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Zoe Carpenter

ZoË Carpenter

DC dispatches. E-mail tips to zoe@thenation.com.

Is Obama Moving the ‘War on Terror’ to Africa?

Libya airstrike

A vehicle belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi burns after a 2011 air strike by US forces. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

Despite talk of a pivot to Asia, the US military’s gaze has settled on Africa. That isn’t news for anyone who has followed the expansion of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) on the continent. But it’s a decisive shift that until now US officials have been loath to acknowledge.

The veil lifted slightly on Wednesday when President Obama asked Congress for $5 billion to train and equip foreign governments for counterterrorism activities. Most of the countries he cited are in northern Africa, including Somalia, Libya and Mali. US Special Operations arereportedly already training new counterterrorism units in Libya and Mali, as well as Niger and Mauritania.

“Today’s principal threat no longer comes from a centralized Al Qaeda leadership. Instead, it comes from decentralized Al Qaeda affiliates and extremists, many with agendas focused in the countries where they operate,” Obama said. “We need a strategy that matches this diffuse threat; one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military thin, or stir up local resentments.”

The Counter-Terrorism Partnerships Fund, as the administration dubbed the program, would apparently add more money and a new name to an existing slate of security cooperation programs. Over the last few years the United States has spent millions training proxy forces to combat local insurgents in Africa; one example is a $500 million operation called the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative that provides training and equipment to ten African partners.

According to the journalist Nick Turse, who has covered AFRICOM extensively for TomDispatch, the number of operations, programs and missions conducted by the US military in Africa has increased by more than 200 percent since the command was established in 2008. In 2012 alone the United States planned fourteen major training operations across the continent, including in Mali, Morocco, Uganda, Botswana, Lesotho, Senegal and Nigeria.

“AFRICOM talks about this like it’s small-scale and low-key to the public, but when you listen to what they’re saying in private it’s really startling,” Turse told me. He’s heard officers refer to Africa as “the battlefield of tomorrow, today.” One AFRICOM official acknowledged to a room full of private contractors that the command had “shifted from our original intent of being a more congenial combatant command to an actual war-fighting combatant command.”

Counterterrorism cooperation sounds innocuous enough, particularly when presented rhetorically as an alternative to ground wars. However light-footed, the strategy Obama made explicit on Wednesday nevertheless endorses expanded US military activity on the continent. Unfortunately, the president was not so much signaling the end of the era of military adventurism as directing it towards a new arena in fresh packaging. And as with more conventional military endeavors, deeper involvement in Africa carries risks of blowback, particularly by drawing large militant networks into local conflicts.

Recent experiences in Libya and Mali—two countries that Obama cited on Wednesday as presenting opportunities for expanded military cooperation—are instructive. In Libya, the US-backed operation to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi empowered a handful of militant groups and helped turn the country into a training ground for radical guerrillas. Meanwhile, arms from Qaddafi’s arsenal made their way to Mali, where they enabled a coup led by a captain named Amadou Haya Sanogo, who had received extensive military training in the United States. In turn, weapons and militants from Mali now appear to be boosting the insurgency in Nigeria.

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Obama’s speech has been widely interpreted as hailing a “new, postwar foreign policy,” marking the start of a new era focused on “facilitat[ing] partner countries on the front lines.” But deriding the “costly mistakes” of large-scale military intervention is not a new position for Obama. It’s what got him elected.

Obama wasn’t announcing a novel position at West Point; he was defending his policies, including drone strikes and deepening engagement in Africa. In doing so Obama spoke as if overt intervention and behind-the-scenes meddling were not two sides to the same coin. Fundamentally, both are military solutions. America’s fights in Iraq and Afghanistan may be (not quite) over, but it’s shortsighted to call policy “postwar” if it’s dedicated to perpetuating the “War on Terror.”

The good news is that by asking Congress to fund the Counter-Terrorism Partnerships Fund, Obama has created an opportunity for lawmakers and the public to ask tough questions about the objectives and risks of expanding the military’s footprint in Africa, and with dubious partners. Let’s hope they take it.

 

Read Next: In his West Point speech, Obama says that war is not the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

What is the purpose that "Gang Bang Leaders" (that's ALL they are) have to recruit innocent followers to do the fighting for them when issues arise amongst them?  Why don't the so-called "Leaders" just beat the hell out of and kill each other?  When the Innocents get slaughtered,(they're dead; fighting's OVER for them) what did that solve?  The surviving Innocents are wounded/maimed in the most horrific ways, suffering from all kinds of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The "Gang Bang Leaders" end up richer than hell, counting their money. returning to their mansions, basking in their glorious, monied lifestyles. The Innocents' families just end up drowning in tears and grief, never to be the same again.

 

What's the purpose???????  What's solved??????  Obviously, nothing. I entered life 7 months after the start of WWII and war has been going on somewhere, every day, since I entered the damn planet.  What are you going to eat when you murder Earth, your money?  Good luck with that!!  What are you going to drink, your urine?  You're not going to be here, at last, but it's one hell of a way to find PEACE.

There is at present a Cold War between China, America and Russia.  The resources of Africa are the key to every modern economy.  China has been partnering with African governments, America is doing what America does:  reminding China and Russia that the name of the game is actually Military force. 

Originally Posted by skuderjaymes:

There is at present a Cold War between China, America and Russia.  The resources of Africa are the key to every modern economy.  China has been partnering with African governments, America is doing what America does:  reminding China and Russia that the name of the game is actually Military force. 

 

Ultimately, no matter what people want to believe, the world does what America tells it to, therefore, I fear the heavy involvement in Africa by the Chinese is only going to turn into the "Trojan Horse" that will eventually be used to "re-colonize" Africa or to continue what is really the economic colonization of Africa.  And "woe is me" to Africa, if and when racist America gains a stronghold on the continent.  Only then will Africans see what African Americans already know about America, the West, Race, racism and the intricately political and psychotic long-range effects it has on entire groups, entire races of people, entire nations, entire continents.

 

The Black Race soon forgets, way to often, to it's detriment.   

Well the so-called Slave Kidnap probably wasn't a War on Terror for Africa, but it damn sure was terrorizing for the millions of Africans drowned in the Atlantic Ocean, the Africans that arrived here to become enslaved and it certainly isn't a bowl of cherries for the progeny.  Africa hasn't done a damn thing about that, so any continuation of terror must not bother them too much.  Africa's being PICKED ON, by themselves and the world, Africans were PICKED UP by the boat loads by "Amerigos"!!! Pick Africans/Pick Cotton (no difference). Pick, Pick, Pick!! Here we are; there they are, so now WHAT??????

Originally Posted by GoodMan:

It's a Scramble for Africa, not a War on Terror. 

 

Boko Harem is CIA operation. 

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/r...on-wikileaks/5381225

 

It’s worth reading Russia Today for a different view. “The Centre for Research on Globalization” which makes these claims about the CIA and Boko Haram is cited as an arm of  Russian propaganda. I’d like to see the actual Wiki Leaks document on the CIA and Boko Haram. I can’t find it. Boko Haram is so crazy even al-Qaeda doesn’t support them. If the CIA Boko Haram link is real, I'd like to see the doc.

Originally Posted by DennisKalita:
Originally Posted by GoodMan:

It's a Scramble for Africa, not a War on Terror. 

 

Boko Harem is CIA operation. 

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/r...on-wikileaks/5381225

 

It’s worth reading Russia Today for a different view. “The Centre for Research on Globalization” which makes these claims about the CIA and Boko Haram is cited as an arm of  Russian propaganda. I’d like to see the actual Wiki Leaks document on the CIA and Boko Haram. I can’t find it. Boko Haram is so crazy even al-Qaeda doesn’t support them. If the CIA Boko Haram link is real, I'd like to see the doc.

Is Boko Haram An “Intelligence Asset”? Terror Attack in Nigeria Opens Door to Africom

http://www.globalresearch.ca/i...r-to-africom/5381612

 

 

Global Research is another propaganda vehicle. I read it too until realizing this is all pro-Kremlin. I searched and can't find the WikiLeaks doc.  One guys pays another who pays another down the line. Right now, China is in on the feeding frenzy too. Greedy people all the way up and down including African leaders. 

Originally Posted by DennisKalita:
 

It’s worth reading Russia Today for a different view. “The Centre for Research on Globalization” which makes these claims about the CIA and Boko Haram is cited as an arm of  Russian propaganda. I’d like to see the actual Wiki Leaks document on the CIA and Boko Haram. I can’t find it. Boko Haram is so crazy even al-Qaeda doesn’t support them. If the CIA Boko Haram link is real, I'd like to see the doc.

I looked for it too, but I couldn't find it.

 

I found this though.

https://www.wikileaks.org/plus...s/09ABUJA2014_a.html

 

 

I found others talking about it and even Nigerians are considering it and other USA attacks.

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201405271257.html

http://giftedgreen.com/2013/?q...es-Involving-The-CIA

http://allafrica.com/stories/201012130154.html

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