A Senseless Cathedral of Doom: The Twenty-Eighth Newsletter (2021)

15 July 2021 — Tricontinental

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Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

In early June 2021, the United States military led a major military exercise on the African continent: the African Lion 21.  Major General Andrew Rohling of the US Army’s Southern European Task Force said it was the ‘largest US military exercise ever conducted on this continent’. The African Lion military exercise, which was first held with the Kingdom of Morocco in 2002, is – in the words of US Africa Command – an annual ‘joint, all-domain, multi-national exercise … to counter malign activity in North Africa and Southern Europe, and increase interoperability between US, African, and international partners to defend the theatre from adversary military aggression’. African Lion 21, which included the armed forces of 21 countries including Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Italy, Libya, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, took place in Morocco and in the occupied territory of Western Sahara as well as in Senegal and Tunisia. The overall military exercise – with over 7,000 soldiers – was conducted under the leadership of the US Africa Command with the assistance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

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Defending Our Sovereignty: US Military Bases in Africa and the Future of African Unity

5 July 2021 — Tricontinental

Dossier no. 42  Co-publication with The Socialist Movement of Ghana’s Research Group

01072021 Dossier 42 images 1Some of AFRICOM’s known permanent and semi-permanent military bases on the African continent, 2019.

How do you visualise the footprint of Empire?

The images in this dossier map some of AFRICOM’s military bases on the African continent – both ‘enduring’ and ‘non-enduring’, as they are officially called. The satellite photos were gathered by data artist Josh Begley, who led a mapping project to answer the question: ‘how do you measure a military footprint?’

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Burkina Faso: How to Destroy a Nation in 10 Years

2 July 2021 — Consortium News

Danny Sjursen offers a U.S. case study in Burkina Faso on how to destroy a country in a decade.

April 10, 2018: Burkinabe soldier arriving at Niamey, Niger, during Operation Flintlock, an annual, integrated military and police exercise inaugurated in 2005. (U.S. Air Force, Clayton Cupit)

By Danny Sjursen
AntiWar.com

If the U.S. government was trying to destroy Burkina Faso, it could hardly have done it any better. This  already impoverished, landlocked West African country is simply symptomatic of Franco-America’s Sahel-wide exercise in absurdity.

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New Report Reveals US Special Forces Active in 22 African Countries

10 August 2020 — Mint Press

The US has roughly 6,000 military personnel scattered throughout the continent with military attachés outnumbering diplomats in many embassies across Africa.

A new report published in South African newspaper The Mail and Guardian has shed light on the opaque world of the American military presence in Africa. Last year, elite U.S. Special Operations forces were active in 22 African countries. This accounts for 14 percent of all American commandos deployed overseas, the largest number for any region besides the Middle East. American troops had also seen combat in 13 African nations.

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Africa as Colonial as Ever: US “New Africa Strategy” Old Oil in New Bottles

17 April 2019 — Mint Press

Months after U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the “New Africa Strategy” at the Heritage Foundation, the US’ new policy has killed civilians, exploited Africa’s resources and used the continent as a battleground for provoking tensions with Russia and China.

by Cale Holmes and Erica Jung

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Battlefield Libya: Fruits of US-NATO Regime Change By Tony Cartalucci

10 April 2019 — New Eastern Outlook

 Libya is back in the news, as fighting escalates around the capital, Tripoli

Forces under the control of Khalifa Haftar – a former Libyan general under the government of Muammar Qaddafi – turned opposition during the 2011 US-led NATO intervention – turned “opposition” again against the UN-backed “Government of National Accord” (GNA) seated in Tripoli – have most recently reached Tripoli’s airport.

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Bolton Threatens to Force Africa to Choose Between the US and China By Glen Ford

26 December 2018 — Black Agenda Report

The Americans wager that they can exercise veto power over African political alignments by force of arms, through AFRICOM’s massive military infiltration of the region.

“The ‘West’s’ political economies are spent forces, incapable of either keeping up with China’s phenomenal domestic growth or of competing with China in what used to be called the Third World.”

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Washington seeks permanent deployment of special forces brigade to Africa By Eddie Haywood

16 April 2018 — WSWS

Republican Senator James Inhofe of the Senate Armed Services Committee last week sent a letter to Secretary of the Army Mark Esper outlining a proposal that would constitute an increase in troop levels deployed under AFRICOM, as well as broadening the American military’s footprint across Africa.

In his letter, Inhofe requested the Army secretary give his views regarding the assignment to AFRICOM of one of the six new Security Forces Assistant Brigades (SFAB). The special brigade, if deployed, would provide an additional 500 troops on a permanent basis for AFRICOM.

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For WaPo, ‘What Next in Africa?’ Doesn’t Include US Getting Out By Gunar Olsen

26 March 2018 — FAIR

Washington Post: Pentagon grapples with a thorny question after Niger ambush: What next in Africa?

The Washington Post (3/19/18) thinks the question is thorny, so it makes sure to prune the answers.

“Pentagon Grapples With a Thorny Question After Niger Ambush,” a recent Washington Post headline (3/19/18) read: “What Next in Africa?”

Among the possible answers not considered by the Post article: “Close US military bases,” “End US drone strikes” or “Stop US special forces raids.”

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This week the issue is not Trump. It is ourselves By John Pilger

17 January 2017 — John Pilger

On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”

And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.”

Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.

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