Nigeria, South Africa, and several North African countries have now spoken out strongly against hosting the Africa Command. The US is claiming that Africom is just an aid agency with guns. But given the US military policy of Full Spectrum Dominance, it seems unlikely that development aid is what the US has in mind. This is particularly true in light of the fact that:
Since the beginning of the war on terrorism in 2001, the United States’ top 10 sources of oil imports have experienced a 350 percent increase in U.S. military aid and training.
Nigeria may be trying to reinforce the economic clout it has in West Africa, maintaining and expanding the hegemony it has enjoyed to date. Not all of the countries in West Africa will find this an appealing prospect.
Likewise, South Africa is probably trying to maintain and expand its hegemony in southern Africa. And not all countries in southern Africa will see this as benign.
And both countries would like to increase their clout throughout the continent. Nevertheless, both of these countries are IN Africa, which gives them some a bit more right to speak FOR Africa than countries on other continents.
The US will try to drive wedges between these countries and their neighbors, but the US, and its full spectrum dominance approach, is hardly benign either. The US interests are oil and terrorism. Regardless of what is said to African leaders or the African press, oil and terrorism is how Africom is reported in the US press. Like the “communists” of the cold war, who became anyone who stood between the US and what it wanted, “terrorists” are anyone who stands between the US and oil. The US version of the colony is the military base.
China has been ruthlessly exploiting resources throughout southeast Asia, and there is no reason to suppose it will suddenly become more selfless and benign as it operates in Africa.
There are a whole lot of rocks and hard places ahead.