Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 19, 2013

Africa Beware - These Troops Don't Come To Help

This New York Times piece on the U.S. army attempts to justify its existence by preparing for wars in Africa reads like an official army press release: U.S. Army Hones Antiterror Strategy for Africa, in Kansas
Here on the Kansas plains, thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa as part of a new Pentagon strategy to train and advise indigenous forces to tackle emerging terrorist threats and other security risks so that American forces do not have to.

The first-of-its-kind program is drawing on troops from a 3,500-member brigade in the Army’s storied First Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One, to conduct more than 100 missions in Africa over the next year. The missions range from a two-man sniper team in Burundi to 350 soldiers conducting airborne and humanitarian exercises in South Africa.

The plan behind this is certainly not honest. If one wants to seriously train foreign troops or help the population one must send specialists who also understand the culture of their guest countries. But here the army plans to send troops that are trained to fight in main battle tanks and who get only 6(!) days of minimalistic cultural training by graduate students of African heritage without any additional language capacities.

What good can such troops do in those 50 African countries which are about all internally diverse and sociological complicate? What but trouble could they create?

The official army answer is this:

Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said in an interview that the goal was to field an Army that could be “engaged regionally in all the combatant commands to help them shape their theaters, set their theaters, in order to sustain and execute our national security strategy.”
U.S. national security strategy, Obama's pivot to Asia, is to contain China. As China has made many investments in African good-will and resources the countries there have now come under new U.S. scrutiny. "Shape their theaters" and "set their theaters" means to prepare the country and area in question for an onslaught of U.S. military might.

The countries in question would be well advised to reject such U.S. intrusions. Their leaders should notice that it are usually those native troops which were trained by the United States who, like recently in Mali, overthrow the government in military coops.

P.S. Notice that the comments to that NYT propaganda piece are by very wide margin negative towards such deployments.

Posted by b on October 19, 2013 at 16:36 UTC | Permalink



africom sounds like another muricun *humanitarian* outfit !

a typical day for an africom officer,
*half our staff is civilian. I don't anticipate any jungle fighting. Thus far, my travels have included taking a look at peacekeeper training, port security training, U.S.-funded health clinics, and a U.S.-funded African Union logistics hub. Some years ago, in a previous job, I took a two-hour cross-country journey with an NGO group to visit the reputed oldest man in Africa. Alas, when we arrived, in true shaggy-dog story form, we were told he was asleep.*

Posted by: denk | Oct 19 2013 17:21 utc | 1

Well,if Tom Shanker contributed to this piece,you can guarantee it being as sound as Confederate money.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 19 2013 17:40 utc | 2

Sounds to me like a recipe for another American quagmire.

Or more likely, more target practice for American drones in countries where they can't fight back. Note Richard Silverstein's recent posts, where he says that Iran and Hizbullah have cracked Israeli drones. For example, but there are others.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 19 2013 18:47 utc | 3

@2 A fine choice of words as we should have no doubt that the US aims to implement in Africa a neo-Confederate policy.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 19 2013 20:21 utc | 4

Yep we are from the Amerikan govt and this Army is here to help you to Freedom. In the mean time show us were the minerals are and step back out of the way or you'll ?

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 19 2013 21:17 utc | 5

It says a lot about AFRICOM, the American African Command, that its headquarters are in Germany, as they could not find an African nation willing or suitable to host it.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19 2013 22:06 utc | 6

africom is just one part of the equation,
*weaponised jihadists* provide the rational for intervention.

Posted by: denk | Oct 20 2013 2:45 utc | 7
purpose of 'aid' is to control governments: and US regime has money for pakistan but none for its own citizens

Posted by: brian | Oct 20 2013 3:17 utc | 8

Africa Beware, indeed.
This is Yankee-style Smash & Grab - US Corporatism displaying all its crass un-subtlety.
It begins with sending in NGOs and the CIA to buy/bribe local leaders and then send in 'Special Forces' hit-squads and private mercenaries to 'protect American interests' and to eliminate anyone who opposes (private) US exploitation of resources. This sort of phony baloney is designed to ensure that the vast majority of the local population is excluded from benefiting from the development of non-renewable resources by making sure the profits (minus bribes and pay-offs) "trickle up" to America's 1%.

The biggest problem facing the world today comes from a 1% which prefers its profits to be soaked in blood, and to be directly responsible for driving as many people as possible deeper into poverty and squalor.

There's a simple cure for this dis-ease and the Chinese know what it is and the best way to do it. Having been chased out of Libya and other places it'll be interesting to see where they decide to start knocking the wheels off outdated Yankee daydreams.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 20 2013 3:59 utc | 9

n how could we miss out the psyop, cia's mighty wurlitzer ?

Posted by: denk | Oct 20 2013 4:22 utc | 10

wiki the pysop doing its bit,

Posted by: denk | Oct 20 2013 6:12 utc | 11

Al Jazeera English
Muammar Gaddafi's former military barracks and compound in Tripoli will be converted into a public park, the Libyan government has announced.

Ikram Bash Imam, the country's tourism minister, said on Saturday that the government has embarked on "preliminary works" in the development of the park in the infamous complex of Bab al-Azizya, or Spledid Gate, in the southern suburbs of the capital.

AJE at it again: massaging the head pieces of the masses.

now its the 'libyan government'....not the 'libyan regime' and who leads it? its not 'X's regime' because the new head of state is a non-entity/puppet

Posted by: brian | Oct 20 2013 6:49 utc | 12

Incredibly comprehensive round-up of all known AFRICOM facilities:

The Pivot to Africa
Nick Turse, Tom Dispatch, Sep 5 2013

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 20 2013 9:12 utc | 13

thx for the turse link - tried to help send out the msg never invite vampires into your home yrs ago but...

Posted by: b real | Oct 20 2013 14:09 utc | 15

@ 12: Yes, a public park, how nice. Libya is such a wonderful place since the West has saved it. NOT!

Posted by: ben | Oct 20 2013 14:16 utc | 16

Just imagine the Egyptian cops trying to google the name of the guy they had just arrested and attempting to make sense of this:

Posted by: Mina | Oct 20 2013 14:38 utc | 17

Beware Greeks bearing gifts?
While it is not outright colonization, the manipulation, coercion & wanton murder that America unleashes is an epic tragedy for Mother Africa.

Posted by: Fernando | Oct 20 2013 15:04 utc | 18

classic crassus [1]
Rahm Emanuel, ex Chief of Staff to US President Barack Obama
*no crisis should go to waste*

thats too lame for uncle sham,the modern crassus.
the new mantra,
*create a crisis, offer the remedy* [2]

works like a charm.


Posted by: denk | Oct 20 2013 15:49 utc | 19

* I met Chinese people – simple workers – building government buildings in Samoa
or roads in Kenya. Many of them are so simple, good and defenseless! *

i can attest to this.
every evening i see many of these simple folks unwinding in the open
after a hard day working under a scorching sun.
u can see them congregating on any small grass patch, on the pavement or under
the staircase, all they need is a small space .
they place some old newspapers on the floor, then spend the rest of the evening
eating , drinking, smoking, laughing heartily, just having a good time.
most of them r heavy drinkers n smokers, coz thats the only luxuries they know.
when they r done, they pack up all the stuffs without leaving any mess behind.
these r simple folks who just want to earn enough monies so that they can go
back to their villages , build a new house, provide a better tomorrow for the
they harm nobody.
but someone out there want to hurt them.
chinese workers working oversea have been dying like rats for the past decade,
victims of *terrorists attacks* .
we know the killers, for those who play the *great game*, the lives of these
innocent peasants count for nothing, none, nada, zilch.
but china doesnt choose to play the *game*.
these simple folks dont deserve to be killed like rats.

Posted by: denk | Oct 20 2013 16:56 utc | 20

USA always has money for war and israel

Posted by: brian | Oct 20 2013 20:42 utc | 21

When one contemplates the detached inhumanity of the blood-sucking vampires who comprise America's 1%, they seem to have a lot in common with the subterranean creatures which HG Wells' introduced to the world in The Time Machine - the Morlocks.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 23 2013 2:29 utc | 22

the US "trains" forces everywhere: bin Laden decades ago, south American death squads, Iraq death squads, Afghan forces, Libyan rebels, Syrian rebels, etc. WHY do you say it requires cultural training? what planet does that happen on???
I thought it was just military training.

Posted by: anon | Oct 23 2013 2:57 utc | 23

anon 23

i heard the monstrous fire raging thru the aussie bush could've been ignited by an *ordnance practice*.
thanks to fukus, which militarise everything wherever it goes, oz has been *playing* lots of *war games* these days.
cant blame them, with that *evil chinese empire* breathing down their necks. !

Posted by: denk | Oct 23 2013 3:44 utc | 24

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