Tunisia – 30-12-2020
Written by Dr Badra Gaaloul, President of the International Center for Strategic Security and Military Studies
Translated by Rania Salah
The Dark Continent represents the great wealth reservoir and the guarantor of securing the future of the Great Powers, especially the United States of America.
The USA considers the African continent as its only resort, influence, and dominance spot, since the end of the cold war.
The United States seeks to take over the African continent through its strategy, mainly to control and exploit hydrocarbon, metallic, mineral, energy, and human resources, for they are the future.
The White House studies prove that in a decade from now, Africa will no longer be the poor and the colonized continent but will rather rise in the presence of many countries that succeeded to achieve high growth rates such as the Nigerian giant (10%) and the emerging Ethiopia (7%).
The United States seeks to limit the Chinese expansion, as China has become its biggest opponent on African territories. It also aims at sidelining the Arab role in the African countries, suggesting that Arabs and Islam are the main source of ignorance and underdevelopment. Slave trade emerged in Libya in the past years and is still present in other African countries such as Senegal and Benin.
Based on these inputs, the United States seeks to provide solutions to impoverished countries. Thus, the only way to redemption for nations suffering from terrorism and extremism are the American Beliefs and Values, as well as the US aids for development.
What is the truth behind the United States dealing strategies with Africa?
How does the United States maintain its position and strategic goals in Africa, in circumstances of increased rivalry with the Great Powers?
How does the United States deal with the competing International Powers inside the African continent?
1- United States strategy in dealing with the African Continent.
The United States of America does not change its General Strategies in dealing with both friendly and enemy states. However, the main difference resides in the details that serve the US interests in the first place.
In its strategies, the US relies on the principle of pragmatism and direct involvement.
Africa is considered a direct target, as it represents the richest continent in the world, with different energy, natural, and human resources, however, the poorest in terms of development. These elements put the African continent in the crosshairs of European and International greed, mainly the United States’.
Following the dismantling of the Eastern bloc and the fall of the Soviet Union, the American administration headed to Africa, being the continent of the future and “Ali Baba’s cave”, in which investments should be made and the axis game should be played.
This said, the United States will build a strong pole that compiles Ethiopia, Somalia, Eretria, and Djibouti. The second pole includes 12 African countries, South Africa, Western and Northern African countries, in addition to Sahelo-Saharan States. Each one of these countries is the center of interest of US strategies.
According to decision makers, there are three important elements that enable the United States of America to control and reign over Africa. First and foremost, the future is African, second, Africa is the reservoir of natural and energy resources, and finally and most importantly, the ability of the African nations to live under colonialism and to replace one colonizer with another.
2- United States Political and Military strategies in dealing with African countries.
The United States considers that all the regimes of the world should submit to it, represent its authority, and be affiliated to it.
This can only be executed by presidents and officials working at their service, protecting their interests, inside their own countries.
As a matter of fact, the United States imposes the heads of states on nations, who themselves represent the US and its policies.
Among the United States strategies is the use of her spoiled child Israel to anchor its policy.
This has become clear in the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia, that grew from a below the poverty line country to a developed one, leading some of the biggest projects in the region.
Much credit is then due to Israeli investments and therefore stifling the neighboring countries, pressuring them, and controlling the Nile River, which is the source of life for the largest Arab countries, mainly Egypt and Sudan.
Fighting terrorism is the second element that is very useful for controlling governments, in particular forcing them to submit to and negotiate with them, but even more so for bringing them into the military and intelligence services. The United States uses the policy of “throw a snake at a house, then enter to help the people of the house to kill the snake, along with invading the house and the people of the house”, and this is an American strategy for counterterrorism. Thereby, they seek to spread tension and terror and to fight it at the same time.
For instance, all African countries refused to hold the U.S Africa Command (AFRICOM) on their territory. Yet the AFRICOM was founded and is headquartered in Stuttgart.
In addition, the use of Soft Power and cultural colonialism through disseminating the American Education Principles i.e., democracy and human rights, are mainly employed to manipulate, to overthrow Governments, systems, and to dismantle States.
This is what happened in the so-called Arab Spring, that started from Tunisia, moving on to Egypt, then Libya and through which direct intervention was achieved, controlling societies, and especially using and playing the Muslim Brotherhood card in these countries.
These so-called principles brought the countries back and destroyed all national values that do not serve their interests.
The USA used the principle of pragmatism to dismantle the Libyan Government, making it a stateless country.
It also creates fake personalities to control the fate of countries.
We may observe this if we look back to the history of Africa in the past decades. The USA overthrows military regimes and corrupted dictatorships, to replace them with more corrupted ones.
It also supports the terrorist organizations and leaves room for them to purchase weapons, narcotics trade, and different sorts of organized crimes.
The United States adopts the policy of situation decay to carry out direct intervention to counterterrorism, as well as training terrorist leadership so as to create leaders and then claim to have killed them in “precise” raids. However, after a while, not only it turns out they were not eliminated, but also the US grants them freedom of movement, and keeps silent about it.
In this context, the United States have established two military bases, one that is located in Morocco on the Pacific Ocean, and another located in Somalia.
It has also made an intervention by creating a joint task force with African countries, in addition to the AFRICOM that plays an important role in protecting the American interests in Africa.
3- The United States of America together with International Powers inside the African continent
How does the United States deal with China’s relations with African countries?
After the huge Chinese climb in Africa, as well as the economic and developmental infiltration that dominate the African countries, especially the ones with a strategic geographic position, the United States jumped on the opportunity and announced its development and peace-keeping projects in Africa. Eventually establishing the AFRICOM, as the continent suffers from social, developmental, and security vulnerability.
The United States did not appreciate the Chinese ascent in Africa. The trade exchange growth rate between Africa and China increased from $3 million in 1995, to approximately $100 million in 2008, then $170 million in 2018, to eventually reach $208 million in 2020.
Consequently, China has become Africa’s biggest business partner, as its contribution in the Africa’s economic growth reached 20%.
Some numbers frighten the United States and Europe. For instance, 44 African country and African Union committee have signed cooperation agreements of the Belt and Road Initiative.
China has granted more than 120 government scholarships to Africa and sent more than 21.000 doctors to 48 African States. Indeed, China is working on contributing to the continent’s development, within a win-win situation, as well as the Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition, China has granted the African continent many development loans. For instance, it offered Angola $22 million, $13 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as another $13 million of investment in different African countries. China will exempt 15 African countries from interest-free loans until the end of 2020.
China has established big projects in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in the African countries.
It has improved railroads, ports, and signed more than 130 agreements regarding this initiative, which infuriates the Americans. China has become the United States world’s biggest opponent. While the United States applies the theory of implementing terrorism, chaos, impoverishment, marginalization, and natural resources plundering, China intervenes with development projects and a win-win situation.
According to analysts, the Chinese African trade exchange is more benefiting to the African side.
China witnessed a trade deficit estimated at millions of dollars in its trade exchange with Africa, which proves that this trade is not opportunistic.
This makes the trade and help more appealing to the African countries, as they are unconditional, as well as being the result of historic relations arising from south/south solidarity.
The Chinese influence in Africa forced the United States to accelerate the establishment of the Africom. Under the development mask, hides the AFRICOM, deluding people with the idea that the United States movement inside Africa aims only at serving the Dark continent and pulling it out of impoverishment and ignorance. This is mainly part of the “American-Chinese conflict on Africa”.
A strategic report published in 2006 by the US National Security stressing the importance of Africa’s strategies and geopolitics with regard to the United States. Among the means to enter the continent, was the military repositioning through the AFRICOM, through which the US provides Africa with a military support to train military trainers, in the framework of the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA), formerly known as the Africa Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI).
The United States seeks to reduce the dependence of African countries on Chinese military support for training and arming its armed forces. China is the third largest supplier of arms deals for Africa, with a rate of $500 million per year.
As usual, the United States of America is trying to hit the Chinese interests in Africa, by implementing terrorist organizations in the area, arming them, cultivating an anti-communist thought, and repositioning its proxy “Turkey” in African countries.
China’s oil import from African countries infuriates the United States, as it represents one third of its oil needs, brought mainly from Sudan and Angola. China has proceeded to capital investments in offshore oil from Africa, which has large oil reserves.
In the case of Sudan for instance, China took advantage of its position in the Security Council to mitigate and prevent the decisions targeting the Sudanese system. Consequently, the Chinese American conflict has deepened and turned into a quasi- cold war.
What about the United States’ greatest enemy, Russia?
Russian officials say that “Their steps towards Africa are only the beginning of what is to come”. Therefore, Russia’s Great Return to Africa developed another conflict with America.
In February 2018, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, paid a visit to Africa, at the same time as the United States’ Minister of Foreign Affairs was there.
The journey started from Zimbabwe, where Moscow is building economic relations, investing with an amount of $3 billion in platinum mining, and seeking military cooperation with this southern rich country.
Russia has entered Africa’s countries under the same cover of development, cooperation, and partnerships.
The Director of the Department of Africa of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Kemarsky, told TASS that the African countries are looking forward to improving military-technical cooperation, as a tool to ensure their sovereignty and independence. He added, “We are training military personnel and police officers for peacekeeping operations”.
The United States does not hide its fear of Moscow’s hard work to rebuild the ties with Africa.
The Commander of the United States Africa Command, Waldhauser, said “Our concern would be their (the Russians) ability to influence and be on the southern flank of NATO, and also them to kind of squeeze us out”.
Putin is aware of the importance of the African continent in the future, according to him, the continent is a reserve of natural resources, fragile, and needs development and help, therefore, it is easy to conquer.
Russia’s forays into Sub-Saharan Africa are effortless, as Russia’s history is not a colonial one, similarly to China’s.
Hence, it has a proud history, as during the era of the Soviet Union, Russia has helped Africa gain its independence from European colonialism and has offered support in various areas.
This grants Russia a great political and cultural credit inside the Dark continent, which can build upon it in the future.
In addition, it contributes in deepening relations between Russian Federations and countries of the African continent, as Russia has no ambitions or special agendas such as military presence or else.
Putin enjoys respect and appreciation from the African people, and with Russia’s return to the African arena, a cold war with the United States becomes inevitable.
However, it is certain that the Great Powers such as France, China, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom are closely monitoring Russian active moves and examining the potential present and future consequences, as the competition is at its most intense.
During the Sochi Summit on 23 and 24 October 2019, with the presence of 54 countries, Putin declared in his opening speech that Africa was becoming one of the centers of global economic growth with a combined $29-trillion GDP forecast by 2050, and that he is looking forward to increasing Russian-African trade exchange, which had surpassed $20 million.
In the same speech, he added that “the total amount of write-offs exceeds $20-billion”, such was the case in 2009 when Moscow cancelled its African debts, opening the way for further terms of trade between Russia and Africa.
In contrast, Putin accused publicly the Americans of the creation of terrorism and extremism.
By this, he offers his services in military and security fields to counterterrorism, especially that Russia has a history in fighting extremist organizations.
As a matter of fact, Africa is now facing the presence of many terrorist organizations such as Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and others. This represents an international threat for global peace and security. Reference should be noted that Russia is both anxious and feverish with the direct and firm war against terrorism and terrorists.
That is to say, Russia is aware that another great power is using terrorism as its Achilles heel, allowing this power to penetrate established and stable states, so as to achieve destruction.
The Russians are conscious that in the past few years, most of the international terrorist organizations headed towards Africa, counting on the lack of basic security and the poor infrastructure that allows terrorists to recruit more terrorist operatives.
As a result, Russian presence blocks access for terrorism and terrorists.
Moscow benefits greatly from this role as it will not cost it a new military action, unlike the situation in Syria.
Plus, Moscow shall persist on exposing those who are spreading terrorism in Africa, mainly the Americans.
Russian ambitions in Africa raised fears among Western Powers and particularly the Americans, as Russia might seize their influence in the continent.
During the Sochi Summit, National Security Advisor, John Bolton, unveiled a new US plan to counter Russia and China influence in Africa.
Furthermore, The Washington Post has published an Op-Ed on how “Russia seeks closer relationship with Africa”, whereas US influence continues to decline in the region.