After many years of a “diplomacy and aid dollars only” approach in Africa, the U.S. government has begun active military intervention, north of the equator. Quite disturbingly, while outwardly appearing to be engaged a campaign against Al Qaeda and its allies, these interventions have effectively supported Muslims (particularly the radical Muslim Brotherhood) while abandoning Christians. Witness: Libya, Egypt, and Uganda (against Kony’s LRA.) You’ve all seen the headlines: In 2011, U.S. air power was used in Libya, to back largely Muslim rebels. In late 2013, BHO slashed long-standing military aid to Egypt, indirectly aiding that nation’s Muslim rebels. Hillary Clinton’s State Department has also managed to ruin the formerly friendly relationships with Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, and Algeria. Notably, Morocco’s de facto annexation of Western Sahara which had tacit acceptance from previous U.S. administrations since the mid-1970s is now a source of friction.
While the American No Fly Zone and aerial bombardment campaign in Libya was largely a success (despite some friendly fire mishaps) there were unintended consequences. One of these was that Dictator Gaddafi’s demise caused both a power vacuum and the displacement of many Libyan arms and vehicles, mostly to the south. Since 2010, Al-Qaeda and its allies have been gaining ground in northern Africa, and the change of government accelerated this. The Tuaregs and other rebels now control vast stretches of the interior of Mali and Algeria. Inside the U.S. Special Forces community, the BHO regime’s policies in Africa have been described as “confused, at best.” Green Beret trainers who once assisted pro-western and predominately Christian nations in Africa have been “re-tasked.” They have recently been training Muslims in Libya and Muslims in Mali. While the government of Mali is ostensibly anti-Al Qaeda, the recent history of the region has shown that allegiances can shift rapidly. It is feared that the Malian soldiers that are now being trained and armed by the U.S. might later end up in an alliance with rebel groups. Even the leftward-leaning editors of The Washington Post are troubled by the BHO/Clinton policy changes in the region.
Hillary Clinton’s trans-Sahara gambit has had unintended consequences, and has led many to question the long-term effects. If the end results are better-trained and better-equipped Muslims, then we must ask: cui bono? In a little-publicized campaign, American trainers and technicians have been dispatched to at least nine countries including Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Central African Republic, and Niger. Tons of war materiel have quietly been shifted out of Iraq and into north Africa. Large American drone bases are humming in the Seychelles, Djibouti and Ethiopia. (And theirs eyes are not focused on just Yemen.) Special Forces trainers are operating throughout the region, ostensibly to teach counterinsurgency. But given the proclivities of their students, could that training later be turned toward insurgency?
In a recent e-mail, a SurvivalBlog reader and veteran with recent experience in North Africa noted: “One thing that comes to mind is the embarrassing fact that a few years ago, when all of the separate countries in Africa were asked if they would be willing to provide the US a base to headquarter AFRICOM from, they all basically said, ‘h*ll, no.’ AFRICOM is still headquartered out of Stuttgart, Germany.” He also noted: “I know that when the Chinese go in to extract resources, they actually provide entire infrastructures, such as roads, complete hospitals, schools, etc., while the US’s influence seems more military oriented, along with “Strategic Communications” (the new term for PSYOPS) than anything else. If anything, I think the US is losing at this game.” The same reader warned of China’s growing influence in Africa. For some background, he recommended the book Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World.
Most recently there have been rumblings that the U.S. might side with the rebels in the fledgling nation of South Sudan. While the troubles in South Sudan are primarily inter-tribal rather than along religious lines, “the great unspoken” subtext is that South Sudan is nominally Christian, while Sudan is Muslim. Some of the old Africa hands see BHO’s rumored stance in South Sudan as intentionally destabilizing, and has the effect of favoring Sudan rather than South Sudan.
I recommend that Americans keep a close eye on foreign policy and military aid shifts in Africa. BHO and Company have their own carefully-calculated agenda, and it is apparently not in the best interest of either the American people or freedom-loving Africans. – JWR