Africa Loves China

Recently Chief of Staff Bolton made a speech outlining the new US policy for Africa…and as usual I had to write about it……https://lobotero.com/2019/01/08/liberte-egalite-imperialisme/

According to the US point of view China is trying to get one up on the US in Africa….

A look at African natural resources distribution…..

Image result for Africa natural resources map images

But is all the US predictions actual fact or something more fanciful….

At the September 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, African Union Chairperson and Rwandan President Paul Kagame lauded the Chinese aid and investment strategy in Africa as a source of “deep transformation”. Kagame argued that the cooperation between China and Africa is based on mutual respect and is for the benefit of both partners. This sentiment is perhaps shared by most African heads of states and governments if their attendance of the summit is anything to go by.

However, despite the African leadership’s embrace of China as a valued partner, the view that Beijing is a “predatory” actor in Africa, attempting to recolonise the continent is also ubiquitous in foreign policy circles, media narratives and academia.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/africa-loves-china-190103121552367.html

All I want Americans to realize is that….not everything you hear is accurate….especially from this White House.

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Liberte, Egalite, Imperialisme

*********There is a wealth of information to take in but this will catch my reader up on the little reported American situation in Africa.*********

The US is not the only nation flexing its muscle in Africa….an old colonial power is back and extending its arm of power….France.

Nearly twenty-five years later, there are still no convictions for the assassinations that turned first Rwanda, then the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), into a vast killing ground. Not in the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR), where two investigations of Kagame were shut down, and where a judge told defense attorney Tiphaine Dickson, “We don’t investigate plane crashes [or Tutsis, only Hutus].” And not in the French or Spanish courts, where French and Spanish citizens claimed jurisdiction because their relatives died in the plane shot down or in the ensuing massacres.

The subtext of the Rwandan War and the Congo Wars was competition between the US/UK and France. France, which was then the dominant power in the region, had been the patron of Habyarimana’s Hutu government; the US and UK backed Kagame’s invading Tutsi army, which emerged victorious in 1994, declared that English would from thereon be Rwanda’s international business language, then invaded and occupied French-speaking Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) two years later.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/liberte-egalite-imperialisme-vive-la-france-in-black-africa/5664654

Not much is said these days about Africa even though the US has troops operating all over the continent…I try to keep up with the events in Africa for they are no less important than others…..

Our troops that are operating in Africa fall under the leadership of AFRICOM……the sad part is that in some cases the US troops appear to be an occupation force under the guise of advise and support…..

It should be noted that the US has been involved in the Sahel region going back to the early years of the George W. Bush administration, even before the establishment of AFRICOM, which was later greatly expanded by the Obama administration.

After 9/11, the United States began to grow its military footprint on the African continent under the guise of a ‘War on Terror’, selling this notion to a United States gripped with fear of terrorism. With programs such as the Pan-Sahel Initiative, later broadened into the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative, Washington managed to provide military and financial assistance to compliant countries in North Africa – a policy whose practical application meant that the US military became the dominant force in the Sahel region, supplying the human and material resources for which the governments of the region were starved. Naturally, this meant an implicit subservience to US military command.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/11/africom-a-neocolonial-occupation-force/

AFRICOM is operating in Africa proper……and most of it is secret to top secret to higher……

As the Pentagon was in the midst of reviewing new plans for special operations missions in Africa reducing overall troop numbers on the continent, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis designated three new named contingency operations.

The most recent quarterly report from the Department of Defense Inspector General notes the creation of Operation Yukon Journey, a counterinsurgency operation in Yemen, and counterterrorism operations in both northwest and east Africa.

Those were named in February, according to the report. The report covered activities in Operations Inherent Resolve from July to September.

With that said….2019 and the Trump administration has a new African strategy……

I speech by NatSec adviser Bolton gave to the Heritage (go figure…if you want to spread BS then Heritage is your starting point)…..

Well, Kim, thanks very much, and thanks to you and Kay for inviting me here. I’m delighted again to be here at the Heritage, an institution that really has contributed so much to the public policy debate for many decades now in the United States. And I’m particularly pleased to be here to unveil the Trump administration’s new Africa Strategy, which the President approved yesterday, and which the administration will begin executing immediately.

This strategy is the result of an intensive interagency process, and reflects the core tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy doctrine. Importantly, the strategy remains true to his central campaign promise to put the interests of the American People first, both at home and abroad.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-national-security-advisor-ambassador-john-r-bolton-trump-administrations-new-africa-strategy/

This new strategy is all about China and less about Africa…..

President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton outlined the US administration’s new Africa strategy in a speech last week at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC. The main tenets of the strategy, including the prioritisation of trade and investment, combatting of terrorism, and better-targeting of US foreign aid in Africa, are on the whole sensible. The US has already increased the promotion of private sector engagements in Africa as a key lever for development and should continue to support US investment in Africa.

Unfortunately, the positive aspects of the strategy were a little lost in the speech because the new US Africa strategy is not really about Africa. It’s about China.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/new-us-africa-strategy-not-about-africa-it-s-about-china

Few African nations see this as an Africa strategy…more like trying to hedge all policies to confront China…..

The strategy calls for an end to the dissipation of aid across a multitude of projects and in the name of many causes. The US is the largest provider of development assistance world-wide and to Africa, spending $8.7 billion on the continent alone in 2017. USAID maintains more than two dozen regional and bilateral African missions. Nothing much amiss with this idea either. As Ambassador Bolton correctly noted, one of the comparative strengths of the Marshall Plan was in its targeting of key economic sectors. Yet problems in the operational ineffectiveness of aid is not only confined to Africa. It is also at least as much a donor problem as one of the recipients. The high transaction costs of aid reflect the multiple domestic constituencies in the donor countries that need to be assuaged, highlighting institutional priorities and politics that are seldom African in origin.

https://qz.com/africa/1501023/president-obasanjo-says-trumps-africa-strategy-cant-rival-china/

As usual the US African policy has very little to do with Africa and everything to do with the US and its desires for plunder.

But don’t tell anyone…US Troops expand their mission in Africa……

While the election in Congo was relatively quiet, the US is expecting that there will be protests when the results are announced. The anticipation is enough that President Trump has ordered to send troops to neighboring Gabon, and is warning the Congolese not to protest.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is reporting that the US sent about 80 troops and “appropriate combat equipment” to Gabon for the fight, President Trump has said more troops will deploy as needed to Gabon.

The election is between the ruling party’s candidate Ramazani Shadary, and opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who is backed by the Catholic Church. The Catholics appear to be anticipating a Fayulu win, and have warned of an “uprising” if an untrue result is released.

Shadary is backed by long-standing dictator Joseph Kabula’s family, and has accused the Catholics of being “irresponsible and anarchist” in their attitude toward the election.

(antiwar.com)

While American troops are deployed in Gabon because of situation in Congo….a coup breaks out in Gabon…..

Soldiers from Gabon’s Republican Guard have appeared on state television saying they have launched a coup “to restore democracy” in the West African country. Early Monday a soldier who identified himself as Lt. Obiang Ondo Kelly, commander of the Republican Guard, read out a statement saying the military has seized control of the government. He was flanked by two others holding weapons and all were dressed in camouflage uniforms and green berets, the AP reports.

A curfew has been imposed over the capital, Libreville, and the internet has been cut. The city is being patrolled by military tanks and armed vehicles, but no violence has been reported. President Ali Bongo, in power since 2009, has been out of the country since October amid reports that he had a stroke. He recently addressed the country in a New Year’s message that was filmed in Morocco, where he has been receiving medical treatment. In his brief New Year’s speech, the 59-year-old Bongo declared that the country was “indivisible” and acknowledged his health problems without giving details. “A difficult period,” he called it, and a challenge that he surmounted “thanks to God.”

US Troops seem to always be in the wrong place at the right time…..hopefully this will not get uglier.

Need we say more?

The Great Cashew Riot

My Sunday and cooler weather it is enjoyable……maybe enjoy some fruit and nuts in the garden….speaking of nuts…….

Did you know there was a great cashew riot?  We have seen all kinds of riots…race riots, Zoot Suit riots, even some milder form of food riots…..but a nut riot?  A Cashew Riot?

In 2013 the shortage of cashew nuts led to about 20 farms being burned down…….well it is happening again….the problem is so severe that the army has been put on call…..

Traders have been given a Monday deadline to buy crops from farmers at an approved price, and not below.

If this does not happen, Mr Magufuli said he will send dozens of military trucks to collect the entire crop.

Cashew nut exports are a major foreign-currency earner for Tanzania.

Farmers have for weeks been refusing to sell their harvests, arguing that the private traders’ offers are too low.

On Saturday, Mr Magufuli accused traders of attempting to rip off thousands of farmers and ordered them to increase their price offers to around $1.3 (£1; €1.15) per kilogram (2.2 pounds).

The president says he is working to ensure thousands of farmers get a fair price for their cashew nuts and also so that the country does not miss out on vital export earnings.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46166985

That is right…..cashew riots are possible…..I love my cashews but I do not think I could riot over the lack of them….but then I do not depend on a harvest now do I?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend…..we will pick up where we left off Friday come Monday morning…..

Be well, be safe!

Secrets The Dead Reveal

I once heard a major say that the “dead reveal their secrets”….he was referring to the Viet Cong that been killed and the intel that was garnered off their bodies…..but the same could be said for many other dead….like those Americans killed around the world or more specific in Africa…..

Because of American dead we learned that we have troops operating in countries like Niger and Mali to mention only a few……in Niger we had 4 Americans killed in an ambush and in Mali we had friendly killing friendly…..

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/27/what-are-u-s-forces-doing-in-niger-anyway/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/07/suspicious-death-in-mali/

As the Pentagon was in the midst of reviewing new plans for special operations missions in Africa reducing overall troop numbers on the continent, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis designated three new named contingency operations.

The most recent quarterly report from the Department of Defense Inspector General notes the creation of Operation Yukon Journey, a counterinsurgency operation, and counterterrorism operations in both northwest and east Africa.

Those were named in February, according to the report. The report covered activities in Operations Inherent Resolve from July to September.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/11/06/report-reveals-few-details-about-new-named-contingency-operations-in-africa/

Another report is out and it looks like AFRICOM will be losing some of its operating overhead…..

The Pentagon is mulling plans to wind down special operations missions on the African continent and reassign troops to other, more in-demand regions.

The plans, submitted by a top U.S. military commander, align with the Trump administration’s strategy to focus on near-peer threats from countries like China and Russia.

“No decision has been officially made regarding the U.S. counterrorism forces operating in Africa,” a Pentagon press official told Military Times. “In light of the [2018 National Defense Strategy’s] updated priorities, the [DoD] is reviewing plans, operations, and military investments across the globe to develop the best options that address the evolving threat to U.S. national interests.”

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/08/02/report-africom-looks-to-cut-special-ops-missions-pull-out-hundreds-of-troops-from-africa/

I for one would like to see more of our troops return home…..we already have enough wars we are fighting why look for more?

A Terrorist ‘What If’

Our  Dear Leader is saying that ISIS has been defeated….my question is in which region are they defeated?  As far as I can tell they are still active just not as bad ass as they were 3 years ago…..regardless they are still there….another con job played on his supporters.

Even with that president guy saying differently the military is concerned………

What keeps U.S. Africa Command chief Gen. Thomas Waldhauser up at night? That remains unknown, but the analysts under his command are worried about terrorist organizations like the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and Boko Haram combining forces and destabilizing large swaths of the African continent.

Planning documents issued in October 2017 and classified by Waldhauser detail the worst-case scenarios imagined by the command. The forecasts, which are an update to AFRICOM’s Theater Campaign Plan and were obtained by The Intercept via a Freedom of Information Act request, center around potential gains by terrorist organizations in the north and west of the continent, specifically Libya, the Sahel, and the Lake Chad basin. They offer a nightmare vision of a destabilized, crisis-ridden region that could – if the worst happens — fall increasingly under the control of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/12/boko-haram-isis-west-africa-africom/

But let’s say ISIS is as Trump says defeated….what is next?

With the Islamic State’s caliphate in ruins, one of its affiliates could grow to become even more deadly and operationally capable than the core organization was during its peak in 2015. With ISIS franchise groups and affiliates across the globe, there is no shortage of contenders to supplant ISIS as the world’s most dangerous terrorist group.

Many factors could fuel the rise of a new Islamic State (ISIS) offshoot, including the relative weakness of the security forces in the area where the terrorists are operating, so it difficult to discern which affiliate could become the next major threat. Additionally, measuring the threat will require an intimate understanding of an affiliates’ capabilities, the degree to which safe haven and sanctuary are available, and the relative ease with which the group can replenish its resources.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2018/10/09/predicting_the_next_isis_112892.html

In my opinion we need to stop fighting a tactic and try something new……a new direction…..not ever answer of a bigger bomb is the best answer.

The United States is engaged in an unusual global war, fighting a tactic rather than an enemy nation. Unlike traditional warfare, it is possible that this war between the US and terrorist networks will not produce a clear winner. The US and its allies have been involved in military engagements over the past decade and a half, costing the US taxpayer an estimated $1.5 to $5.6 trillion dollars. The longer the US remains embroiled in this armed conflict, the less likely it is that such a war ends favorably from an American perspective. While US defense strategy will need to include counter-terrorism efforts for decades to come, it is time to end the war by beginning to reframe the narrative behind the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/stop-fighting-war-against-tactic

A new Congress……. maybe this is something to consider…..just a thought.

This Is Africa

Many Americans hold very little knowledge about the continent of Africa…..not because they may not care but because our media shows little interest in the region.

I try to be fair and write about all parts of the world and since I have some loyal visitors from Rwanda, Zambia, Cameroon, Tunisia and Kenya I try to write more often than not.

I have a few stories about both North Africa and the sub-Sahara….first Start with North Africa…..the US is slowly expanding its presence in Tunisia…..

U.S. Africa Command spokesperson confirmed in a Task & Purpose report that Marine Corps Raiders were involved in a fierce battle in 2017 in an unnamed North African country, where they fought beside partner forces against militants of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AFRICOM acknowledged that two Marines received citations for valor but withheld certain details, such as the location—undisclosed due to “classification considerations, force protection, and diplomatic sensitivities.” The command also said the Marine Special Operations unit was engaged while on a three-day train, advise and assist operation. However, subsequent research and analysis strongly suggest U.S. involvement runs much deeper. In fact, the dramatic events described in the award citations obtained by Task & Purpose align with those that took place in Tunisia, which has been combatting a low-level insurgency in its western borderlands for the past seven years. Evidence indicates the battle occurred at Mount Semmama, a mountain range in the Kasserine governorate, near the Algerian border. There, the United States sustained its first casualty in action in Tunisia since World War II.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/america-quietly-expanding-its-war-tunisia-31492

Next stop is the West of the Continent….Nigeria….

Islamic State in Nigeria might kill healthcare workers it has held hostage since March within 24 hours, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Sunday, calling for mercy and urging Nigeria’s government to intervene.

Medical workers Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Alice Loksha were working in the town of Rann when they were kidnapped along with ICRC midwife Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, who was killed in September, the ICRC said in a statement.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-security/islamic-state-in-nigeria-might-soon-kill-health-workers-schoolgirl-icrc-idUSKCN1MO0GA

Speaking of terrorist groups like Boko Haram….women have a role in this organization as well……

Women’s involvement in Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin is well known. However their role in the activities of the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), operating across the Sahel, appears to be less direct. What makes these groups include or exclude women from their ranks and operations?

Since it was formed in March 2017, the JNIM, a merger of four terror groups in Mali – Ansar Dine, Katiba Macina, al-Mourabitoun and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – has carried out numerous suicide attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

The group claimed responsibility for the 14 April 2018 attack on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and the French operation Barkhane in the Timbuktu region. Following the attack, then Barkhane commander General Bruno Guibert mentioned the involvement of a woman suicide attacker in the operation.

Two weeks later JNIM published a communiqué to deny the allegation, stating that in its doctrinal approach, women do not participate in operations or in combat. The statement said Muslim nations still had enough men willing to take on combat roles.

https://issafrica.org/iss-today/the-role-of-women-in-west-africas-violent-extremist-groups

I am ashamed of what the US and its leaders have done to Africa…..we come to help and end up doing just as much damage as the events were were there to prevent……like the recent visit of Mrs. Trump to Africa……

If Melania really wanted to warn Africans, she would have worn a pantsuit. Hawk Hillary has brought slavery back to Libya, and even was tacky enough to cackle about it on live television. Then there was that 100 million dollar donation to the Clinton Foundation, by Lundin for Africa. Um, is this charity? Lundin is an oil and mining company based in Canada. There was also a 20 million donation to the Foundation from Ethiopia’s repressive leader Meles Zenawi. And ties to businessman Gilbert Chagoury brought along shady land deals in Nigeria. Also of note is her State Department arming of child soldiers in southern Sudan. I mean this could go on and on. Between the Clinton Foundation and an ugly State Department reign, there appears to be pantsuit pollution in about every country in Africa. She’s a basket case of deplorable!

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/12/the-colonial-pantsuit-what-we-didnt-want-to-know-about-africa/

In closing I would like to thank all my visitors from the countries of Africa….I appreciate your loyalty….THANK YOU!

Revisit The “Dark Continent”

I have written about the ever expanding special ops in Africa….not just a few countries I mean the whole damn continent.

https://lobotero.com/2016/07/13/africa-the-dark-continent/

As I said “the ever expanding” role of US Special Ops in Africa….

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/30/us-military-presence-in-africa-all-over-continent-still-expanding.html

Writers like myself try to keep people informed on how the US military is being used (or should that be “misused”)….mostly without their permission (that means elected official is not authorizing these wars of attrition)……

It hardly matters where you look. There are the nearly million-and-a-half weapons that the Pentagon shipped to war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. As a recent study shows, it evidently lost complete track of hundreds of thousands of them, many of which seem to have simply gone on the open market in countries where buyers are unlikely to be the crew of our dreams. Or there’s the $6.5 trillion (that is not a misprint) that the accountants for a single service, the U.S. Army, seem to have lost track of in 2015. Or there’s the simple fact that the Pentagon is utterly incapable of conducting a successful audit of itself or, on a minor note, that its officials can’t even keep track of which of their underlings go to strip clubs, “adult entertainment establishments,” and casinos on the taxpayer dollar. You could say that, though it swallows up at least $600 billion-plus a year of our money, it’s an organization that seems remarkably comfortable knowing remarkably little about itself (which means of course that you know next to nothing about it).

http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2016/09/06/mission-impossible-keeping-track-us-special-ops-africa/

The point is the more places and troops deployed the better the chances are that someone will be killed……and that needs to be controlled by the representative bodies….as it is today…they are not!