The United States military presence in Africa continues to grow with 3,000 troops reportedly heading to the continent at the top of 2013 to protect the nation’s expanding interests, reports the Centre For Research On Globalization.
by Kirsten West Savali, NewsOne
Army Times news service reported that the U.S. is expected to deploy more than 3,000 soldiers to Africa in 2013. They will be assigned to every part of the continent. Major General David R. Hogg mused: “As far as our mission goes, it’s uncharted territory.” But the presence of U.S. soldiers in Africa is nothing new, and even though Hogg is unwilling to admit it, the obvious mission is to lock down the entire continent.
The U.S. military has at least a dozen ongoing major operations in Africa that require hands-on involvement by U.S. troops. By ensuring that U.S. troops will be found in every corner of Africa, there will be little risk that any regions where U.S. interests are threatened will be left uncovered. For example, Mali has oil reserves and is strategically located, but it has been destabilized by a growing secessionist movement in the north. Conveniently, Mali has also been the site of a U.S. military exercise called “Atlas Accord 12” which provided training to Mali’s military in aerial delivery.
During this year, there have been other operations in other parts of the continent that were comparable in scale if not in substance.
*“Cutlass Express” was a U.S. naval exercise that focused on what is purported to be “piracy” in the Somali Basin region.
*“Africa Endeavor 2012” was based in Cameroon and involved coordination and training in military communications.
*“Obangame Express 2012” was a naval exercise designed to ensure a presence in the Gulf of Guinea, an area that is in the heart of West Africa’s oil operations.
*“Southern Accord 12” was based in Botswana and its objective was to establish a military working relationship between southern African military forces and the U.S.
*“Western Accord 2012” was an exercise in Senegal that involved every type of military operation from live fire exercises to intelligence gathering to combat marksmanship.
There have been a number of other comparable exercises with names like: “African Lion,” “Flintlock,” and “Phoenix Express.” In addition, U.S. National Guard units from around the country have been rotating in and out of countries that include, among others: South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, Tunisia, Nigeria and Liberia.