Tuesday, April 24, 2007

AFRICOM and the Oil

A previous post discussed the Chinese expansionism in Africa . However , the United States remain a big-player on the continent .

Recently formed was the military command structure AFRICOM . Stars and Stripes, the daily newspaper published for the U.S. military said :-

“AFRICOM’s purpose is to make Africa the primary concern of one combatant command instead of a ’secondary or tertiary’ concern for three other commands.”

Some analysts suggested that the formation of AFRICOM indicates that the Bush administration is planning to expand its “war on terror” into Africa. AFRICOM was formed shortly before the United States used the Ethiopian armed forces, backed by U.S. air power and small teams of special forces, to oust the Islamic Courts Union .

"U.S. Special Forces accompanied the Ethiopian Army when it stormed across the border in late December to support the besieged and isolated Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The United States also provided the Ethiopians with "up-to-date intelligence on the military positions of the Islamist fighters in Somalia," Pentagon and counterterrorism officials told The New York Times," wrote Conn Hallinan for Foreign Policy In Focus.

Why the concern of America with African politics ?

Simple .

Africa is expected to provide a quarter of all U.S. oil imports by 2015 .

And expect a lot more Washington meddling on the Gulf of Guinea. The gulf countries of Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, and the Congo Republic all possess huge oil reserves.

We read that General James L. Jones, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supreme commander, says the U.S.-dominated military alliance is “talking” about using its forces to protect oil tankers off the west coast of Africa and to provide security, according to the Associated Press, for “storage and production facilities in areas such as the oil-rich Niger Delta.”

NATO is doing more than talking though . In June of last year, NATO troops stormed ashore at Vila Dos Espargos on the Cape Verde Islands in a war game that modelled intervening in a civil war over energy resources.

Raping and pillaging foreign nations has a long history. There was a time when grabbing what thy neighbour had was the thing to do for any empire builder. As nation states and international laws developed, the methods became less obvious. Now, it is called guarding strategic interests.

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