Why Are US Troops in Africa?

Art Mobley-Contributing Journalist

The lack of transparency in US military operations in Africa has African Americans questioning the need for wasteful structures like The US Africa Command or AFRICOM.  Post-Colonial Africa has always been a party to the movement of Non-Aligned States and has never requested US or European intervention.

Black Hawk Down

AFRICOM’s mission statement and footprint in Africa expanded drastically after 9/11.  The excuse for putting more boots on the ground is the usual fear-based, “hunt for terrorism.”
In reality, the US mission in Africa is largely focused on continued revenge for the infamous, decades old ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident, while policing the strategic access to the Red Sea.  AFRICOM is based next door in the sprawling US military facilities in Djibouti.  From there, US Special Ops continue to target the people of Somalia. As in Fallujah, Iraq, mobs of Somali citizens dragged those American GIs from attack helicopters nearly 25 years ago.  To those Somali citizens, US Helicopters and Troops were attacking their country.  US Military standards dictate avenging every fallen brother 100 times.  Somali lives are meaningless under such brutal concepts.  One man’s terrorist is always another woman’s freedom fighter.
AFRICOM is steeped in mop-up operations in Libya, Chad, Nigeria and Niger following the war against Qaddafi and his family.  AFRICOM is still engaged in pursuing Libyan loyalists who fled south and west into these countries.  Boko Haram became famous after the Libyan attack and is still used as an excuse to pursue anti-US and European forces in the region.
AFRICOM supplies guards to police oil fields in Uganda, Sudan and Nigeria while renting various contractors to secure diamond gold and other strategic mineral mining in Congo, Sierra Leone.
The propaganda war seeks to paint China as the intervening power, even though China has no troops or military bases in Africa.
Art Mobley is a Journalist and a Co-Convener of The Darfur 23

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