After writing about how partnering with AFRICOM works, and what it means, in this blog, and at African Loft, and that Djibouti is the model, we hear the same thing from a former commander in Djibouti:
“As CJTF-HOA (Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa) transitions to U.S. Africa Command, it will only enhance their ability to be more engaged and more perceptive as all of Africa comes under one command and one focus,” said Helland. “They can combine all of the assets and all of the energy and all of the resources that are available to focus on a unified, coordinated effort across Africa to enhance security and stability and to help the partner nations as they think they need to be helped.”
AFRICOM, will be structured as an inter-agency command with State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development officers filling positions usually reserved for uniformed personnel. A great deal of AFRICOM’s mission and focus will be determined by the countries in their area of responsibility — those on the African continent.
CJTF-HOA is positioned to serve as a model for AFRICOM
It was the CJTF-HOA that engineered the destruction of the only functioning government Somalia has had in 15 years. I wrote that the model for AFRICOM includes aid to win hearts and minds, and special forces, to enforce the Bush/neocon military agenda. If you look at the bottom of the story quoting the commander in Djibouti, you will see a list of related articles that indicate the aid activities, and some joint military training with Djiboutians. This is the happy face of partnering:
CJTF-HOA vaccinates herds in civic action program
CJTF-HOA celebrates school dedication in Ali-Adde
Former commander visits CJTF-HOA, gives insight into future
CJTF-HOA partners with USAID to distribute medical supplies
CJTF-HOA personnel, French compete in Slim Cat challenge
Photos : Admiral Fallon visiting CJTF-HOA
Djibouti air force, Camp Lemonier work to build stronger partnership
Interview with 2nd Lt. Park
Marines Conduct Mil to Mil Training With Djiboutians
Djiboutians delight in the sounds of “Hot Brass”
But the good deeds, music, athletic competitions, and training exercises are only part of the story. The invasion and bombing of Somalia earlier this year was organized from Djibouti, the reason given was an attempt to catch al Qaeda members, although al Qaeda is not popular or welcome in Somalia. From my earlier post Proxy war in Somalia – another great leap backward:
Bush killed dozens of Somali civilians in bombing raids on fleeing civilians in an attempt to knock off a couple of the alleged dastards. He failed, of course; but at least the men, women and children who had their guts ripped out and their heads blown off and their limbs torn from their bodies died in a good cause. . .
. . .
It’s “worse than Darfur,” says the UN’s humanitarian chief, John Holmes.
But once again, terrorism had nothing to do with it, oil had everything to do with it:
Actually, there is no more reason to believe the Bush administration promoted this war, in clear violation of international law and the UN Charter, ‘to catch a handful of al-Qaeda men’, than that the invasion of Iraq was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. What has unfolded over the past three months flows from much larger strategic calculations in Washington.
. . .
On file are plans – put on hold amid continuing conflicts – for nearly two-thirds of Somalia’s oil fields to be allocated to the US oil companies Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips.
It was recently reported that the US-backed prime minister of Somalia has proposed enactment of a new oil law to encourage the return of foreign oil companies to the country.
Nigeria has a lot more oil than Somalia, at least from what is known to date. Bush must be thrilled to be partnering with Nigeria. And this partnering is already going on, with Nigeria, and a number of other countries. It was going on before Yar’Adua’s visit to the White House. You can see the pictures of partnering at work, training, conferring, and assisting, at the photogallery of the African Partnership Station, the USS Fort McHenry, currently deployed along the coast of West Africa, and partnering with a number of countries. You can type the name of a country into the search box on the upper right of the page, and see related pictures where the APS has visited. I don’t know if the USS Fort McHenry docked in Nigeria, but it did engage in some training activities with Nigerian military. AFRICOM is already in the neighborhood.
Note: Thanks to the article by Werther at antiwar.com for the title of this post.