• Pentagon planning to put U.S. troops in 35 nations across dark continent
By Richard Walker
The Pentagon’s recent announcement that it will send troops to 35 countries in Africa in 2013 confirmed the existence of a costly and foolish plan to occupy the violent and oft-troubled continent for decades to come. Ostensibly to address emerging threats from Islamic groups spreading across the Dark Continent, the real purpose is to counter growing Chinese influence throughout Africa.
Since 2010, China has spent more than $100B purchasing oil, gas and rare mineral rights throughout Africa. In that same period it provided $20B in cheap loans and relocated thousands of Chinese workers in an effort to improve infrastructure and transportation networks.
For centuries, violent tribes have roamed Africa, but today some of these tribes, especially on the eastern side, have converted to Islam. Representing no serious threat to the United States, they have only sought self-government by driving foreign influences from their countries.
Since 2007, Pentagon planners have secretly enhanced the U.S. military footprint across Africa, by dispatching special intelligence units, drone-launching technicians and Special Forces teams to “dark” bases in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Since then the U.S. has been rapidly increasing its presence, which could be used to strike at groups allegedly threatening U.S. interests, which effectively means oil and mining operations. It has become clear, however, that the U.S., using its military and technological assets as well as mercenaries and Special Forces teams from “friendly” African countries, would not be in a position of dealing with tribal and ethnic conflicts, which have always defined much of the violence across Africa.
The Pentagon will soon have thousands of U.S. soldiers across Africa, a sizable number of whom will be Special Forces and technical units specializing in drone operations. Mercenaries will also be used from the growing number of private war firms that have been setting up shop around the world.
It’s worth remembering the Vietnam War began with the assignment of a limited number of trainers and advisors. Within a few years, the U.S. military presence there numbered 500K troops.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.