The US drive to create proxy wars in Africa continues. The New York times published the article: U.S. Training in Africa Aims to Deter Extremists describing US military activities in Mali. Once again the NYT assists the Bush administration to catapult the propaganda for the Africa Command. The US is preparing African militaries, this time in Mali, for proxy war. During the Cold War proxy war between the US and Russia militarized and devastated the continent. Many of the effects continue to the present.
KATI, Mali — Thousands of miles from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, another side of America’s fight against terrorism isunfolding in this remote corner of West Africa. American Green Berets are training African armies to guard their borders and patrol vast desolate expanses against infiltration by Al Qaeda’s militants, so the United States does not have to.
The biggest potential threat comes from as many as 200 fighters from an offshoot of Al Qaeda called Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which uses the northern Malian desert as a staging area and support base, American and Malian officials say.
To address this “threat” from what may be a 200 strong force, there is a:
… a five-year, $500 million partnership between the State and Defense Departments includes Algeria, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia, and Libya is on the verge of joining.
That seems like a lot.
Of course the reason for training African military proxies is to guard oil sources, oil routes, and to protect those governments that are amenable to US corporate control of the oil trade, regardless of how they treat their citizens or their neighbors.
As b real points out in Understanding AFRICOM – Part II:
Of course, there is also a capital-intensive oil infrastructure, including pipelines, in this 3,000-mile stretch of land – called the Sahel – that runs through Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad, on into Sudan.
Some Africa specialists complain that since 9-11 the United States has wrongfully collapsed the Sahel’s manifold problems into an all-too-simple issue: hunting bad guys. “We are exaggerating the whole terrorism thing,” said Robert Pringle, a former ambassador to Mali
Actual proof of transnational terrorist networks and international financing in Africa, however, has not been delivered, and specialists have debunked many of the perceptions advanced in the GWOT. In addition to the observation that “[t]here is little evidence of a significant terrorist threat in the West African countries visited,”
If an organized, non-state international terrorist structure actually even exists, it has little chance, and no luck so far, penetrating and organizing clan and tribal societies in Africa. Much of the “terrorist” rhetoric amply demonstrates the biases and ignorance of the strategists and promoters.
As Daniel Volman wrote, DoD’s focus in these countries is on “efforts to strengthen the security the security forces of oil-producing countries and enhance their ability to ensure that their oil continues to flow to the United States.”