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Somalis Under Relentless Drone Attack as U.S. Tightens Military Grip on Continent

Glen Ford

18drones_over_somalia.jpg

October 18, 2011


Africa, under President Obama, is an expanding theater of war for the United States. There are few points on the African map where the U.S. military does not operate, independently, through proxies, or by agreement with local governments and militaries. AFRICOM has penetrated the armed forces of the continent to a degree no single European power could have ever aspired. Indeed, "the U.S. has so thoroughly infiltrated African armies, many, if not most, would be of no use for national defense against the Americans."


"The overlapping entanglements have allowed the U.S. military to achieve deep penetration of the armed forces of most African nations."

Scores of Somali civilians have been killed in U.S. drone attacks in the southern region of the country, as Washington tightens its military grip on much of the continent. The current offensive involves thousands of Kenyan troops that are threatening the major Somali city of Kismayo. The American drones are supporting the Kenyan invasion. The drones’ origins are officially secret, but it is known that the U.S. operates drone bases in Ethiopia and Djibouti, which is home to a huge American base.

For all practical purposes, the U.S. has made proxies of Ethiopia and the five member states of the East African Community: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The Ugandans and Burundians safeguard the airport that is the lifeline for Somalia’s puppet regime in Mogadishu, where the CIA operates a major facility. In September, the militaries of the East African Community held joint exercises with AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command.

Such exercises with American forces have become commonplace. The U.S. Defense Department is busily training the militaries of Mali, Chad, Niger, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Zambia, Uganda, Senegal, Mozambique, Ghana, Malawi, and Mauretania. ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, is considering asking the U.S. navy to help it out with its pirate problem. Most of the militaries of the African Union already communicate with American command-and-control equipment, requiring U.S. advisors. The overlapping entanglements have allowed the U.S. military to achieve deep penetration of the armed forces of most African nations.

"Most of the militaries of the African Union already communicate with American command-and-control equipment."

In such a web of dependency, few standing African armies are capable of defending themselves – if the aggressor is the United States. But in most cases, the U.S. would likely get its way without a fight, since the officer class of so many African militaries have direct ties with their American counterparts. The U.S. has so thoroughly infiltrated African armies, many, if not most, would be of no use for national defense against the Americans.

The Americans are almost everywhere, but the French never left Africa. Although France and the U.S. were longtime rivals in Africa, waging proxy wars against each other through their African flunkies, their joint actions against Haiti and Libya, and in bringing down the government in the Ivory Coast, signal that the French and Americans are full partners in neocolonialism.

Now President Obama has officially sent 100 U.S. Special Forces troops to Uganda and neighboring countries, ostensibly to track down a rebel force. They will also operate in the new nation of South Sudan.

Meanwhile, the NATO attack on Libya threatens to set the whole northern tier of Africa ablaze, a pretext for further U.S. and French operations. American penetration of Africa has reached the point that any nation – such as Eritrea – that does not have a military relationship with the United States is marked for regime change. Instead of the pan-Africanist dream of a United States of Africa, we are seeing an Africa under the military thumb of the United States. For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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