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US Military Expansion and Intervention


Limpopo Province, South Africa
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2012 | 2011| 2009 |2008


The Militarization of Poverty in Africa (May 29, 2012)

African nations stretching from Guinea-Bissau to Somalia are subject to war, coups, and large-scale demonstrations. These nations face similar economic situations, with failing agricultural markets and booming mining industries. In the 1990s, the IMF and the WTO imposed liberal reforms that battered Africa’s agricultural sector. Meanwhile, after the markets were opened, global elites invested their surplus wealth into African mining commodities, which displaced populations, damaged the environment, and funded militant groups. In response to rising violence in Africa, the US invested more in AFRICOM and justified militarization of the continent at home by invoking outrageous fears of fundamental Islam. (Al Jazeera)


US Approves ‘Humanitarian Intervention' in Several African Countries (October 16, 2011)

President Obama has ordered the deployment of 100 armed military advisers to central Africa in order to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). US forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The US advisers will help the regional forces to combat the LRA, the rebel group responsible for estimated 30,000 deaths and the displacement of about two million people in the region. Although some human rights organizations have welcomed Obama’s decision, critics are wary of the deployment of US forces in Africa on alleged “humanitarian grounds” after the Afghan and Iraq episodes. (Al Jazeera)


Who are the Real Pirates in Africa? (May 21, 2009)

Since Somalia gained its independence in 1960, the US has systematically overthrown all non-US-favorable governments, often with the help of proxy countries such as Ethiopia. Decades of political instabilities have thus prepared the ground for desperate actions such as piracy. The mainstream media  turns pirates  into symbols of evil but fails to identify the root causes, such as illegal commercial fishing, which deprives citizens of one of the few means of survival. Somali waters also suffer the consequences of toxic dumping and nuclear waste. (Party for Socialism and Liberation)

US African Command: AFRICOM’s US$6 billion Fiasco in Djibouti (May 19, 2009)

The US African Command (AFRICOM) is building a US$6 billion megabase in Djibouti, the only African country that accepted to host a foreign military base on its soil. This is not the first time that the US tried to set up a permanent military presence in the Horn of Africa. In 1998, the US backed Ethiopia to wage war with Eritrea in hopes of gaining access to the international airport and the possibility to build a major port while Ethiopia would capture the Port of Assab. The coup failed and ironically the Eritrean Army overlooks the new US base which is within range of its artillery. (Global Research)

Cold War Origins of the Somalia Crisis and Control of the Indian Ocean (May 3, 2009)

The mainstream media coverage of Somalia mainly focuses on the escalating piracy issue, but fails to provide an in-depth understanding of its root causes. The crisis in Somalia results from years of US interference in its internal affairs to implement the "Carter Doctrine." The US "cleaned" Somalia, and to a larger extent the Horn of Africa, of a pro-Soviet tilt and set up military bases to secure a region that contains more than two-thirds of the world's oil. The US and NATO largely use the "pirate threat" to legitimize the deployment of their navy in the Indian Ocean. This enables them to control trade and reduce the naval presence of competitors such as Russia and China.  (Dandelion Salad)

Making Peace or Fueling War in Africa (March 13, 2009)

The official mission of AFRICOM, set up by the US, is to focus on health and education programs, community relations and building infrastructure. However, the author demonstrates that the US-African command was established to halt the spread of terrorism and to oversee Africa's growing oil resources. Remarks by top US military officers confirm the focus on counterinsurgency and prevention of oil disruption. AFRICOM will increase conflicts because it favors bilateral military relations over peacekeeping and fails to resolve environmental and poverty-related problems. (Foreign Policy In Focus)


China's US$9bn Hostage in the Congo War (December 2, 2008)

The formal creation of Africom by the US has negatively affected the geopolitical situation in the African Great Lakes region. By creating a military command through Africom, the US can explore its interests in the resource rich region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The author contends that one of the major motives of Africom is to ensure that other global players like China do not obtain monopolies in the region. (Asia Times)

AfriCOM, Militarisation, and Resource Control (October 15, 2008)

Africom, an initiative to build a mobile US force in Africa, reflects increased US interest in the control of African natural resources, such as oil in the Niger Delta. The US also views China's presence in Africa as a threat to its influence on the continent and therefore attempts to use Africom as a counterbalance. African countries, such as SADC member states, have rejected Africom, seeing it as a risk to their sovereignty. (Pambazuka)

Critics Target US Military Command (June 2, 2008)

The US could use a military command in Africa (AFRICOM) to counter Chinese control of oil resources on the continent, according to Inter Press Service. The US will establish the command center in October 2008, claiming that AFRICOM can combine military assistance with humanitarian efforts in Africa. However former US allies, Ghana and Nigeria, reject hosting the AFRICOM headquarters and remain skeptical of the humanitarian nature of the military center. The article states that the US will use AFRICOM to intervene in African nations, increase US military presence, and protect supplies of oil.

US Africa Command Trims Its Aspirations (June 1, 2008)

The US will run its Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany due to a skeptical and hostile reaction from African nations and NGOs. African countries were not consulted by the US about the location of the military bases, and view AFRICOM as an "extension of US counterterrorism policy." Also, NGOs remain concerned that the US military would interfere with their development work. Even US Senators believe the concept to be a bit "neocolonialist." (Washington Post)

Rwanda and the War on Terrorism (February 21, 2008)

This article argues that the Bush administration fuels conflict in the Central African Great Lakes Region so that US companies can access coltan, an ore used in computers. Though the US claims to facilitate peace talks between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has also provided the Rwandan army with US$7.2 million in arms and training. This military aid prolongs Rwanda's involvement in the DRC conflict and secures US material interests. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Congo-Kinshasa: CIA Had Plan to Assassinate Lumumba (June 27, 2007)

Declassified CIA documents reveal that the US plotted to assassinate first DR Congo President Patrice Lumumba in 1965. The democratically elected leader advocated economic independence and opposed politics based on tribal divisions, which "colonialists had effectively used to divide and rule Africa." Investigations have indicated that the US and Belgium, unhappy with Lumumba's denouncement of colonialism, ordered and facilitated his assassination. (Rwanda News Agency)

US Interventions in Somalia: A Chequered History (January 9, 2007)

 This Agence France Presse article discusses US interventions in Somalia, beginning with the 1992 "humanitarian" intervention, "Operation Restore Hope." Less than a year later, the US botched a UN-led operation, in which hundreds of Somalis, 24 Pakistani UN troops, and 18 US soldiers died. In 2002, the US again turned its attention to Somalia as part of its effort to "hunt down" Al-Qaeda, and it set up a base in Djibouti, just outside of Somalia. A few years later, the US worked first with an alliance of warlords and then with Ethiopia to counter the Islamic movement in Somalia.

The Angolan Civil War and US Foreign Policy (April 13, 2002)

 Mainstream media have depicted the civil war in Angola as a tribal conflict, and US involvement in the war as the unfortunate result of Cold War tensions. However, documents show that US intervention in support of Jonas Savimbi's UNITA faction predated any Soviet part in the conflict, provoking a "reluctant" Soviet response. The article also discusses the role of US oil companies and the relationship of a corrupt arms dealer to the Bush family, Richard Cheney and Halliburton. (World Socialist Web Site)

Somalia and the United States: A Long and Troubled History (January 21, 2002)

After WWII and through the Cold War, US-Somali relations improved because of Somalia's proximity to the Middle East. The US maintained good relations with Somali President Mohammed Siad Barre throughout the 1980s for military reasons, despite protests from human rights groups against Siad Barres repressive and corrupt government. Somalia no longer provides a strategic military ally for the US; on the contrary the US is wary of Somalia's connections with al-Qaeda. (allAfrica)



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