TEMA, Ghana (Nov. 20, 2007) Builder 2nd Class (SCW) Errol Browning, right, explains the plans of construction to William Boafo, deputy Minister of Defense, Ambassador Pamela E. Bridgewater and Commodore Matthew Quashie, Ghanaian Eastern Naval Command, at the Africa Partnership Station (APS) ground-breaking ceremony commemorating initial construction of a new medical clinic, which is to be used by the Ghanaian military population and civilian population. (071120-N-8933S-152 U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class RJ Stratchko)

Ghana has a robust cooperative military relationship with the United states. As the Council on Foreign Relations writes:

Under President Kufuor, Ghana has been a strong contributor to peacekeeping operations, both on the continent and internationally. It currently has deployments in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and Congo, with smaller numbers of UN observers in other locations. Ghana is a leader in its subregion, and in 2007, Kufuor was the president of the African Union.
. . .
The United States views Ghana as one of its strongest allies on the continent. “The United States has found a key African partner in Ghana in many respects,” (PDF) says the 2008 U.S. foreign aid report to Congress. The United States is among Ghana’s top trading partners, and U.S.-Ghana military cooperation is robust. Ghana houses a U.S.-European Command-funded Exercise Reception Facility, which facilitates troop deployments within the region. It is also supportive of the U.S. Gulf of Guinea Initiative to improve coast guard capacities, monitor fisheries, and cut back on narcotics trafficking.

It looks more and more like Ghana is being groomed to play the role of Djibouti for the US in West Africa, becoming the West African center for AFRICOM’s activities. When you look at the photos from the APS, African Partnership Station, the USS Fort McHenry, you can see how active the APS has been in Ghana. There are many pictures of APS personnel working with Ghanaians on various infrastructure and humanitarian style projects, meeting together, and engaged in military training, just like in Djibouti. It looks like more pictures, and more varied activities than in the other countries visited. All the infrastructure projects also shore up the infrastructure supporting ongoing US military presence. Following the pattern in the CJTF-HOA, the model for US AFRICOM, military personnel rotate in and out of Ghana, very few stay for long. But even though they are always leaving, they are always arriving, with large numbers of US military personnel always present in Ghana.

Thomas Barnett wrote:


CJTF-HOA has since become the essential model for Africom, which is likely to replicate its de facto sub-unified command model in Africa’s northern, western, southern and central regions, corresponding to the African Union’s desire to stand up five regional peacekeeping brigades. In effect, Africom will represent a “franchising” of the CJTF-HOA model, complete with its innovative take on the so-called 3D approach of integrating defence, diplomacy and development activities into a synergistic whole.

The US is still marketing the 3 Ds, despite the unfortunate and inevitable comparison with the 3 Cs. ([King] Leopold [of Belgium] kept a close eye on developments in the exploration of Africa and saw in it his great opportunity to make a fortune, all in the name of the “3 Cs“: Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization.)

It also looks increasingly like the US intends to use AFRICOM to undermine and replace the African Union, hence the peacekeeping cuts just before Bush’s trip to Africa. Replacing the AU with AFRICOM looks like what Barnett describes.

Added 5/08: You may also want to take a look at my earlier article: AFRICOM, US military bases, and Ghana, which provides some more detail.