US Armed Forces In Africa: Policy of Neocolonialism?

The United State of America (USA), is step by step trying to strengthen their military positions in Africa. To do this, Washington is still lobbying the idea of AFRICOM for providing security and combat terrorist groups like Boko Haram, Al-Quaeda, ISIS, among others. But is really so?

 

The Ghanaian security experts are sure, that the development of AFRICOM and other military structures in Africa do not correspond with national interests of its country and make African community more dependent on the United States.

 

First, the US military activity on the continent does not have any positive effect in solving regional security problems. On the contrary, Pentagon is seeking to expand its influence in Africa by opening new military bases and increasing the number of its troops, using the pretext of “struggling against terrorism.”

 

The US is thus trying to impose on African countries the–placing on their national territory AFRICOM, the real purpose of which is to strengthen the interests of the West and the USA on the continent.

Second, Trump’s administration is reluctant to use diplomacy in the negotiations with its African counterparts when speaking about counterterrorism. Moreover, the pressure on ECOWAS contributes to achievement of the USA of their main purpose in Africa – focus on uncontested US orientation on Africa. These facts have real ground – US Vice Admiral Robert Moeller announced on Friday, 18, 2008, on the conference of AFRICOM, that “the main principle of AFRICOM is to ensure free transportation of resources from Africa to global markets”.

Third, AU has its own experience in solving security problems in Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Central African Republic.  The creation of African Joint Standby Forces is the example of it. The US and western countries also may take part in counterterrorist military operations – by supplying ammunition, vehicles and armour.

Fourth, the US tries to press on African leaders to accept their demands, but this only discredits the heads of African states as incapable of providing their political course of their own. In fact, AFRICOM is a new way of developing the neocolonial policy of the US in Africa.

 

And fifth, AFRICOM is used to protect the access to African hydrocarbon deposits from countries such as China, India, Japan and Russia. To implement these plans, US needs to get the exclusive right to have a favourable impact on their military command in Africa.

 

African community should be ready for US “attacks” to involve countries in military programmes. This economics dependence on western financing, trade with Europe and granted loans to AU are the most efficient means to be used.  Africa has to develop a practical approach of strengthening its sovereignty and economic independence. Thus AU should focus on diversification of its foreign policy and develop relations with countries which are truly interested in Africa becoming a prosperous continent but not in raw states, used by the US and the West.

 

Article: Georgina FERNANDEZ, INTERN,

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, USA

 

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