“AFRICOM Spearheads Escalation Of US “Scramble For Africa”” Which We Should Not Aid And Abet

U.S. military outposts, port facilities, and other areas of access in Africa, 2002-2015. Nick Turse w TomDispatch

*edit, April 25, 2017 – This post was in my Disappeared category until today. The moderator has informed me that he isn’t in the habit of casually disappearing comments and didn’t think he had disappeared mine. I guess it just took a long time for it to be released from ‘awaiting moderation’ status. I don’t know. Maybe if my blog was getting more activity, then I’d know what it’s like to have to stay on top of everything by myself. I don’t know whether Paul works solo.

*edit, March 26 – I added a link to Axis Of Logic’s website to my blog yesterday which will come down soon if ‘awaiting moderation’ doesn’t come off their website where my comment, once accepted, was. They are fast enough to flag it, so What’s the hold up here? No wonder there’s no life in their comments section. They kill it.

Source: AFRICOM Spearheads Escalation Of US “Scramble For Africa” | Critical Analysis |Axisoflogic.com

An excerpt from the above-linked article by Eddie Haywood follows:

==== ==== == =
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, General Waldhauser warned that AFRICOM’s “inadequate surveillance, poor supply chain networks, and lack of personnel” are putting US interests at increased risk. “These constraints risk our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilians executing activities on the African continent.” General Waldhauser stated.

Waldhauser testified further that AFRICOM’s capability restraints are most grave in relation to its support for the Department of State-led mission to protect US personnel and facilities.

Waldhauser also stated that only 20-30 percent of the command’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements are being met, due to a lack of resources. To offset this shortfall, AFRICOM has relied primarily on private security contractors (mercenaries).

Further highlighting AFRICOM’s resource constraints, the US maintains one military base overseeing the entire continent, Camp Lemonnier, a base shared jointly with France in the tiny nation of Dijibouti on the Horn of Africa. Washington is keen to upscale its military presence on the continent.
= == ==== ====

Nick Turse (photo by Dale Robbins) and Thomas Waldhauser (photo by National Guard Bureau CC-BY-2.0)

My online response to the above linked-to article follows:

“So how many U.S. military bases are there in Africa? It’s a simple question with a simple answer. For years, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) gave a stock response: one. Camp Lemonnier in the tiny, sun-bleached nation of Djibouti was America’s only acknowledged “base” on the continent. It wasn’t true, of course, because there were camps, compounds, installations, and facilities elsewhere, but the military leaned hard on semantics,” writes Nick Turse (“Does Eleven Plus One Equal Sixty?” – http://bit.ly/1TG76Gc).

And has Eddie Haywood been take[n] in by those semantics? It’s unfathomable to me that an investigative journalist, especially one on the (real) Left who would be familiar with sites like TomDispatch (where we find articles by Nick Turse and David Vine and other informed people) would pass on the idea that the US has one base in Africa. It makes me wonder about other elements of his article.

Nick continues:

“Indeed, U.S. staging areas, cooperative security locations, forward operating locations (FOLs), and other outposts – many of them involved in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities and Special Operations missions – have been built (or built up) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. A 2011 report by Lauren Ploch, an analyst in African affairs with the Congressional Research Service, also mentioned U.S. military access to locations in Algeria, Botswana, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, and Zambia. AFRICOM failed to respond to scores of requests by this reporter for further information about its outposts and related matters, but an analysis of open source information, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and other records show a persistent, enduring, and growing U.S. presence on the continent.”

Turse notes the sensitivity of US officials to the phrase ‘building boom’ in connection with Africom’s activities in Africa. But then again, Nick isn’t passing on, without qualification, Thomas Waldhauser’s plea for more support and funds. One might be forgiven for thinking that if Waldhauser, and those who he can enlist in his propaganda efforts, is pleading for more funds and support, then that must mean that he needs them. It must also mean that the US military hasn’t got an effective presence in Africa.

WSWS stands for World Socialist Web Site.

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