by Rick Rozoff
May 5, 2010
Last year the commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM),
General William Ward, said the Pentagon had military partnerships
with 35 of the continent's 53 nations, "representing U.S. relationships that
span the continent." 
That number has increased in the interim.
As the first overseas regional military command set up by Washington in this
century, the first since the end of the Cold War, and the first in 25 years,
the activation of AFRICOM, initially under the wing of U.S. European Command
on October 1, 2007, then as an independent entity a year later, emphasizes
the geostrategic importance of Africa in U.S. international military,
political and economic planning.
Africa Command's area of responsibility includes more nations - 53, all
African states except Egypt, which remains in U.S. Central Command, and the
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), which is a member of the
African Union but which the U.S. and its NATO allies recognize as part of
Morocco, which conquered it in 1975 - than any of the Pentagon's other
Unified Combatant Commands:
The U.S. is alone in maintaining regional
multi-service military commands in all parts of the world, a process
initiated after World War Two as America pursued its self-appointed 20th
century manifest destiny as history's first worldwide military superpower.
Until October 1, 2008 Africa was overwhelmingly in the European Command's
area of responsibility, with all African nations assigned to it except for
Egypt, Seychelles and the Horn of Africa states (Djibouti, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan) overseen by Central Command, and three
island nations and a French possession off the continent's eastern coast
(Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion) placed under Pacific Command.
The month before AFRICOM began its one-year incubation under U.S. European
Command in 2007, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Ryan Henry said,
"Rather than three different commanders who
have Africa as a third or fourth priority, there will be one commander
that has it as a top priority." 
The Pentagon official also revealed that Africa
"would involve one small headquarters plus
five 'regional integration teams' scattered around the continent" and
that "AFRICOM would work closely with the European Union and NATO,"
particularly France, a member of both, which was "interested in
developing the Africa standby force". 
The Defense Department official identified all
the key components of Africa Command's role and adumbrated what has
transpired in the almost three-year interim.
By subsuming nations formerly in the areas of
responsibility of three Pentagon commands under a unified one, the U.S. will
divide the world's second most populous continent into five military
districts, each with a multinational African Standby Force trained by
military forces from the United States, NATO and the European Union.
Later the same month, the Pentagon confirmed its earlier disclosure that
AFRICOM would deploy regional integration teams,
"to the northern, eastern, southern, central
and western portions of the continent, mirroring the African Unionís
five regional economic communities... "
The Defense News website detailed the
geographic division described in Defense Department briefing documents
issued in that month:
"One team will have responsibility for a
northern strip from Mauritania to Libya; another will operate in a block
of east African nations - Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya,
Madagascar and Tanzania; and a third will carry out activities in a
large southern block that includes South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola...
"A fourth team would concentrate on a group of central African countries
such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Congo [Brazzaville];
the fifth regional team would focus on a western block that would cover
Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger and Western Sahara, according to
the briefing documents." 
The five areas correspond to Africa's main
Regional Economic Communities, starting in the north of the continent:
Arab Maghreb Union: Algeria, Libya,
Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
East African Community (EAC): Burundi,
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS): Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire,
Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal,
Sierra Leone and Togo.
Economic Community of Central African
States (ECCAS): Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Chad, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo
(Kinshasa), Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.
Southern Africa Development Community:
Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Africa's far northeast, in and near the Horn of
Africa, is in a category of its own, having long been subordinated to the
U.S.'s Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) based in
Djibouti where the Pentagon has approximately 2,000 personnel from all four
branches of the armed services.
The Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa
area of operations takes in the African nations of Djibouti, Ethiopia,
Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as well as
Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to Seychelles, the CJTF-HOA is
expanding its purview to include Comoros, Mauritius and Madagascar in the
Three years ago it was reported that the Pentagon had already,
"agreed on access to air bases and ports in
Africa and 'bare-bones' facilities maintained by local security forces
in Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal,
Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia." 
That is, in northern, eastern, western, central
and southern Africa.
The U.S. has maintained its military base in Djibouti, Camp Lemonnier, since
2003, established a naval surveillance facility in Seychelles last autumn,
and has access to base camps and forward sites in Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco,
Mali, Rwanda and other nations throughout the continent.
AFRICOM, as noted above, plans a central headquarters on the continent - its
current headquarters remains in Stuttgart, Germany, although Djibouti's Camp
Lemonnier functions as a de facto one in Africa - with five regional
satellite outposts in northern, southern, eastern, western and central
The African Standby Force is nominally under the control of the African
Union, but its troops are being trained and directed by the U.S., NATO and
the military wing of the European Union.
The website of the African Standby Force (ASF)
contains links to the following sites:
The African Union's secretariat, the African
Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is also one of the nations - Liberia and Morocco are others - that
has been discussed as a potential site for AFRICOM main headquarters on the
African Standby Force
Trained By U.S. Special Forces, Modeled After NATO Strike
Each of the five geographical units listed above is to supply a contingent
of up to brigade size (4,000-5,000 troops by NATO standards) for the African
Standby Force that is projected to be launched this year.
Two days before U.S. Africa Command was established on October 1, 2007, the
American armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes reported that,
"The command, scheduled to become
operational this week, will focus much of its activity on helping to
build the fledgling African Standby Force.
"It is hoped the force, being organized by the Ethiopia-based African
Union, or AU, will be ready by 2010. It would consist of five
multinational brigades based in the giant continent. Each brigade would
perform missions in its given region, such as peacekeeping when the need
"Gen. William E. Ward, nominated to become the first AFRICOM commander,
last week told the U.S. Senate in writing that U.S. troops would help
the brigades come to life."
Ward, earlier head of NATO's Stabilization
Force (SFOR) in Bosnia in 1996, said in his own words,
"AFRICOM will assume sponsorship of ongoing
command and control infrastructure development and liaison officer
support. It would continue to resource military mentors for peacekeeping
training, and develop new approaches to supporting the AU and African
Standby Forces.Ē 
This February a NATO website detailed the North
Atlantic military bloc's role in complementing AFRICOM efforts to build the
African Standby Force:
"NATO began providing support to the AU
Mission in May 2005 based on specific requests from the AU. NATO nations
supported [the] AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) by providing airlift for
32,300 personnel... NATO continues to support the AU mission in Somalia
(AMISOM) through the provision of strategic sea- and air-lift for AMISOM
Troop Contributing Nations on request. The last airlift support occurred
in June 2008 when NATO transported a battalion of Burundian peacekeepers
"Joint Command Lisbon is the operational lead for NATO/AU engagement,
and has a Senior Military Liaison Officer at AU HQ in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia. NATO also supports staff capacity building through the
provision of places on NATO training courses to AU staff supporting
AMISOM, and support to the operationalisation of the African Standby
Force - the African Union's vision for a continental, on-call security
apparatus similar to the NATO Response Force." 
The NATO Response Force (NRF) completed
what was described at the time as its final validation in the two-week,
7,000-troop Steadfast Jaguar military exercises in the African island nation
of Cape Verde in 2006.
Africa was the testing ground for the NRF and the NRF is the model for the
African Standby Force:
"Since June 2007, NATO has assisted the AU
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing airlift support for AU
peacekeepers. This support was authorized until February 2009 and the
Alliance is ready to consider any new requests from the AU. NATO also
continues to work with the AU in identifying further areas where NATO
could support the African Standby Force." 
"NATO is also providing, at the AU's request, training opportunities and
capacity building support to the African Union's long term peacekeeping
capabilities, in particular the African Standby Force." 
Berlin Plus agreements between NATO and
the European Union in 2002, the military components of both organizations
not only overlap and complement each other, but are being integrated at a
qualitatively higher level for overseas missions like those in and off the
coasts of Africa.
Three years ago French General Henri Bentegeat, then Chairman of the
European Union Military Committee, met with EU defense ministers in
Germany and an account of his comments included:
"The European Union's drive for a stronger
global military role includes an upgrading of ties with the United
Nations, NATO and the African Union... In addition to last year's
military mission in Congo and logistical help for African Union forces
in Darfur, Bentegeat said the EU wanted to help an ambitious AU program
to create a standby force for peacekeeping missions." 
Even before AFRICOM was activated as a separate
military command in the autumn of 2008, U.S. European Command was conducting
large-scale multinational military maneuvers in various regions of Africa to
train units for the five regional brigades that will form a unified,
continental African Standby Force.
Starting in 2006 U.S. European Command (and subsequently Africa Command) has
conducted annual Africa Endeavor multinational communications
interoperability exercises - frequently in nations on the strategic Gulf of
Guinea - with the participation of the armed forces of African, NATO and
European Union nations.
Africa Endeavor 2007 was held in Ghana and the
contributing countries were the U.S., Algeria, Angola, Belgium, Benin,
Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia,
Lesotho, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa,
Sweden, Uganda and Zambia.
It was jointly run by U.S. European Command,
U.S. Central Command and the nascent U.S. Africa Command.
"AE [Africa Endeavor] fosters better
collaboration in the Global War on Terrorism and supports the deployment
of peacekeepers in Sudan and Somalia.
"Furthermore, AE assists in establishing critical communication links to
enhance the African Standby Forcesís developments in command, control,
communications and information systems (C3IS) and strengthens national,
regional, continental and partner relationships... " 
Africa Endeavor 2008 was held in Nigeria and
included military personnel from 22 African and European nations as well as
"During the course of the exercise,
participating nations and organizations also continued their efforts to
develop standard practices and procedures for the African Union and its
African Standby Force." 
In 2005 the U.S. launched the first of regular
Flintlock multinational military exercises to initiate and expand the
Pentagon's Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI), formed in the
same year, to train the military forces of Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania,
Niger, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia. Washington's NATO allies
Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain are also involved in the
Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative.
The exercises are run by U.S. Special Operations Command Europe.
(In 2007 NATO announced that its Special
Operations Coordination Center would be headquartered at the same Kelley
barracks on the U.S. base in Stuttgart where AFRICOM headquarters are
An account of the initial 2005 operation divulged that,
"The U.S. government reportedly plans to
spend $500 million over five years to make the Sahara Desert a vast new
front in its war on terrorism... During the first phase of the
program, dubbed Operation Flintlock, 700 U.S. Special Forces troops and
2,100 soldiers from nine North and West African nations [participated]."
This year's 22-day Flintlock 2010, launched on
May 2, includes 600 U.S. special forces and 150 counterparts from Britain,
Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
"The objective of Flintlock 10 is to develop
military interoperability... Centered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, but
with tactical training conducted in Senegal, Mali, Mauritania and
Nigeria, Flintlock 10 will begin 2 May and end 23 May, 2010...
Flintlock 10 looks to build upon the
successes and lessons learned during previous Flintlock exercises, which
were conducted to establish and develop regional relationships and
synchronization of efforts among the militaries of the Trans-Saharan
"This exercise will take place in the context of the Trans-Sahara
Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Supported by the U.S. Africa
Command (USAFRICOM) and the Special Operations Command (SOCAFRICA), the
exercise will provide military training opportunities... " 
AFRICOM recently announced that the Special
Operations Command Africa,
"will gain control over Joint Special
Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara (JSOTF-TS) and Special Operations
Command and Control Element - Horn of Africa (SOCCE-HOA)," 
to centralize special forces activities in Africa.
Efforts to create the proposed African Standby
Force brigade in the north of Africa have floundered for several reasons.
Egypt is not member of the Maghreb Union nor is
it in AFRICOM's area of responsibility. Libya is one of the most vocal
opponents of AFRICOM. There is residual tension between Algeria and Morocco
over Western Sahara, which Algeria recognizes as an independent nation. But
Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia are all members of NATO's
Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program.
AFRICOM's plans for regional military intervention contingents are
proceeding more favorably in the east, west and south.
In June of 2008 the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS)
conducted a military exercise, Jigui 2008, in Mali with its fifteen member
"for the first time, the regional force
exercise involved the African Union, the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC), the multinational Standby High Readiness Brigade based
in Denmark (SHIRBRIG) and the Ethiopia-based Eastern African Standby
"All the exercises were supported by the host governments as well as
France, Denmark, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom,
the United States of America and the European Union.
"Jigui 2008 is consistent with previous training programs of ECOWAS and
is within the framework of the African Union (AU) Standby Force, which
seeks to have ready by 2010 one force by each of the Regional Economic
Communities (RECs) in Africa.
"The ECOWAS target is to create a 2,770-man Task Force of the 6,500
troops of the regional force which will be available under the control
of the AU [African Union]." 
A year before Senegal hosted military maneuvers
with several other West African nations - Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea
Bissau, the Republic of Guinea (Conraky) and Mali - to,
"test the (troops') deployment ability" with
military aircraft, vehicles and ships provided by France "ahead of the
planned creation of an ECOWAS standby force."
The participating states were trained to "form
the western battalion of the 6,500-men intervention force which ECOWAS wants
to set up by 2010.
"Army chiefs of ECOWAS member countries
agreed in June 2004 to create the permanent 6,500-man force, including
the 1,500-strong rapid reaction unit for troubleshooting missions."
Jigui 2009 was held in Burkina Faso with the
participation of U.S. Army Africa, the Vicenza, Italy-based Army component
Last month ECOWAS held a field training exercise in Benin, Exercise Cohesion
Benin 2010, which,
"aimed to evaluate the operational and
logistics readiness of the Eastern Battalion of the ESF, which is part
of the overall preparation for the operationalisation of the African
Standby Force by December 2010." 
In October of last year the Kenyan press
reported on Western involvement in building the African Standby Force
brigade on the eastern end of Africa:
"Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish
officers will assist the region in the ongoing establishment of a united
military force to deal with conflicts on the continent.
"Once functional, the East African Standby Brigade (EASBRIG) will be
deployed to trouble spots within 14 days after chaos erupts, to restore
order... The brigade will have troops from 14 countries.
"The experts from the European countries... are based at the EASBRIG
headquarters, at the Defence Staff College in Karen, Nairobi.
"Vice-Chief of General Staff Julius Karangi said the foreign experts
would help fast-track the process of setting up the standby brigade."
EASBRIG consists of troops from Burundi,
Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda,
Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, and through the Eastern
African Standby Brigade Coordination Mechanism is moving toward the
consolidation of the eastern wing of the African Standby Force.
The East African Standby Brigade is to be headquartered in Kenya, and last
November a field training exercise was held for it in Djibouti where the
U.S. has its main military base in Africa and France has its largest
A Rwandan news source wrote of it months
"The historical exercise brought together
approximately 1,500 troops, police and civilian staff from 10 countries
working side-by-side for the first time.Ē 
The most immediate site for the use of the East
African Standby Brigade is Somalia, where member states Ethiopia, Rwanda,
Burundi, Uganda and Kenya are already involved.
EASBRIG will also be available for operations in
Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic as well as against Eritrea. In
March of last year AFRICOM chief General William Ward,
"cited three areas of current conflict on
the continent, including border disputes between Eritrea and Djibouti on
the Horn of Africa and in North Africa [with] the Western Sahara, and
clashing in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
Speaking of the command he heads, Ward added,
"the United States was able to lend
assistance to Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and to a lesser degree... the
Central African Republic." 
The European Union, already involved in the
first naval operation in its history, European Union Naval Force Somalia -
Operation Atalanta, in the Horn of Africa, has deployed a military mission
to Uganda to train 2,000 Somali troops to defend the Western-backed
Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.
U.S. Warships Patrol African Coasts
In recent years U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa has developed the Africa
Partnership Station (APS) as a naval component of AFRICOM. Its first
deployment took the APS to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Senegal, Sao
Tome and Principe, and Togo, all on the Gulf of Guinea except for Senegal
which lies to the north of it.
In the same year, 2007, NATOís Standing Maritime Group 1, with one warship
each from Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and the U.S.,
started a circumnavigation of Africa with stops in the Gulf of Guinea and
"exercises in the Indian Ocean, off the
coast of Somalia... " 
At the time Admiral Henry Ulrich, commander of
U.S. Naval Forces Europe, said,
"The Global Fleet Station concept is
'closely aligned' with the task to be provided by the still-developing
U.S. Africa Command," 
... and later announced the departure of the USS
Fort McHenry and the High Speed Vessel Swift for a seven-month deployment to
the Gulf of Guinea in November of 2007 as part of the Navyís Global Fleet
The Africa Partnership Station is one of
several Global Fleet Stations recently set up by the U.S., others being
assigned to the Caribbean Sea and Oceania.
"As a dock landing ship, the Fort McHenry is
designed to help get U.S. personnel onto 'hostile shores,' according to
the Navy." 
Phil Greene, director of Strategy and
Policy, Resources and Transformation for U.S. Naval Forces Europe, added
that the USS Fort McHenry would have a multinational staff,
"partnering with nations such as France, the
United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and others who have an interest in
developing maritime security in that region." 
In fact the USS Fort McHenry first arrived in
"to take on passengers from several European
partners - Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Germany, among them -
before heading to the Gulf of Guinea," where it was joined by the High
Speed Vessel Swift to, "transport students as well as trainers during
visits to Senegal, Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, and Sao Tome and
In 2007 U.S. warships visited Mozambique for the
first time in 33 years and Tanzania for the first time in 40.
As part of Africa Partnership Station port visits last year, the
guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke traveled to Djibouti, Kenya,
Mauritius, Tanzania and South Africa, in the last case holding a week of
joint exercises with one of the nation's warships.
In February of 2009,
"for the first time the U.S. Navy [had]
warships on each side of the African continent as part of Africa
Partnership Stationís ongoing teaching mission with African nations."
To wit, a frigate in Mozambique, Kenya and
Tanzania and an amphibious transport dock in Senegal.
The month before a U.S. frigate became the first Navy warship to anchor off
Equatorial Guinea's mainland city of Bata "as part of the Navyís Africa
Partnership Station initiative," after visits to Cape Verde, Senegal, Benin
and Sierra Leone on its way to Tanzania and Kenya.
The U.S. charge díaffaires in Equatorial Guinea was quoted as offering one
reason for the visit:
"Itís the third largest oil- and
gas-producer in sub-Saharan Africa, with a significant foreign
investment footprint... " 
"The October 2007 initial deployment of the Africa Partnership Station (APS)
to the Gulf of Guinea and the coincident rollout of A Cooperative
Strategy for 21st Century Seapower signaled a strong American commitment
to leveraging U.S. sea power... The APS is a Global Fleet Station (GFS)
sea base designed to assist the Gulf of Guinea maritime community in
developing better maritime governance...
The Global Fleet Station, born out of a need
for military shaping and stability operations... is a proven concept for
this mission in such areas as the Gulf of Guinea and the Caribbean
Currently AFRICOM is leading the Phoenix Express
2010 maritime counter-insurgency exercise in the Mediterranean Sea with
Morocco and Senegal among other African nations.
Paralleling NATO's almost nine-year Operation Active Endeavor in the
Mediterranean which patrols the northern coast of Africa from the Suez Canal
to the Strait of Gibraltar, the U.S. Navy now regularly roams the African
coastline from where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean down to the
strategic oil-rich Gulf of Guinea and all the way south to Cape Town, then
north again along the entire Indian Ocean coast to the Red Sea.
Africa is encircled by U.S. and NATO warships.
Surrogate Armies To Control Africa Region By Region
On the mainland, the Pentagon has transformed the armed forces of Liberia,
Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia into military surrogates on both ends of the
continent. Since 2006,
"a U.S. State Department-led initiative...
has completely rebuilt the military in Liberia," according to AFRICOM.
Last October the commander of U.S. Army Africa,
Major General William B. Garrett III, visited Rwanda (whose military
is a U.S. and British proxy) and,
"stressed that the US army is interested in
strengthening its cooperation with the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF)."
Garrett confirmed that the U.S. was ready to
send more advisers and trainers for the Rwandan army and added,
"Likewise, we hope that the Rwandan Defence
Forces can also participate in our exercises. So we are hoping to
increase the level of cooperation between the US and the Rwandan Defense
Earlier in the year AFRICOM's General Ward also
visited Rwanda, where he,
"met with Rwandan defense leaders and
watched displays of Rwandan Defense Force (RDF) capabilities during a
two-day visit April 20-21, 2009." 
Late last year Ward visited Morocco, a U.S.
military partner for several decades, where he had paid two visits the
preceding year, and,
"discussed bilateral military cooperation
and opportunities to strengthen partnership between the Royal Armed
Forces and the U.S. Army."
Recently U.S. Marines trained Moroccan troops in
Spain ahead of 12-nation naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea.
This April 28 Ward paid his third visit to Botswana,
"where he discussed ongoing regional
security efforts and potential future military-to-military activities
with the BDF [Botswana Defense Force]... The BDF and U.S. military
conducted 40 cooperation events together in 2010."
The following day the AFRICOM chief paid his
first visit to Namibia where,
"he met with Namibia's National Defense
Force officials to discuss potential future cooperation activities."
On April 27 Brigadier General Silver Kayemba,
chief of training and operations for the Ugandan People's Defense Force
(UPDF), visited Washington to meet with Major General William B. Garrett
III, commander of U.S. Army Africa.
The Ugandan general was quoted saying on the occasion,
"This visit strengthens our relationship
with the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly with U.S. Army Africa. We are
looking forward to even closer cooperation in the future." 
Under an Africa Partnership Station program, a
130-troop Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Force has been
training military forces in Ghana, Liberia and Senegal.
The marine commander in charge, Lieutenant
Colonel John Golden, said,
"This is the cutting edge of phase zero
counterinsurgency," an aspect of "military-to-military training in a
very austere environment in areas where there hasnít been a lot of U.S.
military presence in the last 235 years.Ē 
A report by the Stars and Stripes on May 2
"At a remote military base in the jungle
city of Kisangani, an elite team of U.S. troops is attempting to retrain
a battalion of Congolese infantrymen."
The feature laid emphasis on the humanitarian
facet of the operation as reports on AFRICOM activities generally do, but
also contained these excerpts:
"There are economic and strategic incentives
to bringing more security to the Congo, which is rich in natural
resources such as cobalt, a key component in the manufacturing of cell
phones and other electronics. The country contains 80 percent of the
world's cobalt reserves...
An April 2009 report to Congress by the
National Defense Stockpile Center made clear that ensuring access to
mineral markets around the world is of vital interest to national
The U.S. is not dragging almost every nation in
Africa into its military network because of altruism or concerns for the
security of the continent's people.
AFRICOM's function is that of every predatory
military power: The threat and use of armed violence to gain economic and
1) U.S. Department of Defense, March 18,
2) Agence France-Presse, September 12, 2007
4) Defense News, September 20, 2007
5) Xinhua News Agency, May 28, 2007
7) Stars and Stripes, September 30, 2007
8) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
February 24, 2010
9) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, March 11, 2009
10) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, February 18, 2010
11) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 28, 2007
12) United States European Command, April 18, 2007
13) United States European Command, July 29, 2008
14) United Press International, December 28, 2005
15) U.S. Africa Command, March 31, 2010
16) U.S. Africa Command, April 30, 2010
17) Ghana News Agency, June 23, 2008
18) Agence France-Presse, November 29, 2007
19) Afrique en ligne, April 19, 2010
20) The Nation, October 29, 2009
21) The New Times, May 4, 2010
22) U.S. Department of Defense, March 18, 2009
23) Business Day (Nigeria), July 25, 2007
24) Stars and Stripes, June 14, 2007
25) Stars and Stripes, October 16, 2007
26) Stars and Stripes, June 14, 2007
27) American Forces Press Service, October 15, 2007
28) Stars and Stripes, February 1, 2009
29) Stars and Stripes, January 20, 2009
30) Afrique en ligne, April 13, 2010
31) U.S. Africa Command, April 29, 2010
32) The New Times, October 20, 2009
33) U.S. Africa Command, April 22, 2009
34) U.S. Africa Command, May 1, 2010
35) U.S. Africa Command, April 30, 2010
36) Marine Corps Times, May 3, 2010
37) Stars and Stripes, May 2, 2010