see a re-run of the five-year Congolese war, which involved nine nations, before it ended in 2003." [21]

The British Financial Times conducted interviews with "former rebels and observers on the ground" who said that "the uprising – led by Laurent Nkunda, the renegade former Congolese general – relies heavily on recruitment in Rwanda and former or even active Rwandan soldiers."

Referring to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the report added, "Mr Nkunda and Rwanda’s government, military and business elite share a history....Mr Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi, was an intelligence officer in the guerrilla army that Mr Kagame, a Rwandan Tutsi, used to...seize power.

"Mr Kagame launched invasions of Congo in 1996 and 1998 and supported uprisings...." [22]

The following month a U.S. congressional delegation "traveled to Rwanda and Ethiopia to meet with U.S. ambassadors, AFRICOM officials and various ministers of each country, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Rwanda Foreign Minister Charles Murigande." [23]

Ethiopia invaded Somalia on America's behest three years ago and Rwanda's repeated incursions into Congo could not have occurred without a green light from Washington.

As an Ugandan commentary at the time of the latest attack on Congo from Rwanda stated, "London, New York and Paris are among the top consumers of minerals from Congo. They lecture humanity on the need to uphold human rights and the sanctity of property rights whilst their thirst for strategic minerals unleashes terror on innocent women and children in Eastern Congo." [24]

Last week an AFRICOM spokesman announced that "The United States military will be sending experts to the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo this week." The initial deployment will be small, he added, but "more may follow...." [25] AFRICOM would be better advised to monitor the activities of the Rwandan military it trains and arms.

Also last week the Pentagon stated it was deploying "unmanned reconnaissance aircraft in the skies above the Seychelles archipelago" in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar and AFRICOM commander General William Ward said, "We have the recent arrival of our P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft that will aid in conducting the surveillance of Seychelles territorial waters and as we look into the future, (we will) bring unmanned surveillance vehicles." [26]

Two days later Ward said "that the rise of radical Islamist militant group al-Shabab in Somalia makes East Africa a central focus of the U.S. military on the continent."

Voice of America added:

"General William Ward has pledged continued support to Somalia's transitional federal government....He made his remarks during a visit to Nairobi, Kenya, which is a key U.S. ally in region." [27]

Until last October Africa was the only continent other than Australia and Antarctica without a U.S. military command. The fact that one has now been established indicates that Africa has achieved heightened importance for the Pentagon and its Western military allies.

An analysis of why Africa is a major focus of attention and why now rather than earlier was provided by U.S.-based writer Paul I. Adujie in the New Liberian on August 21:

"America's Africa Command, in conceptual terms and actual implementation, is not intended to serve Africa's best interests. It just happens that Africa has grown in geopolitical and geo-economic importance to America and her allies. Africa has been there all along.

"There were, for instance, reports of how the American military, acting
supposedly in partnership or cooperation with the Nigerian military, literally took over Nigerian Defense Headquarters....

"It is probably important to mention that the United States already operates at least three other commands, namely, the European Command (EUCOM), Central Command (CENTCOM) and Pacific Command (PACOM), therefore the Africa Command or (AFRICOM) will be the fourth leg of US military global spread.

"America's Africa Command is...machinery for Western governments to pursue their vaunted economic, political and hegemonic hemispheric influence at the expense of Africans as well as a backdoor through which Westerners can outmaneuver rivals such as China and perhaps Russia in addition." [28]

Notes

1) The Anti-Empire Report, August 4th, 2009
http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer72.html
2) Real Clear Politics, February 8, 2009
3) Agence France-Presse, November 30, 2008
4) Reuters, November 27, 2006
5) U.S. Department of Defense, August 18, 2006
6) Associated Press, June 21, 2006
7) Reuters, June 22, 2006
8) Associated Press, April 24, 2006
9) Trend News Agency, May 3, 2006
10) U.S. Department of Defense, March 8, 2006
11) www.army.mil, May 6, 2009
12) AllAfrica.com, August 14, 2009
13) United States European Command, July 29, 2008
14) United States European Command, July 16, 2008
15) United States European Command, July 29, 2008
16) U.S. Department of Defense, American Forces Press Service, January 28, 2009
17) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, January 9, 2009
18) Stars And Stripes, May 24, 2009
19) Ibid
20) Associated Press, November 3, 2008
21) BBC News, November 13, 2008
22) Financial Times, November 11, 2008
23) Times-Journal, December 8, 2008
24) Sunday Monitor (Uganda), November 9, 2008
25) Daily Nation (Kenya), August 18, 2009
26) Reuters, August 19, 2009
27) Voice of America News, August 21, 2009
28) New Liberian, August 21, 2009


 

Online Satyagraha

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 09:08:41 AM »

Quote
Jones is now U.S. National Security Adviser and at this February's Munich Security Conference opened his speech with "As the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, I take my daily orders from Dr. [Henry]Kissinger." [2]

It's quite blatant isn't it? I think the PTB decided to put a president with African blood into the white house just in time to initiate the rape of Africa.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Online Satyagraha

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Gaddafi: Israel "behind all of Africa's conflicts"
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 09:32:12 PM »

Gaddafi: Israel 'aids Africa wars'   
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2009/08/2009831175324912159.html
Monday, August 31, 2009

Gaddafi told the summit that all Israeli embassies across Africa should be closed [AFP]
 
Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has said much of Africa's violence is due to foreign meddling, pointing the accusing finger at Israel.

Gaddafi, who is also chairman of the African Union (AU), was speaking on Monday at a special summit of the group, which is coinciding with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought him to power.

Israel is "behind all of Africa's conflicts", Gaddafi told about 30 African leaders gathered under a huge tent at Tripoli airport.

"As African brothers, we must find solutions to stop the superpowers who are pillaging our continent," he said.

Forward policy

He demanded the closure of all Israeli embassies across Africa, describing Israel as a "gang" and saying it uses "the protection of minorities as an excuse to launch conflicts".

Israel has acknowledged operating what it called a forward policy in Africa between the 1960s and 1980s, intervening in wars in Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan.

Gaddafi claimed that a Darfur rebel group had opened an office in Tel Aviv while its leader lives under French protection, a reference to Abdelwahid Mohammed Nur, the head of the Sudan Liberation Army who lives in exile in Paris, France.

Al Jazeera's Amr El-Kahky, reporting from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, said: "Libya is portraying itself as opening up, but it is still holding to the same principle: which is anti-Israel feeling, and that is what we have heard from Colonel Gaddafi today, saying that people - the African nations - should shy away from the Israelis because they are the ones behind all the African problems."

The celebrations come amid angry reaction from the US following a hero's welcome Libya granted Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the 1988 Lockerbie bomber, who was freed from a Scottish prison last month on compassionate grounds.

Most of the 270 people killed in the bombing were American nationals.

Fomenting bloodshed

Gaddafi, the longest-serving leader in Africa and in the Arab world, has also been accused of fomenting bloodshed in the 1980s and 1990s across West Africa and the Sahel.

The AU summit - the third so far this year - will mark the 10th anniversary of the 53-member pan-African organisation and is expected to tackle conflicts in Somalia and Sudan.

"We'll try to focus on all conflict situations... We believe that we can move forward in terms of peace and discussions," Ramtane Lamamra, the AU's peace and security council chief said, singling out Somalia.

Among the leaders present were Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese leader facing an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Darfur, and Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president.

Several leaders expected to be present stayed away, including Jacob Zuma, the South African president, and Hugo Chaves, Venezuela's president.

Gaddafi seized power at the age of 27 in a bloodless coup in September 1969,  overthrowing the Western-backed government of King Idriss.
 
 
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline bigron

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Re: MUST READ CONCERNING OBAMA'S AFRICA AGENDA
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 05:05:08 AM »
Africa: Africom - Latest U.S. Bid to Recolonise Continent


by Tichaona Nhamoyebonde
7 January 2010
http://allafrica.com/stories/201001070715.html

Opinion

Harare — AFRICAN revolutionaries now have to sleep with one eye open because the United States of America is not stopping at anything in its bid to establish Africom, a highly-equipped US army that will be permanently resident in Africa to oversee the country's imperialist interests.

Towards the end of last year, the US government intensified its efforts to bring a permanent army to settle in Africa, dubbed the African Command (Africom) as a latest tool for the subtle recolonisation of Africa.

Just before end of last year, General William E. Garret, Commander US Army for Africa, met with defence attaches from all African embassies in Washington to lure them into selling the idea of an American army based in Africa to their governments.

Latest reports from the White House this January indicate that 75 percent of the army's establishment work has been done through a military unit based in Stuttgart, Germany, and that what is left is to get an African country to host the army and get things moving.

Liberia and Morocco have offered to host Africom while Sadc has closed out any possibility of any of its member states hosting the US army.

Other individual countries have remained quiet.

Liberia has longstanding ties with the US due to its slave history while errant Morocco, which is not a member of the African Union and does not hold elections, might want the US army to assist it to suppress any future democratic uprising.

Sadc's refusal is a small victory for the people of Africa in their struggle for total independence but the rest of the regional blocs in Africa are yet to come up with a common position. This is worrying.

The US itself wanted a more strategic country than Morocco and Liberia since the army will be the epicentre of influencing, articulating and safeguarding US foreign and economic policies.

The other danger is that Africom will open up Africa as a battleground between America and anti-US terrorist groups.

Africom is a smokescreen behind which America wants to hide its means to secure Africa's oil and other natural resources, nothing more.

African leaders must not forget that military might has been used by America and Europe again and again as the only effective way of accomplishing their agenda in ensuring that governments in each country are run by people who toe their line.

By virtue of its being resident in Africa, Africom will ensure that America has its tentacles easily reaching every African country and influencing every event to the American advantage.

By hosting the army, Africa will have sub-contracted its military independence to America and will have accepted the process that starts its recolonisation through an army that can subdue any attempts by Africa to show its own military prowess.

The major question is: Who will remove Africom once it is established? By what means?

By its origin Africom will be technically and financially superior to any African country's army and will dictate the pace for regime change in any country at will and also give depth, direction and impetus to the US natural resource exploitation scheme.

There is no doubt that as soon as the army gets operational in Africa, all the gains of independence will be reversed.

If the current leadership in Africa succumbs to the whims of the US and accept the operation of this army in Africa, they will go down in the annals of history as that generation of politicians who accepted the evil to prevail.

Even William Shakespeare would turn and twist in his grave and say: "I told you guys that it takes good men to do nothing for evil to prevail."

We must not forget that Africans, who are still smarting from colonialism-induced humiliation, subjugation, brutality and inferiority complex, do not need to be taken back to another form of colonialism, albeit subtle.

Africom has been controversial on the continent ever since former US president George W. Bush first announced it in February 2007.

African leaders must not forget that under the Barack Obama administration, US policy towards Africa and the rest of the developing world has not changed an inch. It remains militaristic and materialistic.

Officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations argue that the major objective of Africom is to professionalise security forces in key countries across Africa.

However, both administrations do not attempt to address the impact of the setting up of Africom on minority parties, governments and strong leaders considered errant or whether the US will not use Africom to promote friendly dictators.

Training and weapons programmes and arms transfers from Ukraine to Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Ethiopia and the transitional government in Somalia, clearly indicate the use of military might to maintain influence in governments in Africa, remains a priority of US foreign policy.

Ukraine's current leadership was put into power by the US under the Orange Revolution and is being given a free role to supply weaponry in African conflicts.

African leaders must show solidarity and block every move by America to set up its bases in the motherland unless they want to see a new round of colonisation.

Kwame Nkrumah, Robert Mugabe, Sam Nujoma, Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Kenneth Kaunda, Augustino Neto and Samora Machel, among others, will have fought liberation wars for nothing, if Africom is allowed a base in Africa.

Thousands of Africans who died in colonial prisons and in war fronts during the liberation struggles, will have shed their blood for nothing if Africa is recolonised.

Why should the current crop of African leaders accept systematic recolonisation when they have learnt a lot from colonialism, apartheid and racism? Why should the current crop of African leaders fail to stand measure for measure against the US administration and tell it straight in the face that Africa does not need a foreign army since the AU is working out its own army.

African leaders do not need prophets from Mars to know that US's fascination with oil, the war on terrorism and the military will now be centred on Africa, after that escapade in Iraq.

Tichaona Nhamoyebonde is a political scientist based in Cape Town, South Africa.