Tuesday, September 22, 2009
What is AFRICOM? Al Jazeera investigates
The 9/11 attacks on the USA have radically transformed American military strategy. The USA currently has a vast network of 730 military bases, with an estimated operational cost of 102 billion dollars a year, scattered throughout the world. Newly constructed, post 9/11, embassies can easily double as military bases. The new American embassy in Iraq, boasting a $600 million price tag, is the largest embassy in the world. The embassy is a 104 acre monstrosity that emphatically, if silently, affirms the permanence of American military presence in Iraq despite public declarations to the contrary. Besides the global proliferation of American military bases and embassies that look like military bases, there is a new command structure called AFRICOM, an example of new strategic US military thinking on the role that Africa plays in geopolitical affairs. Is this new strategy simply a cloak to secure African resources? Will sub-Saharan nations get sucked into America's so-called "war on terror"? Does AFRICOM impede or enhance African development? Is it a neocolonial institution or does it represent a positive step in African/Western relations? Thus far, African leaders have resisted locating the AFRICOM headquarters on African soil. Kwame Nkrumah advocated the establishment of a Pan-African High Command. Some worry that President Obama might entice Ghana's President Mills to allow AFRICOM to set up shop in Ghana. Here is an analysis of AFRICOM by two Pan Africanist scholars Jahi Issa and Salim Faraji. Also, peep the videos below.
Aljazeera's Rageh Omaar investigates AFRICOM
Expert panel discusses AFRICOM