04.02.2020 Author: Phil Butler

Africa Relations: For the Sake of American Prosperity at Home


Between the lines, this is where the truths of Anglo-European neocolonialism are found. Just read Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the new Cold War is revealed as the same old domination game. The United States is leaving some troops in Africa to counter “moves” by Russia and China. This is the narrative. But nobody announced a Russian or Chinese invasion of the African continent.

Still, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the Pentagon does not intend to remove all its forces from Africa because:

“China and Russia are seeking to counter the strategic access that we need for American security and American prosperity.”

What does this mean, reading between the lines, that is? Does American prosperity depend on the same stolen natural resources the American Defense Secretary claims Russia and China want? In the RFE/RL report the head of the US Africa Command General Stephen Townsend pointed out that Africa is a key battleground for the US to “contend” with China and Russia because he claims both are “aggressively using economic and military means to expand their access and influence.

The fact that General Townsend would be out of a job without a US contingent in Africa pops into my mind here. The good general also plays the Al Qaeda containment card as further reasoning for American troops on the ground in Africa. This seems funny since the United States had no trouble being friends with the extremists in Syria or anywhere the need suits. General Townsend, whose career is built on the senseless incursions and wars of the US since the Granada grandstanding mission under Ronald Reagan, he even rolls in the Trump Administration’s assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq to justify America’s Africa presence.

So, we have Russia and China as the boogeymen aggressors the US needs to protect herself from in Africa. The justification for the expenditures and our military presence seems to be necessary American neocolonialism, desired regime change, assassination, and creating a buffer zone against actors the United States has radicalized since the so-called “War on Terror” began. Or, “We need to keep doing this because we started all this, and we need to finish it.” Better yet, Generals and RFE/RL understand we never mean to finish any of this.

General Townsend became commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve on 21 August 2016. He was the US commander who benefitted most from Russia’s intervention in Syria since his CJTF-OIR coalition would have suffered many more casualties in Raqqa, Mosul, and elsewhere had Russian and Iranian forces not run ISIL out of eastern Syria. It’s important to note too, that one mission of CJTF-OIR has been to help Syrian Democratic Forces (YPG), establish and defend a new Kurdish state in oil-rich western Syria, and northern Iraq as a blockage to the Iranians. I won’t get into US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other coalition nations’ support for Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) here, America’s proxy wars are just too mixed up and soupy for short reportage.

It is important to mention that the Obama administration maintained plausible deniability about arming al-Qaeda in Syria. Then Vice-president Joe Biden feigned concern over Qatar’s support at a point. An interesting footnote here is the fact that Biden is running against Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for president. Gabbard, as some will recall, is a Major in the US Army who fought in the Middle East. She’s also blown the whistle on America arming terrorists, and is the strongest advocate of stopping these wars for profit.

“We have spent trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East while communities like Hawaiʻi face a severe lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, the need to invest in education, health care, and so much more.” – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Gabbard will probably not become president (unfortunately), and she’ll absolutely never make the rank of Army General. Enough about generals and their job security. Let’s take a brief look at one of the institutions that stand behind America’s warped geo-policy.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies is US geostrategy central in Washington. This is where Russia haters like the now-deceased Zbigniew Brzezinski formulated catastrophic ideas like the “Arc of Crisis”, the larger effort to keep Russia down and America up. The man who helped the Carter administration create “Russia’s Vietnam” in Afghanistan may be dead now, but his ideas on containing Russia are now deemed “Arc of Crisis 2.0” if you can believe it. There’s no space here to lay out the purpose of CSIS, but I recall that the CSIS hosted then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she delivered a keynote address on “US Strategic Engagement with North Africa in an Era of Change.” And how among us does not understand that Libya is one of the world’s worst geopolicy nightmares? This think tank is a tool of the world elites, the US military-industrial complex, and the morbid ideas of people like Brzezinski.

Now I’ll turn to the new cabal of Brzezinski wannabees and Alice Hunt Friend, a senior fellow at CSIS. She’s one of the “thinkers” who contrive the asinine US strategies. To these people regime change, economic and military force, and weaponized business are justifiable means to guarantee American “prosperity.” Take her report from 2018, for instance. “US National Security and Defense Goals in Africa: A Curious Disconnect.” The report blinds the reader with pseudo-intellectual false cognition – the rationale that perpetuates the world’s woes. Take this comment by the author concerning why America should invest in a “healthier Africa,” and compete with China for influence there:

“Corruption and weak governance threaten to undermine the political benefits that should emerge from new economic opportunities.”

Do you see it? Can you fathom what is going on in the land of the free and the home of the brave? We are creating ideological Frankensteins! This statement might as well read, “Why, they’re not trading Manhattan for shiny beads anymore!” Or, the think tanks in Washington are “figuring” out how to steal what’s left beneath the soil of Africa. The CSIS fellow goes on to suggest a greater role by the Pentagon in Africa affairs, not drawdowns like Gabbard and others want. She basically says there can be no progress in Africa economically, without the force of arms to back up policy. And yes, this is the 21st Century. I should point out that the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS lists major funding from defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and General Atomics.

Alice Hunt Friend was the principal director for African affairs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration. She was the country director for Pakistan from 2009. Now she’s studying civil-military relations of special operations, unmanned systems, and cyber warfare at the American University’s School of International Service, where I am sure she will hone her skills at convincing presidents to drone kill, spec-op, or hack our enemies to pieces in Africa. All, for the sake of “prosperity” at home, I might add.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”