Militarization of the African Continent

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The US-NATO Conquest of Africa

by Rick Rozoff:

The world’s oldest extant military bloc (formed 61 years ago) and the largest in history (twenty eight full members and as many partners on five continents), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, counts among its major member states all of Africa’s former colonial powers: Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium.

After World War II and the groundswell of anti-colonial sentiment throughout Africa and Asia, the European powers were forced to withdraw from most of the African continent, though Portugal retained its possessions until the 1970s.

Most every new African nation adopted some model of socialist-oriented economic and political development and the continent as a whole more closely aligned itself with the Soviet Union, which moreover had for decades supported the anti-colonial struggles in Africa, than with the West, both Western Europe and the United States.

With the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union nearly twenty years ago, the major Western powers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, united under the aegis of NATO, saw that as with the Balkans and the former republics of the Soviet Union itself, Africa was now wide open for penetration and domination.

NATO’s largest, most powerful and dominant member is of course the United States. On October 1, 2007 the Pentagon established United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) under the temporary wing of United States European Command, which at the time included in its area of responsibility all of Africa except for four island nations in the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa states and Egypt. (The first were in Pacific Command and the others in Central Command where Egypt, alone among Africa’s 53 nations, remains.)

A year to the day later AFRICOM was launched as the first new U.S. regional military command outside North America since Central Command was activated 25 years earlier in 1983. It takes in far more nations – 52 – than any other military command in history.

AFRICOM was conceived, carried, nurtured and delivered by the Pentagon’s European Command (EUCOM), based inStuttgart, Germany where AFRICOM headquarters are also based as no nation in Africa has yet volunteered to be the host.

The top commander of EUCOM is “dual-hatted” as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and has been from General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951 to Admiral James Stavridis today.

The three top EUCOM/NATO military commanders most instrumental in the creation of AFRICOM were General Joseph Ralston (2000-2003), General James Jones (2003-2006) and General Bantz John Craddock (2006-2009). Arguably Jones, former Marine Corps four-star general and current U.S. National Security Adviser, was the real father of Africa Command. [1]

The distinction between the Pentagon and NATO in relation to Europe and Africa – and increasingly the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea Basin, Central Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean – is blurred and more and more of a strictly formal nature.

NATO has now joined AFRICOM’s first war, in Somalia.
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