Africa African Security Barack Obama Democracy Human Development Somalia South Sudan Sudan (North)

US Militarisation of Africa will also fail

By Peter Van Buren, Firedoglake
Machar and Kiir

History is just one of those
hard things to ignore, especially in South Sudan. In 2011, the U.S.
midwifed the creation of a new nation, South Sudan. Though at the
time Obama invoked the words of Dr. Martin Luther King speaking
about Ghana (“I knew about all of the struggles, and all of the
pain, and all of the agony that these people had gone through for
this moment”) in officially recognizing the country, many were more
focused on the underlying U.S. motives, isolating the rest of Sudan
as part of the war on terror, and securing the oil reserves in the
south for the U.S. The State Department rushed to open an embassy
in South Sudan, and U.S. money poured in to pay for the new
government. Like his counterparts from Iraq and Afghanistan when
the U.S. was still in charge of those places, the new South Sudan
president was brought to the White House for photos, all blithely
pushed out to the world via the Voice of America. The two leaders
were said to have discussed “the importance of maintaining
transparency and the rule of law.” In 2012 then-Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton visited the nation as part of an extended effort at
creating B-roll footage for her 2016 campaign, and Obama publicly
applauded a deal brokered between Sudan and South Sudan on oil
pipeline fees that the White House claimed would “help stem the
ongoing violence in the region.” However, like in Iraq, Afghanistan
and so many other places that fell apart while being democratized
and stabilized by the U.S. (one also thinks of Libya, itself part
of the African continent), the rush to mediagenic proclamations
without addressing the underlying fundamentals led only to
catastrophe. A scant few years later, South Sudan is at the brink
of civil war and societal collapse, the U.S. is evacuating another
embassy and indeed one variety or another of “rebels” are shooting
at U.S. military aircraft arriving in their country in violation of
their national sovereignty. Those who believe that the U.S. efforts
in South Sudan do not involve special forces on the ground and
drones overhead no doubt will have a nice Christmas waiting up to
catch a glimpse of Santa. Obama, apparently unwilling to remember
how he stood aside while an elected government recently fell apart
in Egypt, went on to double-down on hypocrisy by stating in regards
to South Sudan, “Any effort to seize power through the use of
military force will result in the end of long-standing support from
the United States and the international community.” The
Militarization of Africa If the U.S. efforts in South Sudan were
isolated, that would be tragedy enough. However, the U.S.
militarization of Africa paints such a sad, similar picture that it
bears a recapping here. The always on-track Nick Turse reported: –
In recent years, the US has trained and outfitted soldiers from
Uganda, Burundi and Kenya, among other nations. They have also
served as a proxy force for the US in Somalia, part of the African
Union Mission (Amisom) protecting the U.S.-supported government in
that country’s capital, Mogadishu. – Since 2007, the State
Department has given about $650-million in logistics support,
equipment and training for Amisom troops. The Pentagon has given an
extra $100 million since 2011. – The U.S. also continues to fund
African armies through the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism
Partnership and its Pentagon analogue, now known as Operation
Juniper Shield, with increased support flowing to Mauritania and
Niger in the wake of Mali’s collapse. In 2012, the State Department
and the US Agency for International Development poured
approximately $52 million into the programs and the Pentagon
chipped in another $46 million. – In the Obama years, U.S. Africa
Command has also built a sophisticated logistics system, officially
known as the Africom Surface Distribution Network, but colloquially
referred to as “the new spice route”. Its central nodes are in
Manda Bay, Garissa and Mombasa in Kenya; Kampala and Entebbe in
Uganda; Bangui and Djema in the Central African Republic; Nzara in
South Sudan; Dire Dawa in Ethiopia; and the Pentagon’s showpiece
African base, Camp Lemonnier. – In addition, the Pentagon has run a
regional air campaign using drones and manned aircraft out of
airports and bases around the continent including Camp Lemonnier,
Arba Minch airport in Ethiopia, Niamey in Niger and the Seychelles
Islands in the Indian Ocean, while private contractor-operated
surveillance aircraft have flown missions out of Entebbe. Recently,
Foreign Policy reported on the existence of a possible drone base
in Lamu, Kenya. – Another critical location is Ouagadougou, the
capital of Burkina Faso, home to a Joint Special Operations Air
Detachment and the Trans-Sahara Short Take-Off and Landing Airlift
Support Initiative that, according to military documents, supports
“high-risk activities” carried out by elite forces from Joint
Special Operations Task Force — Trans-Sahara. The Failure of the
Militarization of Africa Libya is in flames, Benghazi the only
point of attention for Americans while chaos consumes a once-stable
country. Egypt, again on the continent though perhaps not of it,
saw its brief bit of democracy stamped out by a military coup. The
governments of Mauritania and Niger fell to their militaries. Chad
experienced a coup, albeit unsuccessful. Fighting continues in Mali
and the Central African Republic. In October 2011 the U.S. invaded,
albeit in a small way, the Central African Republic. In December
2012, the U.S. evacuated its diplomats and civilians. 2011 also saw
a U.S.-backed Kenyan invasion of Somalia. U.S. troops are hunting
humans in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like
ghosts from the 18th century, pirates haunt the waters off East
Africa. The U.S. admits to having 5,000 troops in ten African
countries when once there were none. And So, Why? The basic rule
for any investment is what do you gain in return for risk? It
applies to buying stocks as well as investing a nation’s blood,
resources and prestige. In the case of Africa, the U.S. investment
has been a disaster. Chaos has replaced stability in many places,
and terrorists have found homes in countries they may have once
never imagined. The U.S., in sad echo of 19th century colonialism,
has militarized another region of the world. Every rebel and
terrorist the U.S. kills creates more, radicalizes more, gives the
bad guys another propaganda lede. The more we kill, the more there
seem to be to kill. America needs fewer people saying they are
victims of America. The Chinese are building cultural ties and
signing deals all over Africa, and we’re just throwing up barbed
wire. Why? Source-PressTV

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