Rageh Omaar presents a look at AFRICOM that touches most of the major issues of its origin and its continuing operation. There are two films, each divided into four parts: America’s New Frontline: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, and Diplomats or Warriors.

America's New Frontline, a film on AFRICOM

America's New Frontline, a film about AFRICOM (click once or twice to enlarge)

Considering the scope and complexity of the topic, these films do an excellent job of introducing the issues surrounding the creation of AFRICOM, and its ongoing actions and existence. Omaar considers how AFRICOM may continue to affect African countries where it operates.

AFRICOM was created by the Bush administration. It grew from the conflict between the Pentagon and State Department for control of foreign policy, which the Pentagon won. Its emphasis on military training and military solutions, called stability operations, has vast implications for the continent of Africa, the people who live there, and for the American people and their relationship with the world.

Here are the links, I highly recommend viewing both films.

America’s New Frontline: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, with links to all four parts.
Part 1 – 12:03
Part 2 – 10:20
Part 3 – 12:23
Part 4 – 11:03

I particularly recommend Diplomats or Warriors? 
Scroll down the page to see:
America’s New Frontline – Diplomats or Warriors?, with links to all four parts.
Part 1 – 9:35
Part 2 – 13:17
Part 3 – 12:11
Part 4 – 10:48

The films were produced and directed by Callum Macrae of Outsider Films, who was kind enough to contact me during the planning of these films.

I do not share Mr. Omaar’s optimism about Obama and recent events in Somalia. The US continues to prop up, and is escalating military attempts to maintain the TFG government, which was chosen in Djibouti by delegates approved and transported there by the US. Ambassador Ranneberger, who ran Somali policy for Bush, and continues running it for Obama, made remarks in an interview in September that sound exactly like a mob boss offering “protection”:

The US Ambassador to Kenya and also in charge of Somalia affairs, Michael Ranneberger, said Wednesday the only solution of the Somali problem is to support the Transitional Federal Government led by president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

It is important for the Somali people to know also, that the best way to end their suffering is by providing support for this transitional federal government because ultimately they will continue to suffer unless there is stability in Somalia, and the only way to bring about stability is through this Transitional Federal Government” Michael Ranneberger told Shabelle Media Network in an exclusive interview. *

This is a little taste and demonstration of the true meaning of stability operations. It isn’t pretty.  The films provide more pointers to other places on the continent destined for stability operations.


* h/t b real, whose Africa Comments are an excellent place to follow the unfolding story in Somalia.