Black Alliance for Peace & Kathryn Watson / CBS News – 2018-10-13 23:38:43
AFRICON in Senegal. September 24, 2015
ACTION ALERT: Black Alliance for Peace
Calls on US Government to Shut Down US Africa Command
Petition from: Black Alliance for Peace
To: House Armed Services Committee
October 1st marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of AFRICOM, short for US Africa Command. The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has launched US Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM, a campaign designed to end the US invasion and occupation of Africa.
“Therefore, we, the Undersigned, join Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) in its demand that AFRICOM be immediately dismantled. We say that AFRICOM is an integral part of the military industrial complex, that we oppose an embodiment of US imperialism, and it is therefore a great danger to the people of Africa and the world.”
ACTION ALERT: Sign the Petition
October 1, 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the US Africa Command — AFRICOM — that was created on October 1, 2008. The total estimated cost for AFRICOM in 2018 is $236.9 million.
AFRICOM’s establishment began the new scramble for Africa, an effort by the United States to practice full spectrum dominance over the entire continent with thousands of US troops now stationed in some 30 African countries with dozens of US bases across Africa.
The governments that have allowed the US to station US troops and bases in their countries have relinquished their sovereignty to the United States empire, whose goal is to prevent independent forces from emerging and to establish hegemony over the entire continent.
Therefore, we, the Undersigned, join Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) in its demand that AFRICOM be immediately dismantled. We say that AFRICOM is an integral part of the military industrial complex, that we oppose an embodiment of US imperialism, and it is therefore a great danger to the people of Africa and the world.
We demand that the members of the Congressional Black Caucus immediately convene congressional hearings on AFRICOM and that the United States close all of its military bases in Africa and cease using it to house drone bases and other means of state sponsored terror. Part of AFRICOM’s stated mission is to “promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.” But its very nature precludes the development of any of these conditions.
We say no to US interventions anywhere in the world and to the continued presence of military bases outside or inside the territory of the US We say no to any African government, which may agree to house the AFRICOM headquarters. Such an act would be a betrayal to the cause of independence for the entire continent and would be a further act of aggression against African people.
US out of Africa!
End the War on Africa and African people in the US and abroad!
Stand with the People —
Oppose War and Militarism in Every part of the World!
Close all US and NATO bases!
Where Does the US Have Troops in Africa, and Why?
Kathryn Watson / CBS News
(October 23, 2017) — The deaths of four US soldiers in Niger earlier this month — and the ensuing controversy surrounding President Trump’s calls to their families — has thrust a little-discussed country into the spotlight, and could lead to a reevaluation of the US presence on the African continent more generally.
The Pentagon has slowly been bolstering the US presence in Africa in recent years to partner with African nations to thwart various extremist terrorist organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Boko Haram and al Qaeda. The four troops slain in an ambush earlier this month — Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright — were in Niger to help the Nigerien government fight extremists.
The US has roughly 800 military personnel temporarily deployed to Niger, and rough 6,000 military personnel spread across the continent, according to US Africa Command (AFRICOM). Many of those troops are there to support African partners, alongside allies like France, with the goal of increasing the African nations’ own security capabilities and stabilizing the region.
AFRICOM only began initial operations 10 years ago, in October 2007.
Niger offers a glimpse of that growing presence. In February 2013, former President Barack Obama announced a 40-person increase in Niger, bringing the total number of US military personnel to 100. Back then, Obama described it as an “intelligence collection” mission. Now, the number of soldiers in the country is eight times higher.
A handful of African nations host the bulk of US military personnel, who are generally deployed on rotations for a few months at a time. Djibouti, situated across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, is one of the world’s smallest countries but currently hosts more US military personnel than any other African nation. Roughly 4,000 US military personnel on the continent — are temporarily deployed to Djibouti.
US troops have been in Djibouti for years. Camp Lemonnier is the only permanent US base in Africa, and serves as a key outpost for surveillance and combat operations against al Qaeda and other extremist groups in the region.
The country with the second most US military personnel deployed there is Niger, with roughly 800, according to AFRICOM. Next comes Somalia, Djibouti’s neighbor, with roughly 400 US military personnel. The fourth nation in terms of US military personnel is Cameroon, with more than 100.
The US does have some military presence in virtually every African nation, even if it’s small. Most nations, according to June figures from the Pentagon, have at least a handful of active-duty personnel temporarily deployed there.
The US strategy in Africa, as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said, is mainly to equip African forces and help allies like France abroad to build those nations’ security capacities, and stabilize the region.
“We call it foreign internal defense training, and we actually do these kinds of missions by, with and through our allies,” Mattis said on Thursday.
Violent extremist groups based in northern Mali and across the Sahel region in Africa, have proven to be resilient, flexible and capable of carrying out attacks across the border, according to AFRICOM. The groups there have relative freedom to move around, making attacks easier and posing a threat to Niger, other African countries and US military personnel.
Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of US Africa Command, called Africa an “enduring interest” for the US.
“Africa is an enduring interest for the United States,” he said in a statement provided by AFRICOM. “Small, but wise investments in the capability, legitimacy, and accountability of African defense institutions offer disproportionate benefits to Africa, our allies, and the United States, and importantly, enable African solutions to African problems.”
Copyright 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, for noncommercial, educational purposes.