In their self adopted role as the World's Policeman the USA have assigned 5 Unified Combatant Commands (COCOM) which are US joint military command composed of forces from two or more services, organized geographically ("Area Of Responsibility", AOR) .
Last summer, the then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a planning team to examine what it would take to get an Africa command up and running. In early December, Rumsfeld made the recommendation to President Bush, who authorized a new command on the same day Rumsfeld left office.
The U.S. have for a long time expressed concerned about the increasing infiltration of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, especially in the northern trans-Saharan region. The so called Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), based mostly in Northern Africa, the GSPC it is said represents a threat beyond the Continent, northwards to Europe.
The U.S. has launched a number of initiatives to counter the threat, including military and intelligence training missions by Special Forces units.The U.S. has other strategic interests in Africa. The continent will account for 20 to 25 % of U.S. energy imports by the next decade.
The US is also determined to enlarge their foothold on the continent in response to intensifying competition with China, India and others for influence and for access to resources ... and .. "rising commitments with respect to global health in Africa."
From February 2007 a new command USAFRICOM which is the whole of Africa minus Egypt commenced operations. This was was added to the present 5 and was carved out of of USEUCOM (virtually the whole African continent) , USCENTCOM (East Africa - The "Horn") and USPACOM (Madagascar).
This will include a lot of offshore real estate(with a lot of oil in places) including the Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, islands belonging to Equatorial Guinea, and the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
This new command will be established by September 30, 2008 and is temporarily housed at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany until the permanent base somewhere in Africa is constructed. Navy Rear Adm. Robert T. Moeller (see pic) arrived commenced the role of CEO on Feb. 26.
It is claimed that his deputy will probably be State Department official, rather than a military officer to emphasise the interagency mix, focusing the efforts of intelligence, diplomatic, health and aid - and perhaps to assuage a bit of fluttering in the ambassadorial dovecots of the dark Continent.
This new deployment and change in strategic structures does more however, in that it reflects a major change from a reactive involvement in the continent to a proactive commitment to secure US interests.
The Dark Continent, whilst it has not figured greatly in White House concerns (distracted no doubt by the noisy Zionist cabal and their more pressing and immediate concerns) has been of growing concern , especially since the 2003/4 conflicts in the Niger Delta, the origin of increasing quantities of oil ( and natural gas) on very direct shipping routes to the US region .
The Northern Sahara/Sahel region, is supposed to harbour the GSPC whose attacks on some army troops in Mauritania and the kidnapping of 15 tourists has encouraged the Algerina Government to draw in US support and access to arms. But there are secptics about the nature, role and effectiveness and origins of these fundamental Islamaist jihadists. Moussa Ould Ham, editor of Le Calame, an independent Mauritanian newspaper , is convinced a new strand of the GSPC, not focussed on regime change in Algeria, carried out the attack.
"Wherever the Americans are, whether it's Iraq or wherever, an Islamic resistance rises up, and perhaps it's this Islamic resistance that we are seeing appearing in Mauritania today."
There are other interest involved - a lobby group , the African Oil Policy Initiative Group (the child of The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) - see more later) held a symposium and issued a paper, "African oil, a priority for US national security and African development"
This urges Congress and the Bush administration to encourage greater extraction of oil across Africa, and to declare the Gulf of Guinea "an area of vital interest" to the US. Walter Kansteiner, US Under-Secretary of State for African affairs, is reported saying that African oil "has become a national strategic interest". Ed Royce, the influential Republican senator for California and chairman of the Congress African sub-committee, maintains "African oil should be treated as a priority for US national security post 9-11".
It is worthy of note that Equatorial Guineau's ambassador in Washington (brother-in-law of president Teodoro Obiang) attended the AOPIG symposium. Two thirds of Equatorial Guinea's oil concessions have been awarded to US operators with close ties to the Bush administration. William McCormick, boss of CMS Energy, contributed $100,000 to Bush's presidential inauguration ceremony they eventually sold their interests to Marathon Oil. Ocean Energy, another company at work in the Gulf of Guinea, employs Chester Norris as a consultant in Equatorial Guinea (he was Bush senior's ambassador there).The coastguards are trained (and probably run by) by Military Professional Resources Inc, who will soon be patrolling the offshore oilfields. This private company is managed by retired high-ranking Pentagon officers.
Triton, is also a prime mover in Equatorial Guinea whose chairman, Tom Hicks, made Bush a millionaire fifteen times over when he bought the Texas Rangers in 1998. Hicks's leveraged buyout firm, Hicks Muse, is Bush's fourth-largest career financial patron, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Devon Energy (who took over Ocean Energy) paid $350,000 into Riggs Bank accounts for students from Equatorial Guinea enrolled in training programs or universities abroad, according to a Senate report. Many if not all the students were the children or other relatives of government officals.
See this Wayne Madsen report on connections between President Obiang, Jack Abramoff, George Bush's uncle ,Jonathan Bush, Riggs Bank, money laundering the Abayak SA slush fund and who knew about the 2004 abortive coup against Obiang which involved Mark Thatcher and whose ringleader Simon Mann rests in the Harare slammer, Prop. president Mugabe.
Sudan, which started exporting oil six years ago,produces over 200,000 barrels a day. Nigeria, Africa's leading exporter of crude oil, is set to increase daily output from 2.2m to 3m barrels, rising to 4.42m by 2020. The next largest African producing nation, is Angola, by 2020 it is expected to double output to 3.28m barrels a day - Chevron supervises 75% of oil production in Angola.
Equatorial Guinea currently holds the record (alongside Angola) for oil prospecting permits. Over the next 20 years it could become Africa's third largest producer (ahead of Congo and Gabon) with 740,000 barrels a day...or even more with offshore interests included. Thee new producers do not of ocurse belong to OPEC.
US oil companies - the giant Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco, and operators such as Amerada Hess, Marathon and Ocean Energy - are investing more than US $10bn in African oil every year. (The Chad / Cameroon pipeline cost US$3.4Bn.)
The New York Times quotes Roger Diwan,CEO of the Petroleum Finance Company :
"There is a long-term strategy from the US government to weaken Opec's hold on the market and one way to do that is to peel off certain countries".The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), is a very odd think-tank set up in Jerusalem in 1984 with strong Likud support and a belief that:
Western societies are poised today to converge with Islam. Judeo-Christian, West European America is the enemy and target of these Elites. Particularly have White people become the target as these Elites, like Islam itself, have roused the huge and disaffected Black populations of the Americas, making them the instrument for Elite aims..blah ...blahMore here .....that has also shown a strong interest in the area and set up the African Oil Policy Initiative Group with members such as Barry Schutz an African specialist in the Bush Administration (Officially Office of Analysis for Africa, US state department), and Lt-Col Karen Kwiatkowksi (now retired and severe critic of Iraq ***) aUSAF officer seconded to work with Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld (remember the formation of USAFRICOM was approved by the President when Rumsfeld retired). See this IASPS Press release. and pic at top of article. "Changes in US Oil Policy : US will buy less oil from Saudis.
The U.S. Congress has approved $500 million for the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) over six years to support countries involved in counterterrorism against alleged threats of Al Qaeda operating in African countries, primarily Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, and Morocco. This program builds upon the former Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), which concluded in December 2004 and focused on weapon and drug trafficking, as well as counterterrorism. Previous U.S. military activities in sub-Saharan Africa have included Special Forces associated Joint Combined Exchange Training.
The Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative officially started in June with Exercise Flintlock 2005. US special ops forces trained their counterparts in seven Saharan countries, teaching military tactics critical for enhancing regional security and stability. There is also a diplomatic effort to encourage participating nations to work collaboratively toward confronting regional issues- mainly countering the alleged Al Quaeda threat.
The Trans Saharan initiative builds on the successful Pan Sahel Initiative, launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent terrorists from setting up safe havens in Africa. Other factors — war, poverty, disease, corruption and lack of education, among them — create an atmosphere of hopelessness where extremists' messages resonate, particularly with the younger generation. The very conditions that cause these humanitarian tragedies are also the very conditions that lead to breeding grounds for the kinds of threats that the US is most concerned about in this region.
TSCTI is being planned as a follow-on to the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI) that began in 2002, which helped train and equip at least one rapid-reaction company, about 150 soldiers, in each of the four Saharan states: Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.
The overall approach is straightforward: build indigenous capacity and facilitate cooperation among governments in the region that are willing partners (Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia, with Libya possibly to follow later if relations improve) in the struggle with Islamic extremism in the Sahel region.
TSCTI would support US national security interests in the "Global War on Terrorism" stopping the flow of illicit arms, goods, and people through the region helping focus nations to better protect their own vast borders and regions.
The Trans Saharan Counter-terrorism Initiative officially kicked off in June 2005 with Exercise Flintlock 2005.
Despite its successes, the Pan Sahel Initiative was constrained from its inception by limited funding and a limited focus. The Pan Sahel Initiative and the inroads it made laid important groundwork for the new Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative.
The new program will be better funded — it will receive about $100 million a year for five years. And unlike the program it replaces, the Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative will introduce a more comprehensive approach to regional security. The Defense Department will continue to focus on military operations, expanding its scope from the company to the battalion level.
The US Agency for International Development, for example, will address educational initiatives; the State Department, airport security; and the Department of Treasury, efforts to tighten up money-handling controls in the region.
One evident threat is posed by the newly active group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—AQIM in American military shorthand. Said to have been formed from Algeria’s Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, jopinerd forces local units of al-Qaeda. The GSPC itself emerged out of Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s, in which some 200,000 died. Its most recent attack, a car bombing in Algiers in April, killed at least 30 people. The CIA thinks that AQIM may have about 100-150 operatives, who could be “force multipliers”, meaning that they could train many more jihadists in the mobile training camps the Americans claim to have identified in northern Mali’s deserts near the Algerian border.
Stories are relayed that AQIM may link up with even murkier and vaguely anonymous groups groups, such as the Black Taliban of northern Nigeria. Blamed for an attack in April in the city of Kano. This killed scores of people - Black Taliban at work ? It is just as difficult to confirm / deny there exists a growing terrorist network elsewhere in the Sahel, and perhaps even a line of communication and supply reaching right across to Somalia and even on to Iraq.As a result of the 2004 global posture review, the Pentagon began implementing a number of Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs) and Forward Operating Sites (FOSs) across the African continent, through USEUCOM. These locations, along with Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, would form the basis of Africa Command facilities on the continent. See Post here on Camp Lemonier (Le Monier) In Jan 2006.
In Seymour M. Hersh's , piece in the New Yorker this month about Abu Ghraib and General Antonio Taguba he discloses that ,
"I was told by the former senior intelligence official and a government consultant that after the existence of secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe was revealed, in the Washington Post, in late 2005, the Administration responded with a new detainee center in Mauritania. After a new government friendly to the U.S. took power, in a bloodless coup d’état in August, 2005, they said, it was much easier for the intelligence community to mask secret flights there."Rule No 1 in building the Empire - Build the Prisons First.
**** Karen Kwiatowski :
"Many military professionals believe he (G Bush Jnr) is under the influence of neo-conservative ideologues led by deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz. "Bush isn't in control," says recently retired Air Force colonel Karen Kwiatkowksi.
A former Pentagon officer and Middle East specialist who once worked in the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, Ms. Kwiatkowski says key areas of government have been "hijacked" by "a network of political appointees in key positions . . . operating outside normal structures and practices." A self-described conservative, she says the neo-cons advocate "perpetual war to promote abstract global morality through military imperialism, propped up by muscular national socialism at home."November 27, 2003 by the Globe & Mail/Canada
Truth and Other Casualties by Monika Jensen-Stevenson
This clip from the SANE website referred to in the first comment shows their connection to IASPS.Visit the SANE website here.
A Clean Break:
A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.
- Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.
- Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
- Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform. etc., etc.,
- This document was of course the precursor of the Project for the New American Century PNAC
1 A Clean Break
2. PNAC produce their Project Document
3. 9/11 ( IASPS President and Founder is David Yerushalmi, and colleague of SANE founder Robert J Loewenberg. In 1991, teaming up with the Institute's policy experts, Yerushalmi was instrumental in establishing the Israel Export Development Co., Ltd., as an entrepreneurial policy tool to initiate radical free market reforms in Israel. Working along side fellow board members and shareholders such as Robert Tishman, Jerry Speyer, Larry Silverstein, Lawrence Tisch, Eugene Grant and Sy Syms)
4.Invasion of Iraq
perhaps another cycle is on the way
1. US Embassies bombed in Africa
2. IASPS produce African Oil Policy Initiative Group which publishes - "African oil, a priority for US national security and African development"
3. Rumsfeld makes plans for USAFRICOM
4. USAFRICOM is approved by Bush as Rumsfeld departs.
There is available a Congress Research Service report
CRS report for Congress
Africa Command : US Strategic Interests and the Role of the US Military in Africa
May 16th 2007 PDF Alert 35 Pages
This is a schematic map of the new area and it's origins.