Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Africa , AFRICOM, USA

Africom: Some questions*

African Loft has posed a question “Does Africa need Africom” and invited readers to join in a debate. Here’s my $1.

The question should not be whether Africa NEEDS Africom but why the US believes it NEEDS to have a military presence in Africa. We should be asking ourselves the following questions. Why does the US feels it needs a military presence in Africa? What will the US military presence consist of in terms of military hardware and numbers of personnel? How does the US intend to operate and in what circumstances will it’s forces be mobilized? In what way will the US military presence dictate or determine the price of Africa’s natural resources and who gets access to them? In what way will the US military presence infringe on the internal affairs of independent African countries and determine their foreign policy towards other AU members? How will the US military presence influence the foreign policy of independent African states towards non AU countries such as China? How will the US enhanced military presence infringe of the rights of African citizens? How will Africom impact on continental migration and the rights of the millions of Africans without citizenship and the rights of refugees?

With regard China’s growing presence in Africa and the accompanying Western paranoia over China in general. The US has always been at the forefront of Free Trade Agreements. Now it finds itself in $billions of dollars trade deficit with China it is crying, forgetting that China’s industrial growth and huge export market is part of the same globalisation that the US is itself the main proponent. The difference is simply that China is in the driving seat and not the US. The US has serious economic problems and high unemployment and they have to take responsibility for that rather than act out this racist paranoia against all things Chinese and blame them for everything. As for African citizens, China is doing to Africa what Europe and the US have been doing for 100s of years. Instead of joining in Western economic paranoia we should recognise this is merely an extension of colonialism / neo-colonialism and economic exploitation and deal with it as such. The US and the West have their own issues with China and to some extent this is played out on our soil. We should be seizing the time and using this as a weapon to ensure we get the best deal for our resources and citizens.

Links: Africom: The New US Military Command for Africa

US insist Africom will benefit Africa

*Title changed as original previously used.

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13 Comments

  1. Double standards. The whole Africom project in my opinion is just a tool to promote American hegemony over the continent.

  2. Comment by post author

    Sokari

    I read your piece and I do agree with you.

    The US military is already in operation in the Niger Delta. One question I forgot to post in this piece is the role of USAID as they will also be part of the force and in some ways more insidious than the military in that they have the pretence of being an “AID” agency whereas in fact their role is to spread and consolidate US interests and hegemony throughout the world.

  3. Sokari and (not so) humble self agreeing? Maybe pigs have begun to fly…

    On a more serious not though, this issue should be pretty obvious to all but the least discerning minds, even to the Americans themselves.

  4. Comment by post author

    Sokari

    Chxta@ Indeed, maybe they have – never say never as the saying goes 🙂

  5. Exactly, Black Looks.

    Africom is meant to counter Chinese ‘take over’ of African resources. US is uncomfortable with attention drifting East and so the move.

    In any case, Chinese or US, the underlying motivation to control Africa and it’s choice of patners is selfish.

    See my thoughts on Africom.

  6. anengiyefa

    It seems to me that the Americans are quite incapable of engaging with places non-American, without seeing those places as frontiers, and themselves as frontiersmen. Lets not forget that Americans were shooting Indians when the rest of the world was civilised, (the English and Chinese were sipping tea, ancestral Africans were living in well ordered communities). The rest of the world has had 2000 years to get used to civilisation…Most Africans and many Europeans think shooting animals for sport is daft, and who but the Americans would not think that George W. Bush is an arse?

  7. joe

    if i was any african president i would jump at the chance of having africom – its enlightened self interest from an economic standpoint. most countries in which the tthe US has bases ahev concrete economic benefit and nobody complains but live it to the poorest continent to fight this. the US has bases in kuwait,Qtatar,bahrain,germany japan,korea and they provide significant support to local economy. africans may complain about hegemony but we are dominated regardless i think its better to be dominated and have benefits out of it rather than what we have which is that we are dominated and are not benefitting.

  8. “We should be seizing the time and using this as a weapon to ensure we get the best deal for our resources and citizens” is my take home value from “Does Africa need Africom”. Our beggar leaders still do not get it, they are happy to live on the crumbs from this mecca of corruption, muddling through domestic problems with incredible incompetence and failures. They celebarate mediocre and call it improvements.

    US troops are now based in the Gulf of Guinea because of the important role of West Africa to US energy needs. Extrinsic rewards for selfish interests in spades but obtaining outcomes in that area will be very strongly reinforcing relative to obtaining outcomes in areas of weak interest.

    This translates US/China et all can just walk all over Africa and take whatever, whenever and there is not a lot anyone can do about it. In UN-speak, it is called partnership. This is flawed logic where the partners are unequal. Where is the equality? Lets consider nature, the hand that fed you might one day eat you.

  9. It is clear that is a extention of the quest for America dominance planetwise as Africa is now where they are taking their battle with China. I think it is all about resources and wanting to be as the supreme power. My piece of AFRICOM is more or less on the same lines. And finally we do not need AFRICOM!!

  10. AFRICOM is a strategic move that will benefit the US but that is not the problem. Our own leadership is blind and thrive on short termism. Again “We should be seizing the time and using this as a weapon to ensure we get the best deal for our resources and citizens”, that should be the theme of our debates and people should focus on it.

  11. 1) I’d like to share my friend, Esther Iverem’s site: seeingblack.com which includes an essay from The Nation written by Danny Glover and Nicole Lee (ED of TransAfrica Forum)

    http://www.seeingblack.com/article_311.shtml

    2)1) Isn’t it time to start calling out (in critical detail) China’s presence in Africa?? WE KNOW why the US is there but why is China there beyond the obvious development schemes and resource looting? And Beauty is right on to call out the “beggar leaders” who make it oh so easy for anybody with a handout to show up and abuse Africans.

    But what’s China’s role OR interest in African civil society, governance, human rights, etc. They certainly have no great track record amongst the Chinese people……

    I/WE know the US boogeyman and many of us (believe it or not!)have organized against the US presence worldwide but another monster is slowing growing its skeleton and muscles under the radar because we are spending a lot of time focused on how the US is up to more of the same “violent-machine” handywork…

    And of course, the aid/development racket is pure poverty-pimpin’ ANYWHERE and serves as a legitimate conduit for the US (and European) military and businesses to gain easy footing on the continent!

  12. anengiyefa

    Del Hornbuckle said, “But what’s China’s role OR interest in African civil society, governance, human rights, etc. They certainly have no great track record amongst the Chinese people…”

    “And of course, the aid/development racket is pure poverty-pimpin’ ANYWHERE and serves as a legitimate conduit for the US (and European) military and businesses to gain easy footing on the continent!”

    Del Hornbuckle, you’re oh, so so correct! Although of course, the aid/development racket, as you put it, serves as a conduit for US, European AND CHINESE! military and business interests to gain an easy foothold in Africa.

    And Beauty, the blindness of our leaders and the “short termism” on which they seem to thrive, is the very reason why I believe that using AFRICOM to secure the “best deal” for our resources and citizens, is highly unlikely indeed.

  13. And what do you think the chinese will do? Offer less bribes? Not come in via the back door? Show me any other country on this planet that has successfully prosecuted alleged contractor frauds. Chinese people are dying to get out of their own country. How may Americans dying to get out of Bush hell?