Vijay Prashad reflects on the geo-political backdrop to last month’s “African Lion 21,” a U.S.-led military exercise on the African continent that involved the armed forces of 21 countries.
Ten years ago, on March 19, 2011, US/NATO forces began their bombardment of Libya by air and by sea. The war was initiated directly by the United States, first through Africa Command (AFRICOM), and then through NATO under US command. Over the course of seven months, US/NATO airplanes carried out 30,000 missions, including 10,000 strikes involving over 40,000 bombs and missiles.
The African counties participating were Angola, Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
With their former colonial masters and those who had mandate and protectorates over them in parenthesis, they are again Angola (Portugal), Benin (France), Cabo Verde (Portugal), Cameroon (Britain, France and Germany), Cote d’Ivoire (France), Democratic Republic of Congo (Belgium), Equatorial Guinea (Spain), Gabon (France), the Gambia (Britain), Ghana (Britain), Guinea-Bissau (Portugal), Guinea-Conakry (France), Liberia (semi-colony of the US), Morocco (France and Spain), Namibia (Germany), Nigeria (Britain), Republic of Congo (France), Sao Tome & Principe (Portugal), Senegal (France), Sierra Leone (Britain) and Togo (Germany and France).
After some hints to the contrary, it turns out French troops in the Sahel aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So said President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on February 16, even before his virtual summit with France’s former-colonial „partners“ – Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Chad – comprising the G5 Sahel Joint Force. Formed in 2014, it’s described in bureaucratic Paris-speak as „an intergovernmental cooperation framework, in order to put forward a regional response to the various challenges.“ In reality, the G5 are little more than a misfit crew of problematic proxies doing the bidding of the French generals leading a seven years-running Operation Barkhane – and that of America’s AFRICOM proconsuls propping-up Paris’s pet forever war in the Sahel.
The U.S. Navy muscled up in the eastern Mediterranean Sea this week, announcing that it will homeport a major vessel at Souda Bay in Greece for the first time in at least 40 years.
Tunisia in 2016 denied a Washington Post report that it had allowed the US to operate drones from its territory for missions in Libya against the Islamic State group.
But a court martial in 2017 in a case of sexual harassment by an American officer, reported in the US defence press, publicly confirmed the presence of an American squadron operating drones from within a Tunisian base in the northern region of Bizerte.
The U.S. military is seeking permission to strike terrorist targets inside Kenya, a partner country where three Americans were killed earlier this year after their base came under attack by insurgents, the New York Times reported.
The U.S. is not formally at war with an African nation, and the continent is barely discussed in reference to American exploits around the globe. Therefore, when U.S. operatives die in Africa, as happened in Niger, Mali, and Somalia in 2018, the response from the public, and even from the media is often “why are American soldiers there in the first place?”
Über Ramstein in Rheinland-Pfalz läuft die Versorgung der US-Einsätze im Irak und in Afghanistan, im benachbarten Landstuhl steht das größte US-Militärkrankenhaus außerhalb der USA, in Stuttgart befinden sich die Kommandozentralen für die US-Streitkräfte in Europa und in Afrika, das hessischen Wiesbaden beherbergt die Zentrale der US-Army in Europa, und im bayrischen Grafenwöhr gibt es einen der größten Truppenübungsplätze Europas.
The company identified the victim as Mohamud Haji Salad, a site manager for the company who was apparently the only victim of the Monday airstrike.
Das Unternehmen identifizierte das Opfer als Mohamud Haji Salad, einen Bauleiter des Unternehmens, der offenbar das einzige Opfer des Luftangriffs vom Montag war.
„If the U.S. steps back from Africa too far, China and Russia will fill the void to our detriment,” he said in his written testimony to the Senate. “Violent extremist organizations will be able to grow unchecked, some will ultimately threaten the homeland, and we will lose opportunities for increased trade and investments with some of the fastest growing economies in the world.”
Three US airstrikes against Somalia on Sunday have brought the number of attacks in that country in 2019 to 63, the most ever by US forces in Somalia, and a substantial increase from the 47 in 2018.
Drei US-Luftangriffe auf Somalia am Sonntag haben die Zahl der Angriffe gegen dieses Land im Jahr 2019 auf 63 erhöht, die meisten jemals von US-Streitkräften in Somalia, und eine erhebliche Steigerung gegenüber den 47 Überfällen im Jahr 2018.
The military also must assess Djibouti’s Chinese-held public debt, which the NDAA warns could be used as economic coercion. A concern cited by lawmakers is that if Beijing takes commercial control of the Port of Djibouti in debt repayment, it could curtail access by the U.S. military.
Vor der Entsendung der im Vorfeld in „Operation Sentinel“ und „Force Generation“ formal aufgeteilten Streitkräfte von U.S.A. und E.U. in den Persischen Golf, spricht sich U.S.-Verteidigungsminister Mark Esper heute in Paris bezüglich deren „Koordination“ ab. Diese wird bereits seit Juli im Zentralkommando (Centcom) operativ vorbereitet.
Any media monitoring service working for U.S. Africa Command, the umbrella organization for American military activity on the African continent, would obviously notice that outburst and provide a “clip” of this article to the command.
Due to increased unrest in Libya, a contingent of U.S. forces supporting U.S. Africa Command temporarily relocated in response to security conditions on the ground.