By Steven MacMillan
Africa is set to turn a major entertainment of fight in the nearby future, as the scale of US military impasse will continue to boost on the resource-rich continent.
In Oct of last year, the ubiquitous open was given a glimpse into the grade to which US forces are operational in Africa, when 4 US soldiers were killed in Niger after being ambushed by militants while on a training goal with Nigerian troops.
This occurrence came only a few months after China non-stop its first abroad military bottom on the African continent, environment up a naval bottom in Djibouti, a strategically critical country in the Horn of Africa. It is no fluke that the US has increasing its military footprint on the continent in line with Africa apropos increasingly critical for China, both strategically and economically.
Despite the US being active in Africa for years now, US military participation is only going to boost in the months and years to come. The 2011 fight in Libya was only the tip of the iceberg as distant as military rendezvous is concerned.
In fact, the hawkish US Senator, Lindsay Graham, pronounced last Oct that Africa was going to increasingly turn a entertainment in the fight on terrorism, with the Senator warning the American open that the US military will control “more actions in Africa.”
Although the Middle East will continue to be a segment tormented by crusade (especially if the US is forward adequate to launch a full-scale attack on Iran), there will be rather of a change in concentration from the Middle East to Africa.
A Decade of AFRICOM
Since 9/11, Africa has left from being regarded by the US as a segment that is of comparatively little critical value to Washington, to being of such significance that in 2007, President George W. Bush announced that the US was going to create a specific authority for the whole African continent; namely, US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Prior to the investiture of AFRICOM, US operations in Africa were separate between 3 US commands: US European Command (EUCOM), US Central Command (CENTCOM) and US Pacific Command (PACOM). AFRICOM operations began in 2007, with the authority apropos entirely operational by Oct 2008. The central goal matter of AFRICOM states that:
U.S. Africa Command, with partners, disrupts and neutralizes transnational threats, protects U.S. crew and facilities, prevents and mitigates conflict, and builds African partner invulnerability capability and ability in sequence to promote informal security, fortitude and prosperity.
With Pentagonspeak out of the way, we can now pierce past the open family dialect of the US military and onto deliberating the reality of AFRICOM’s pregnancy and role.
AFRICOM: A Neoconservative Imperial Project
AFRICOM was combined during the George W. Bush administration, an administration that was totally built with neoconservative actors. One of the pivotal meetings that helped bring AFRICOM into reality was convened by then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, in 2006. As Stephanie Hanson wrote in a 2007 essay on AFRICOM for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR):
Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, convened a formulation organisation for such a authority in mid-2006, and in December, President Bush certified its creation.
Rumsfeld of march was heavily concerned with the neoconservative organisation the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which settled in its Sep 2000 report, titled: ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses – Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,’ that US grand strategy should aim to say US leverage in the universe by having a “globally preeminent military capability:”
At present, the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to safety and extend this fitting position as distant into the future as possible… Preserving the fascinating critical conditions in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both currently and in the future (p. i).
It is transparent that the investiture of AFRICOM was partial of the grand strategy summarized by the neoconservatives in 2000 to say US leverage in the world, by having a “globally preeminent military capability.” Hence, one aspect of AFRICOM is to plan US energy in Africa and contest with the flourishing change of China on the continent. Another critical reason for AFRICOM is to help secure entrance to oil and other resources that are so abundant. As Hanson wrote in her 2007 article:
Many of the experts who heralded the command’s origination seem to countenance African concerns. Writing in World Defense Review, J. Peter Pham, executive of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs, calls AFRICOM’s origination ‘long overdue’ in light of U.S. coherence on Africa’s oil, its regard over radical Islamist groups targeting the region, and the continent’s temperament as ‘an locus for heated tactful foe with other states with global ambitions, like China.’ Others note that AFRICOM will help the United States secure critical sea lanes.
“Terrorist Image-Making” to Justify AFRICOM
The hazard of terrorism is once again being used by the US and wider Western fight appurtenance to clear a major military footprint in Africa. This issue was addressed by Horace G. Campbell, a Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University, in a 2008 article, titled: ‘Remilitarisation of African societies: Analysis of the formulation behind due US Africa Command.’
In the article, Campbell (2008: 13 30) serve sum the fact that many heading neoconservatives were instrumental in formulating AFRICOM, before moving on to disagree that the hazard of terrorism has mostly been exaggerated, and even fabricated, in sequence to clear a US military participation on the continent. Africa became the aim of what Campbell (2008: 7) calls “terrorist image-making,” designed to create the notice that Africa was a major source of global instability and terrorism. This notice government campaign enclosed subcontracting scholars within African studies departments to write books and editorials which placed poignant importance on the hazard of terrorism from Africa.
The Current State of Affairs
Just this year so far, US forces have conducted countless airstrikes in Somalia under the stratagem of targeting al-Shabaab militants, with the series of covert, personal missions on the continent no doubt much higher. For example, there was indications that AFRICOM was concerned in engineering a military manoeuvre try in Burkina Faso back in 2015, designed to strengthen US military bases in the country.
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The conditions in Africa is another proof of how the foolish ‘War of Terror’ is a ideal justification for incessant warfare. The US can radically control military operations in any segment of the world, and as prolonged as they issue a press recover stating that it is in the name of tackling terrorism or fighting extremism, there is probably no outrage or authorised ramifications for their actions. Much of the universe has turn dull to the belligerence of the US and her allies.
Africa is set to turn a major new entertainment of fight in the nearby future, starting a new proviso in the neoconservative strategy of long-lived warfare.
Steven MacMillan is a freelance author and editor of The Analyst Report.
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Photo Credits 1: U.S. Navy photo by Roderick Eubanks
Photo Credits 2: US DOD
Top Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art
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