The neoconservatives and the military-industrial complex have a new target in their sights: Africa. Concerned that the U.S. isn’t involved in enough wars and conflicts, the neocons are itching to get entrenched in another prolonged invasion and occupation, one that will further drain America’s resources and lead to the loss of even more lives. How is this making America great again?
Earlier this month, after four service members were killed on a training mission in Niger, the media were not pondering why the U.S. was bogged down in Africa. Instead, the media concentrated on trivial bickering between President Donald Trump and Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL). For millions of Americans, this was the first time that they ever heard of U.S. forces having a presence in the region.
What makes matters worse is that many in Congress were unaware of it, too. Speaking in a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Senator Lindsey Graham revealed that he didn’t know 1,000 U.S. military personnel were stationed over there. Ditto for Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted, “You know you are in too many wars in too many places when even warmonger Lindsey Graham can’t keep track anymore.”
He’s right. How can Senator Graham, who never saw a war he didn’t like, not know?
Expanding Counterterrorism Efforts in Africa
Despite being championed as a peace candidate and winning a Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-war rhetoric, President Barack Obama expanded the war on terror, not only amplifying current operations but also allocating manpower, resources, and facilities to Africa.
What started off as a so-called mission creep, President Obama’s new foreign policy focused on Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, and Niger. Today, the U.S. military is scattered across Central and West Africa.
The October 4 attack, which killed four and wounded two, should serve as a reminder to all Americans that the foreign policy of the last 17 years has been nothing but tragic. Senator Graham, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and others are not deterred, promising greater attention on Africa.
Following a meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Graham, who was agog, told reporters:
“The war is morphing. You’re going to see more actions in Africa, not less; you’re going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less; you’re going to have decisions being made not in the White House but out in the field.”
Some of the strategies will include enhancing lethal force, adopting a “status-based targeting” system for suspected terrorists (kill suspected terrorists even if they’re not an immediate threat) and deploying more troops in an advisory capacity.
As the U.S. witnessed with the blundering of Libya, this will only lead to more bloodshed and blowback. Unfortunately, for the Lindsey Grahams and the John McCains of the world, war is a habit that can’t be broken. Since the U.S. is unlikely to invade North Korea for the time being, the neocons need to engage in another military escapade to feed their addiction.
Just wait until you hear Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin or Ralph Peters claim in the coming months that Swaziland’s King Mswati III, Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo are literally Hitlers.
The Rise of China in Africa
Of course, like the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, the government may say that the operations in Africa are for a specific reason: terrorism. That said, the government is not known for its candor.
Why is Africa the new combat zone? Perhaps it’s a case of another power trying to take control of the region.
In the last decade, China has invested an estimated $60 billion as politicians, lenders and government-owned enterprises seek out opportunities and aim for greater geopolitical influence in Africa. Between 2003 and 2017, China has invested $24 billion in Egypt, $6 billion in Nigeria, $6 billion in Algeria and $4 billion in Mozambique. In 2014, Chinese-African trade topped $220 billion, up from $10 billion in 2000.
Zimbabwe, home to one of today’s most brutal dictators in President Robert Mugabe, has been bailed out thanks to China’s $4 billion investment – reportedly, there may even be a Disneyland near Victoria Falls! There have been controversies, though, including taking over farms that used to be owned by white families until Mugabe stole them away.
The rest of the world may view Africa as a barren wasteland consumed by carnage, but China does not.
Although Africa suffers from instability, poverty, and violence, the continent is rich in resources: gems, precious metals, oil, iron ore, copper and the list goes on. This serves as a tremendous opportunity for not only Chinese businesses, particularly those in construction and manufacturing, but also the central government.
Pundits argue that this is a form of neo-colonialism, but officials say that China is providing education, infrastructure and financial aid, something that the region desperately needs.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, told The Financial Times:
“[This is] the most important single development for Africa in this generation.
They know how to build big projects. They know how to get them done.”
It is only a matter of time before U.S. interests accuse China of being the aggressor in this situation.
A Failure in the Making
If Africa is the next target for neocons and Warhawks, then we can easily forecast the results: failure.
Afghanistan has gone on longer than the Second World War. Iraq destabilized the region. Libya led to the migration crisis. Syrian intervention helped produce ISIS. How many more disasters do the neocons need before they concede defeat and admit they were wrong?
Three-time presidential candidate and former Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) made an interesting point on The Ron Paul Liberty Report earlier this week:
“What makes them think they’re going to solve the problems of Africa any better than they’ve solved the problems of the Middle East?”
Foreign policy expert Daniel McAdams quipped that Africa may be the only place left the U.S. can invade because they’ve lost everywhere else.
The U.S. government maintains more than 700 bases around the world and is stationed in 130 countries. War-obsessed policymakers and analysts want to go to war with Iran and North Korea. The U.S. is $20 trillion in debt, faces $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and an inflation bomb is set to go off. And now the Pentagon wants to launch a vacuous crusade into Africa. What is going on here?
As Liberty Nation has reported, the neocons have found a new ally in the left – you know, the group that used to be anti-war. With the neocon-leftist convergence, President Trump, who campaigned on a less interventionist foreign policy, may be pummeled into submission and have no other choice but to pull the trigger on these global excursions.
That is not what Trump’s base wants. That is not what most Americans want. That is not what America’s Founding Fathers wanted. The neocons have dominated foreign policy for too long. The only way to Make America Great Again is to stop this militarism, bring the troops home and run the David Frums and Bill Kristols out of town. Sorry, Senator Graham, an African invasion is a boondoggle-in-the-making.
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