Worlds Police expand into Africa

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by in_the_cheapseats, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    What are the US intentions in Africa?

    Amusing to see that no-one but Liberia (which is according to the CIA world factbook, a colony of the US, I kid you not) is willing to host the HQ so for the time being it stays in Stuttgart.

    BBC link here

    To save you looking up the Liberia link
     
  2. Well, at least US is now taking an interest. The countries that are supposed to be keeping an eye on things - UK, France, and other EU countries - seem completely supine & blind to the spread of radical Islam and Chinese colonialism.....
     
  3. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Simple - their intentions are to safeguard the oil and prevent the growth of Islamic terrorism in a poor region with lots of Muslims. Whether they do a good job or not is another matter, but at least they're taking an interest in the godforesaken place.
     
  4. Not entirely true but considering the logistical nightmares associated with operating in those areas, it's hardly surprising...not to mention that the said countries are a tad busy in other places right now.

    But still, the EU is getting more interested in the region. Look at the EUFOR Op with irish, austrians and poles providing substantial contingents on top of France which provides over 60% of the troops and most of the hardware and log support. That would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

    France is currently disengaging from Africa; the base in Ivory Coast will close in a few years and the Dakar base could very well go to quickly. It will "only" keep Gabon, Chad and Djibouti. Costs are once again an issue as well as the arrival of a new generation of french politicians who want to do away with the old practises of cronism as well as african politicians who have no taste for foreign bases on their soil even though it's the best life insurance they can hope for in those regions.

    Finally, and contrarily to what most think, France is not opposed to US presence in Africa and it has even helped it trying to find a place for Africom.
     
  5. On a practical level as well, placing all of Africa except Egypt under a command that was also responsible for Europe wasn't going to cut it in the 21st Century. A dedicated command is better.
     
  6. US have been playing a lot in Sahelian Africa for the last 5 years under the aegis of the PSI/TSCTI programmes. AFRICOM puts a more accountable structure on it and allows for more strategic assets to be used. The lack of a land base is not that much of a biggie, as they are getting used to using Ships/small fleets in a much better Joint manner.
    AFRICOM also allows bolt ons like the Coastguard to come and play.

    US learns quick, and knows it needs to do more H&M in Africa before every one keels over from dodgy powdered milk!
     
  7. Chinese are extremly unpopular in the parts of Africa where I have been, much more than the other expats.

    For a start, and considering an expat provides for an average of five african families so that's an important issue to be accepted by the locals, they don't hire local staff (cook, cleaners, maid, guardians etc) like all expats do. That goes down very badly.

    They also bring everything from China, even the workforce (convicts sometimes so no need for overseas allowances...) and don't contribute to the local life like the lebanese or the french do for example.

    And the buildings they have built on the cheap in recent years have a strong tendency to crumble...

    What cannot be denied is that they have ousted all other consumer goods from african markets, even in the most remote places; Jaguar motorbikes have now replaced the french Mobylette and Peugeot moped....
     
  8. Damm you beat me to the chinese connection.
    I concur,
    It's is all about combatting Chinese expansion and influence in Africa.
     
  9. How far they'll be able to 'engage with Africa' while still insisting on having structural adjustment conditions tied to all aid packages is open to question. Too many Africans (even among the non-corrupt ones, yes there are some!) see this as having been a disaster for their communities. They might have been able to get away with it a decade or so ago as the only game in town, but that's not the case anymore.

    They might, just might, begin to win a few more friends on the continent if they helped out a bit in the early years instead of stamping in and bossing folk about a la Somalia. Perhaps helping out the anti-piracy campaign would win a few more friends; deeds not words, and helpful ones at that.
     
  10. In countries where "traditional" patrons are on the go, like Ivory Coast which is soon going to be left by french forces, the USA are very active and doing their best to step into the departing nation's shoes, minus the bagage.
     
  11. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    I read the BBC headline as "Africa command battles septics". Whoops.
     
  12. Why are youu surrendering this time?
     
  13. US Africom 'has no hidden agenda'

    The head of the new US military command for Africa (Africom) has told the BBC it has "no hidden agenda".
    General William Ward said the command would not be used to gain control of African natural resources such as oil.

    He also dismissed fears that the US intended to build large military bases on the continent.
    Only one country, Liberia, has offered to host Africom, which is coming into full operation at its headquarters in the German city of Stuttgart.

    General Ward said the location of the headquarters, for its 1,300 military and civilian personnel, was less of a concern, given the size of the African continent.

    more at:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7645714.stm