Bush and Africom

President Bush concluded his Africa tour today in Liberia, claiming that rumors of building U.S. military bases are “baloney.” This is inspite of an announcement just one year ago to the contrary, when he told the Defense Department he wanted to create an African command, or Africom.

From the BBC

The lukewarm response in Africa to Mr Bush's idea of a US military command headquarters in Africa, called Africom, was evident on this visit. It has been seen as a fig leaf for US troops in Africa, which could be poised to defend strategic interests like oil in, for example, Nigeria. In Ghana, the US president tackled the issue even before he was asked about it, saying there were rumours that he was coming here to build military bases - this he described as "baloney". White House officials say Africom is about training African peacekeepers, and co-ordinating US efforts to help the continent. But many African nations, from South Africa to Ghana, see it as a threat to their sovereignty.

So why does the US want to militarize Africa?

From Black Agenda Report

At the end of World War II the United States had emerged as a leading political, economic and military force in world politics. It was in this period when the US established unified military command structures such as the European Command, the Pacific Command, the Southern Command, the Northern Command, and Central Command. Each command covers an area of responsibility (AOR). When this command structure was being refined, Africa was an after thought in so far as the United States had relegated the exploitation of Africa to the former European colonial exploiters. Hence, Africa fell under the European Command with its headquarters in Germany. Africa had not been included in the geographic combatant commands in so far as it was expected that France, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and other colonial powers would retain military forces to guarantee western "interests" in Africa. The collapse of the Portuguese colonial forces in Mozambique, Angola, Guinea and Sao Tome and the collapse of the white racist military forces in Rhodesia gradually led to a rethinking by the US military. During this period the US had labeled all African freedom fighters as terrorists. When the US was allied with Osama Bin Laden and Jonas Savimbi, Nelson Mandela had been branded a terrorist…The USA wanted to control the oil resources from Africa. Presently Africa supplies more petroleum to the USA than the Middle East and US corporations wanted the US military to guarantee the dominance of US oil conglomerates…

There you have it! Viva American Imperialism!


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