USAFRICOM and the Militarization of the African Continent: Combating China's Economic Encroachment
Since the time of the British Empire and the manifesto of Cecil Rhodes, the pursuit of treasures on the hopeless continent has demonstrated the expendability of human life. Despite decades of apathy among the primary resource consumers, the increasing reach of social media propaganda has ignited public interest in Africa’s long overlooked social issues. In the wake of celebrity endorsed pro-intervention publicity stunts, public opinion in the United States is now being mobilized in favor of a greater military presence on the African continent. Following the deployment of one hundred US military personnel to Uganda in 2011, a new bill has been introduced to the Congress calling for the further expansion of regional military forces in pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an ailing rebel group allegedly responsible for recruiting child soldiers and conducting crimes against humanity.
As the Obama administration claims to welcome the peaceful rise of China on the world stage, recent policy shifts toward an American Pacific Century indicate a desire to maintain the capacity to project military force toward the emerging superpower. In addition to maintaining a permanent military presence in Northern Australia, the construction of an expansive military base on South Korea’s Jeju Island has indicated growing antagonism towards Beijing. The base maintains the capacity to host up to twenty American and South Korean warships, including submarines, aircraft carriers and destroyers once completed in 2014 – in addition to the presence of Aegis anti-ballistic systems. In response, Chinese leadership has referred to the increasing militarization in the region as an open provocation.
A report issued in 2000 by Canadian Professor Michel Chossudovsky and Belgian economist Senator Pierre Galand concluded that western financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank financed both sides of the Rwandan civil war, through a process of financing military expenditure from the external debt of both the regimes of Habyarimana and Museveni. In Uganda, the World Bank imposed austerity measures solely on civilian expenditures while overseeing the diversion of State revenue go toward funding the UPDF, on behalf of Washington. In Rwanda, the influx of development loans from the World Bank's affiliates such as the International Development Association (IDA), the African Development Fund (AFD), and the European Development Fund (EDF) were diverted into funding the Hutu extremist Interhamwe militia, the main protagonists of the Rwandan genocide.
The ostensible role of the first African-American US President is to export the theatresque War on Terror directly to the African continent, in a campaign to exploit established tensions along tribal, ethnic and religious lines. As US policy theoreticians such as Dr. Henry Kissinger, willingly proclaim, "Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World,” the vast expanse of desert and jungles in northern and central Africa will undoubtedly serve as the venue for the next decade of resource wars.