U.S. Military Activities in Kenya

By | December 2007

Once President George Bush’s special envoy to the Kenyan crisis, Jendayi Fraser (US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs) has admitted that the elections in Kenya were seriously flawed (a polite way of saying they are fraudulent) and ordered President Mwai Kibaki to meet the opposition leader, Raile Odinga, it was easy for the corporate Western media to forget that the United States Ambassador in Kenya only weeks earlier had declared the elections free and fair. Bush and Fraser’s hands were pushed by the emerging evidence that the elections were illegitimate and that the violence, on both sides, had been orchestrated.1 Maintaining a lopsided alliance with the Kibaki government would not be so easy in the glare of public opinion, now cast briefly on the Kenyan nation, and so we saw a total flip-flop in US policy. But neither position is contradictory as the US is heavily invested in stability in Kenya.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 78
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AFRICOM: The U.S. Militarization of Africa

By | December 2007

President George W. Bush approved a Pentagon plan in January 2007 to set up Africa Command Center, to be known as AFRICOM. According to the plan, the Command Center is set to complete and go into service by the end of September 2008. The United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed the new plans as he addressed the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on the defense spending President Bush proposed in his 2008 budget submitted to the Congress that, “The main purposes of the Africa Command Center would be to fight the war on terror, cooperation, provide humanitarian aid, building partnership capability, oversee security, defense support to non-military missions, and if directed, military training operations designed to help local governments.”

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 78
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AFRICOM: What Is It and What Will It do?

By | December 2007

Until the creation of Africom, the administration of U.S.-African military relations was conducted through three different commands. All three were primarily concerned with other regions of the world that were of great importance to the United States on their own and had only a few middle-rank staff members dedicated to Africa. This reflected the fact that Africa was chiefly viewed as a regional theater in the global Cold War, or as an adjunct to U.S.-European relations, or—as in the immediate post-Cold War period—as a region of little concern to the United States. But when the Bush administration declared that access to Africa’s oil supplies would henceforth be defined as a “strategic national interest” of the United States and proclaimed that America was engaged in a Global War on Terrorism following the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001, Africa’s status in U.S. national security policy and military affairs rose dramatically.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 78
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Peace Activists Must Oppose the US Africa Command

By | December 2007

In February 2007, President Bush announced that the Defense Department would create a new Africa Command (Africom) to coordinate U.S. government interests on the continent. Under this plan all governmental agencies of the US would fall under the military, i.e., USAID, the State Department, the US Departments of Energy, Treasury, and the Department of Education, etc. In pursuance of the plans for the militarization of Africa, the US Department of Defense announced the appointment of General William “Kip” Ward (an African American) as head of this new military command. On September 28, 2007, Ward was confirmed as the head of this new imperial military structure and, on October 1, 2007, Africom was launched in Stuttgart, Germany. The major question that is being posed by African peace activists and by concerned citizens is, why now? One answer may lie in the diminished power of the United States in the aftermath of the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will maintain in this article that it is urgent that peace activists who want reconstruction and transformation in Africa oppose the plans for the remilitarization of Africa under the guise of fighting terrorism in Africa.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 78



The Campaign to Resist AFRICOM

By | December 2007

In the summer of 2007, a group of concerned U.S. and Africa based organizations and individuals opposed to the creation of Africom—the new U.S. military command for Africa—came together in Washington, DC, to organize Resist Africom to campaign against the increasing militarization of U.S. policy toward Africa. ACAS voted to join Resist Africa at the membership meeting on 20 October 2007, during the ASA meeting in New York City. Resist Africom is working to educate people both in the United States and abroad about Africom and to mobilize people in a campaign to prevent the creation of Africom in its present form.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 78
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