27 June 2008

AFRICOM: The New U.S. Military Command for Africa

On 6 February 2007, President Bush announced that the United States would create a new military command for Africa, to be known as Africa Command or Africom. Throughout the Cold War and for more than a decade afterwards, the U.S. did not have a military command for Africa; instead, U.S. military activities on the African continent were conducted by three separate military commands: the European Command, which had responsibility for most of the continent; the Central Command, which oversaw Egypt and the Horn of Africa region along with the Middle East and Central Asia; and the Pacific Command, which administered military ties with Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean.

27 June 2008

Why Is The Pentagon Marching Into Africa?

On February 6, 2007, President Bush announced that the Pentagon would create a new military command for Africa—to be known as AFRICOM—thus significantly raising the continent’s status in American military strategy. Few Americans even noticed at the time and most are still unaware of this startlingly dangerous development. So why is this new military command being created? Why is it being created at this time? What does it mean for Africa? And what does it mean for America, for America’s access to Africa’s oil, for America’s security from terrorism, and for the future of the men and women who serve in America’s armed services?

26 February 2008

The Campaign to Resist AFRICOM

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.

5 January 2008

U.S. Military Activities in Kenya

Now that 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 is easy to forget that the United States Ambassador in Kenya only weeks ago declared the elections free and fair.

1 May 2006

The African “Oil Rush” and American National Security

Compared with the Middle East, Africa possesses a relatively modest share of the world’s petroleum reserves: about 9.4% of proven world reserves, compared with 61.7% for the Middle East. Nevertheless, the world’s major oil-consuming nations, led by the United States, China and the Western European countries, have exhibited extraordinary interest in the development of African oil reserves, making huge bids for whatever exploration blocks become available and investing large sums in drilling platforms, pipelines, loading facilities and other production infrastructure. Indeed, the pursuit of African oil has taken on the character of a gold rush, with major companies from all over the world competing fiercely with one another for access to promising reserves. This contest represents “a turning point for the energy industry and its investors,” in that “an increasing percentage of the world’s oil supplies are expected to come from the waters off West Africa,” the Wall Street Journal reported in December 2005. By 2010, the Journal predicted, “West Africa will be the world’s number one oil source outside of OPEC.”

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