October 1, 2018—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has launched U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM, a campaign designed to end the U.S. invasion and occupation of Africa.
“Today marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of AFRICOM, short for U.S. Africa Command. Although U.S. leaders say AFRICOM is “fighting terrorism” on the continent, we believe geopolitical competition with China is the real reason behind AFRICOM’s existence. AFRICOM is a dangerous structure that has only increased militarism.
When AFRICOM was established in the months before Barack Obama assumed office as the first Black President of the United States, a majority of African nations—led by the Pan-Africanist government of Libya—rejected AFRICOM, forcing the new command to instead work out of Europe. But with the U.S. and NATO attack on Libya that led to the destruction of that country and the murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, corrupt African leaders began to allow AFRICOM forces to operate in their countries and establish military-to-military relations with the United States. Today, those efforts have resulted in 46 various forms of U.S. bases as well as military-to-military relations between 53 out of the 54 African countries and the United States. U.S. Special Forces troops now operate in more than a dozen African nations.
Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, first and former deputy of AFRICOM, declared in 2008, “Protecting the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market is one of AFRICOM’s guiding principles.”
We say AFRICOM is the flip side of the domestic war being waged by the same repressive state structure against Black and poor people in the United States. In the U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign, we link police violence and the domestic war waged on Black people to U.S. interventionism and militarism abroad.
“Not only does there need to be a mass movement in the U.S. to shut down AFRICOM, this mass movement needs to become inseparably bound with the movement that has swept this country to end murderous police brutality against Black and Brown people,” says Netfa Freeman, of Pan-African Community Action (PACA) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). Freeman represents PACA, a BAP member organization, on BAP’s Coordinating Committee. “The whole world must begin to see AFRICOM and the militarization of police departments as counterparts.” [snip]
“We ask the public to join us in demanding an end to the U.S. invasion and occupation of the continent of our ancestors by signing this petition that we will deliver to CBC leaders.
This campaign is BAP’s effort to help shut down all U.S. foreign military bases as well as NATO bases. BAP is a founding member of the Coalition Against U.S Foreign Military Bases.
Media Contact: email@example.com
It’s from 2015, but:
‘The US Military’s Best-Kept Secret’; For years, American military expansion in Africa has gone largely unnoticed, thanks to a deliberate effort to keep the public in the shadows, November 17, 2015, thenation.com
“In the shadows of what was once called the “Dark Continent,” a scramble has come and gone. If you heard nothing about it, that was by design. But look hard enough and—north to south, east to west—you’ll find the fruits of that effort: a network of bases, compounds, and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent. For a military that has stumbled from Iraq to Afghanistan and suffered setbacks from Libya to Syria, it’s a rare can-do triumph. In remote locales, behind fences and beyond the gaze of prying eyes, the US military has built an extensive archipelago of African outposts, transforming the continent, experts say, into a laboratory for a new kind of war.”
“Research by TomDispatch indicates that in recent years the US military has, in fact, developed a remarkably extensive network of more than 60 outposts and access points in Africa. Some are currently being utilized, some are held in reserve, and some may be shuttered. These bases, camps, compounds, port facilities, fuel bunkers, and other sites can be found in at least 34 countries—more than 60 percent of the nations on the continent—many of them corrupt, repressive states with poor human rights records. The United States also operates “Offices of Security Cooperation and Defense Attaché Offices in approximately 38 [African] nations,” according to Falvo, and has struck close to 30 agreements to use international airports in Africa as refueling centers.”
“A Scarier Future
Over many months, AFRICOM repeatedly ignored even basic questions from this reporter about America’s sweeping archipelago of bases. In practical terms, that means there is no way to know with complete certainty how many of the more than 60 bases, bunkers, outposts, and areas of access are currently being used by US forces or how many additional sites may exist. What does seem clear is that the number of bases and other sites, however defined, is increasing, mirroring the rise in the number of US troops, special operations deployments, and missions in Africa.”
““Where does this go post-Obama?” Reeve asks rhetorically, noting that the rise of AFRICOM and the proliferation of small outposts have been “in line with the Obama doctrine.” He draws attention to the president’s embrace of a lighter-footprint brand of warfare, specifically a reliance on Special Operations forces and drones. This may, Reeve adds, just be a prelude to something larger and potentially more dangerous.”
Enter this extortion psyop (h/t Phil Butler NEO): ‘Media Report: US Considers Shutting Down Counterterrirsm Units in Africa’, voanews.com, Sept. 2, 2018-10-05
“The Pentagon is looking at pulling nearly all U.S. commandos from Niger and shutting down most elite counterterrorism units across Africa, according to a media report.
Pentagon officials tell The New York Times U.S. military outposts in Cameroon, Kenya, Libya and Tunisia would also be closed if Defense Secretary Jim Mattis approves the plans, but the U.S. would still have a large military presence in [resource rich] Nigeria and Somalia.
According to the Times, the move is part of a shift in U.S. strategy from battling insurgents to focusing on potential large-scale fighting.
But it also comes after a militant attack on U.S. soldiers in Niger last year left four Americans dead, which the Pentagon admitted was a failure on its part.”
Africom on the Twit Machine: See, they’re just training eco-warrors, bringin’ books to chirren in Cameroon! And dropping bombs on Al-Shabab in Somalia. etc. to aid the federal government, discussing the security situation in Tripololi and so on.
From africom.mil Africom’s 2018 Posture Statement to Congress’; too many ludicrous things to bring, but [hilariously, Firefox won’t even boot the site given the security thingie is out of date, IE only allowed me under dire warnings…Chrome gets it booted]:
‘AFRICOM Mission Statement. United States Africa Command, in concert with interagency and international partners, builds defense capabilities, responds to crisis, and deters and defeats transnational threats in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.’
Most of what I’d learned about Africom: AFRICOM: Keeping Africans Safe from Chaos…or Something’, May 2013, café babylon had come from CrossedCrocodiles; but this was the ‘Commander’s Intent’ portion of AFRICOM’s mission statement at the time:
‘Our purpose is twofold: 1) to protect the U.S. homeland, American citizens abroad, and our national interests from transnational threats emanating from Africa; and 2) through sustained engagement, to enable our African partners to create a security environment that promotes stability, improved governance, and continued development. Should preventive or enabling efforts fail, we must always be prepared to prevail against any individual or organization that poses a threat to the United States, our national interests, or our allies and partners…”
‘And when the time comes…we’re the first to move toward tyranny, injustice…and despair’. Did you happen to notice the convoys of cartons or crates stamped: AID? We probably don’t need to hold a contest guessing what’s in the boxes, eh?
“The target audience of the commercial included vast numbers of people from the majority of the world whose states the Index labels failed or failing.
This is aid at gunpoint, it is also called stability operations, the reason the US Africa Command was created. The notion of stability is meant to be incoherent. It needs to be redefined for each country whose resources the US wants to acquire. Stability operations are needed to quell and control any groups or individuals who may stand in the way of perceived US interests, including acting against legally constituted governments.
Military aid and questionable trade are the twin pillars of US involvement in Africa. Imperial acquisition masquerades as humanitarian aid and manifests as the militarization of the continent through the US Africa Command, AFRICOM. Of course AFRICOM’s fact sheet speaks about working with military partners. These partners are intended to be proxies or surrogates that will provide stability without accountability for corporate interests to extract resources.”
Still true in 2018 as I’d written then:
Given that the US is supporting so many bad guys/worst guys on the continent, and the amount of strategic minerals there are to be plundered, and the availability of corrupt national leaders, none of it bodes well for the African people. It’s hard to think that the African 99% will be able to create existences of their own choosing and governance anytime in the future, but never if foreign powers remain to make sure of it.
From Christian missionaries to centuries of colonization by Europeans, from ruination of local self-sustaining agriculture throughout much of the continent that helped to create massive drought, hunger, and Diasporas, an AIDS epidemic like no other, slave trading…to the present re-colonization after successful revolts against their ‘owners’, and the new regimes like in South Africa still treating workers like dogmeat, my heart goes out to the people of Africa.’
May the Great Awakening of higher consciousness aid them in their struggles, and Africom leaves them the fuck alone and stops ‘creating the chaos’ thru CIA(USAID) spooks and over-stating attacks by radical leading to failed states they so love to…rescue in order to pillage and plunder resources.
Black Agenda Report Columnist Margaret Kimberley was back with us to discuss a new effort against the militarization of the African continent via the USA Africa Command or AFRICOM led by Black Alliance For Peace, Jared Ball, imixwhatilike.org
(Well, Miz Kimberly, one quibble: those are billions upon billions for Military Imperialism, not ‘defense’…after about 13 minutes the issues Ball had steered it toward were were pretty meh to me…)
‘What Western imperialism is up to now in Zimbabwe’, Netfa Freeman, pambajuka.org, Feb. 2018
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)