Tag Archives: Africa

John Bolton Wants To Protect Africa From ‘Predatory’ Chinese Behavior. What About Washington’s? by Netfa Freeman

The US wants to stop other countries from colonizing Africa so it will have the field open to itself. From Netfa Freeman at antiwar.com:

John Bolton’s recent unveiling of the Trump Administration’s “Prosper Africa” plan did what is typical of such U.S. foreign policy announcements. It performed the balancing act of admitting motives to protect vague “US interests” while dishonestly claiming benevolent intentions for the other country, region, or continent concerned. In this case the continent is Africa.

The “new” Africa policy, National Security Advisor Bolton suggested, is an adjusted US strategy to “assist” African economic independence from the predatory designs of China and Russia. In reality it is the Trump’s administration taking the baton from the Obama administration in the new Scramble for Africa, a sequel to the proliferation of conflicting European claims to African territory during the New Imperialism period, between the 1880s and the start of World War I.

Bolton admits as much when he calls the administration’s new plan a response to “predatory practices pursued by China and Russia [that] stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for US investment; interfere with US military operations; and pose a significant threat to US national security interests.”

He divulged this and the “new” U.S.-Africa policy in a speech he gave at the far-right Heritage Foundation.

It should be obvious that Bolton cares little about predation – he just doesn’t want other predators to compete with. He made no mention of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which has put most African nations under the effective military control of the United States. AFRICOM is the re-colonization of Africa by the US, with thousands of US troops now stationed in some 30 African countries and dozens of US bases across Africa. The total estimated cost for AFRICOM in 2018 is $236.9 million.

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Hot Economic Warfare: Scrambling for Rare-Earth Minerals, by Wayne Madsen

A bunch of rocks you probably have never heard of are the subjects of intense geopolitical competition. From Wayne Madsen at strategic-culture.org:

Just like the gold rushes of California between 1848 and 1855, Canada’s Klonike of 1896 to 1899, and Western Australia’s of the 1890s, the world is experiencing a frenzy to obtain mining rights in pursuit of today’s “gold,” namely rare earth minerals. Used for components of electric vehicle batteries, mobile telephones, flat-screen televisions, flash drives, cameras, precision-guided missiles, industrial magnets, wind turbines, solar panels, and other high-tech items, rare earth minerals have become the type of sought-after commodity that uranium and plutonium were during the onset of the atomic age.

Rare earth minerals do not easily roll off one’s tongue in the same manner as gold, silver, and platinum. For example, yttrium oxide and europium, while sounding unimportant, are what provide the red hue in color televisions.

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Doug Casey on China’s Exploitation of Africa

China is negotiating the hazards of Africa for its mineral wealth. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: Is China taking over Africa?

A lot of folks are asking themselves this question, and for good reason.

You see, China’s pulling resources out of the ground in Africa at an alarming rate. Not only that, Chinese people are pouring into the continent by the boatload.

That said, it’s not all “bad news.” China’s also started construction companies across Africa, created jobs, and built schools and hospitals.

In short, the question I posed above is trickier than it may seem. So I got Doug Casey to tell me what he thinks.

Keep in mind, this interview is controversial. Please don’t read ahead if you’re easily offended.


Justin: Is China exploiting Africa?

Doug: Of course “exploit” is a loaded word; it implies one-sided, unbalanced dealings, and unfair business—although the word “fair” also has lots of baggage, and politically charged meanings.

But, yes, they’re definitely exploiting Africa. We’re seeing a veritable re-colonization of Africa. Every time I visit Africa I see more and more Chinese. It doesn’t matter which country; they’re everywhere.

It’s important to remember that Africa doesn’t produce anything besides raw materials. There’s close to zero manufacturing, like 1% of the world’s total, in sub-Saharan Africa. And almost all of that is in South Africa. The little there is, is only produced with the help foreigners—Europeans, but increasingly the Chinese.

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US Military Presence in Africa: All Over Continent and Still Expanding, by Arkady Savitsky

53 out of Africa’s 54 countries have US troops in them. From Arkady Savitsky at strategic-culture.org:

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

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Russia, Central Africa Sign New Military Cooperation Agreement, by Alex Gorka

Russia is making new friends in resource-rich Africa. From Alex Gorka at strategic-culture.org:

Russia and the Central African Republic (CAR) signed a military cooperation agreement on August 21. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and his CAR counterpart Marie-Noelle Koyara met on the sidelines of the Army 2018 defense expo outside of Moscow to finalize that agreement. According to the Russian defense chief, Central Africa “is a promising partner on the African continent.” The document covers arms shipments and personnel training. Central African officers will undergo training courses at Russian military academies and colleges. This year, Russia has already sent light arms, rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft guns for two battalions. It has 175 military and civilian instructors deployed in that country to train the personnel.

In mid-December, the United Nations granted Russia an exemption to the arms embargo on the CAR, paving the way for deliveries of weapons to that war-torn country that is still immersed in an internal conflict. The embargo is effective until Jan. 31, 2019.

The UN ranks the CAR as the least-developed country in the world despite its minerals reserves. Fourteen thousand UN peacekeepers are stationed within its borders, but the government, led by President Faustin-Archange Touadera, believes that that operation is ineffective. He has relied more on Russia’s help.

This agreement is part of that trend. Russia’s regional influence is increasing. The Democratic Republic of Congo has recently decided to revive its 1999 agreement on military cooperation with Russia. In April, Mozambique agreed to open its ports to Russian naval vessels. It was recently reported that Niger is interested in purchasing Russian helicopters and firearms, including grenade launchers. Russia and Guinea are working on a military agreement, which would include free access for Russian military ships to the country’s ports, training, and other security-related issues. Russia exports Mil Mi-8/17 and Mi-24/35 helicopters to Angola, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The Russian Federation has military partnerships with Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Uganda, South Sudan, Mozambique, and Angola. In 2017, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir asked Russia to protect his country “from the aggressive acts of the United States.” All in all, Russia is responsible for 30% of all arms supplies to the region.

To continue reading: Russia, Central Africa Sign New Military Cooperation Agreement

Commandos Sans Frontières, by Nick Turse

US Special Forces are everywhere, safeguarding the American way of life. From Nick Turse at tomdispatch.com:

Early last month, at a tiny military post near the tumbledown town of Jamaame in Somalia, small arms fire began to ring out as mortar shells crashed down. When the attack was over, one Somali soldier had been wounded — and had that been the extent of the casualties, you undoubtedly would never have heard about it.

As it happened, however, American commandos were also operating from that outpost and four of them were wounded, three badly enough to be evacuated for further medical care. Another special operator, Staff Sergeant Alexander Conrad, assigned to the U.S. Army’s Special Forces (also known as the Green Berets), was killed.

If the story sounds vaguely familiar — combat by U.S. commandos in African wars that America is technically not fighting — it should. Last December, Green Berets operating alongside local forces in Niger killed 11 Islamic State militants in a firefight. Two months earlier, in October, an ambush by an Islamic State terror group in that same country, where few Americans (including members of Congress) even knew U.S. special operators were stationed, left four U.S. soldiers dead — Green Berets among them. (The military first described that mission as providing “advice and assistance” to local forces, then as a “reconnaissance patrol” as part of a broader “train, advise, and assist” mission, before it was finally exposed as a kill or capture operation.) Last May, a Navy SEAL was killed and two other U.S. personnel were wounded in a raid in Somalia that the Pentagon described as an “advise, assist, and accompany” mission. And a month earlier, a U.S. commando reportedly killed a member of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal militia that has terrorized parts of Central Africa for decades.

And there had been, as the New York Times noted in March, at least 10 other previously unreported attacks on American troops in West Africa between 2015 and 2017. Little wonder since, for at least five years, as Politico recently reported, Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and other commandos, operating under a little-understood legal authority known as Section 127e, have been involved in reconnaissance and “direct action” combat raids with African special operators in Somalia, Cameroon, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Tunisia.

To continue reading: Commandos Sans Frontières

Shadow Armies: The Unseen, but Real US War in Africa, by Ramzy Baroud

There’s not 1 in 100,000 Americans who have any idea what the US military is doing in Africa. From Ramzy Baroud at antiwar.com:

There is a real – but largely concealed – war which is taking place throughout the African continent. It involves the United States, an invigorated Russia and a rising China. The outcome of the war is likely to define the future of the continent and its global outlook.

It is easy to pin the blame on US President Donald Trump, his erratic agenda and impulsive statements. But the truth is, the current US military expansion in Africa is just another step in the wrong direction. It is part of a strategy that had been implemented a decade ago, during the administration of President George W. Bush, and actively pursued by President Barack Obama.

In 2007, under the pretext of the ‘war on terror’, the US consolidated its various military operations in Africa to establish the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). With a starting budget of half a billion dollars, AFRICOM was supposedly launched to engage with African countries in terms of diplomacy and aid. But, over the course of the last 10 years, AFRICOM has been transformed into a central command for military incursions and interventions.

However, that violent role has rapidly worsened during the first year of Trump’s term in office. Indeed, there is a hidden US war in Africa, and it is fought in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’.

According to a VICE News special investigation, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day. US mainstream media rarely discusses this ongoing war, thus giving the military ample space to destabilize any of the continent’s 54 countries as it pleases.

“Today’s figure of 3,500 marks an astounding 1,900 percent increase since the command was activated less than a decade ago, and suggests a major expansion of US military activities on the African continent,” VICE reported.

 

To continue reading: Shadow Armies: The Unseen, but Real US War in Africa

Uncle Sam Takes Up The White Man’s Burden, by Eric Margolis

Running out of smaller countries to beat up in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the US military-industrial-intelligence complex is turning towards Africa. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

`Take up the white man’s burden’

 Rudyard Kipling, poet laureate of British imperialism

The British Empire, which at the end of the 19th century ruled one quarter of the earth’s land surface, is long gone.  But its robust successor and heir, the United States, has set about enlarging it.

As I sought to explain in my last book ‘American Raj – How the US Rules the Muslim World,’ the US imperium exerts its power by controlling tame, compliant regimes around the world and their economies.  They are called ‘allies’ but, in fact, should be more accurately termed satrapies or vassal states.  Many states are happy to be prosperous US vassals, others less so.

The US power system has successfully dominated much of the world, except of course for great powers China, Russia and India.  Germany and much of Western Europe remains in thrall to post WWII US power.  The same applies to Canada, Latin America, Australia, and parts of SE Asia.

There is one part of the globe that has remained free from heavy US influence since 1945, sub-Saharan Africa.  But this fact is clearly changing as the US military expands its operations the width and breadth of the Dark Continent.

We are seeing a rerun of the fine old 1930’s film, ‘Beau Geste’ which was taken from a cracking good 1924 Victorian novel by C. Percival Wren.  Set in French North Africa, Wren’s dashing French Legionnaires end up defending a remote fort against masses of hostile Arab and Berber tribesman.

The novel and film negatively shaped western attitudes to the Arab world and its peoples but glorified the French Foreign Legion.  Wren claimed to have been a member of the Legion which was the primary enforcement arm of France’s African colonial empire.

The famed Legion, which fought from Mexico to Indochina, has now shrunken to a pitiful 8,000 men.  France’s thread-bare finances proved a deadlier enemy than Saharan horsemen.

to continue reading: Uncle Sam Takes Up The White Man’s Burden

Winning in Africa, by Brian Cloughley

How many Americans know that the US military has 46 bases in Africa? What are they doing there? From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:

On October 4 in Niger in central Africa four American special forces soldiers were killed in an ambush by “fifty fighters, thought to be associated with ISIS [Islamic State], a US official said.” In the course of the attack, one US soldier was left behind when the others withdrew, and was subsequently found dead. Nigerien soldiers were also killed, and it is interesting to examine how US media outlets recorded this aspect of what was obviously a disaster for US Africa Command, AFRICOM, the organisation headquartered, bizarrely, in Germany, that has 46 military bases (that we know of) in that continent. (Niger, incidentally, is twice the size of Texas.)

ABC News reported that “a soldier from Niger also died from the attack” while CBS thought that “four Nigerien soldiers died,” and Stars and Stripes went with “several.” CNN’s tally was five but the New York Times didn’t mention Nigerien soldiers at all. Fox News, surprisingly, said that four were killed, as did the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, which even expanded to record that there had been eight Nigerien soldiers wounded.

It isn’t to be expected that the US media would ever concern themselves with deep research into how many foreign soldiers are killed in any of the countries in which the US is involved in armed conflict, but the sloppy reporting is a good indicator of the shrug factor.

And the western media continues to shrug about the deep involvement of the US military and the CIA in countries throughout Africa.

President Donald Trump claims he would win an IQ contest against his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson (how bizarre and nationally demeaning that a President of the United States of America can stoop to such childish yah boo behaviour), but it’s a fair bet he would not be able to identify on a blank map of Africa the countries in which his armed forces are at present engaged in various degrees of conflict. As recorded by Alexis Okeowo in the New Yorker, “Publicly, Africa may not be on the radar of the Trump Administration, but it is a priority for the US military. At the moment, seventeen hundred members of the Special Forces and other military personnel are undertaking ninety-six missions in twenty-one countries, and the details of most are unknown to Americans.”

To continue reading: Winning in Africa

On Africa, by Kevin Myers

A pitiless look at Africa, suggesting that pity has hurt more than helped the continent. This one is tough to read, but the article asks questions that need to be asked and confronts muddled thinking that needs to be confronted. From Kevin Myers at africaunauthorized.com, via theburningplatform.com:

Somalia is not a humanitarian disaster; it is an evolutionary disaster. The current drought is not the worst in 50 years, as the BBC and all the aid organisations claim. It is nothing compared to the droughts in 1960/61 or 73/74. And there are continuing droughts every 5 years or so. It’s just that there are now four times the population; having been kept alive by famine relief, supplied by aid organisations, over the past 50 years. So, of course, the effects of any drought now, is a famine. They cannot even feed themselves in a normal rainfall year.

Worst yet, the effects of these droughts, and poor nutrition in the first 3 years of the a child’s life, have a lasting effect on the development on the infant brain, so that if they survive, they will never achieve a normal IQ. Consequently, they are selectively breeding a population who cannot be educated, let alone one that is not being educated; a recipe for disaster.

We are seeing this impact now, and it can only exacerbate, to the detriment of their neighbours, and their environment as well. This scenario can only end in an even worse disaster; with even worse suffering, for those benighted people, and their descendants. Eventually, some mechanism will intervene, be it war, disease or starvation.

So what do we do? Let them starve? What a dilemma for our Judeo/Christian/Islamic Ethos; as well as Hindu/Buddhist morality. And this is beginning to happen in Kenya, Ethiopia and other countries in Asia, like Pakistan. Is this the beginning of the end of civilisation?

AFRICA is giving nothing to anyone outside Africa — apart from AIDS and new diseases. Even as we see African states refusing to take action to restore something resembling civilization in Zimbabwe, the Begging bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us out of Africa, yet again. It is nearly 25 years since the famous Feed The World campaign began in Ethiopia, and in that time Ethiopia’s population has grown from 33.5 million to 78+ million today. So, why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic?

There is none.

To continue reading: On Africa