The Legal Legacy of Light- Footprint Warfare | Yale - Summer 2016 |
The troops Obama had primarily in mind were "Special Operations resources along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, including intelligence-gathering assets." He wasn't bluffing when he said that "if Pakistan cannot or will not take out al-Qaeda leadership when we have actionable intelligence about their whereabouts, we will act to protect the American people."
These were some of the hints on the 2008 campaign trail about what the Obama administration would later call its "light footprint" alternative to the large and expensive deployments of the Bush era. Under Obama, "drone strikes, cyber attacks and Special Operations raids that made use of America's technologi- cal superiority" became "the new, quick-and-dirty expression of military and covert power," says David Sanger of the New York Times. While President Bush deployed these tactics to some extent, President Obama expanded their use significantly and made them central to U.S. counterterrorism operations and to projecting U.S. military force more generally.
U.S. to deploy troops to 35 African countries | AP News - Jan. 2013 |
The Barack Obama administration revealed plans to deploy 3,500 troops to nearly three dozen African states to purportedly address a looming "al-Qaeda threat," according to a Dec. 24 statement. The Pentagon is dispatching soldiers from the 2nd Brigade's Heavy Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division based in Fort Riley, Kan.
Official reports indicate that the Pentagon forces will operate as small units in conjunction with various governments, including Libya, Somalia, Niger, Mali, among others. Gen. Carter L. Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), made it appear as if this is a new initiative on the part of Washington. Yet it is a continuation of the ongoing policy that has accelerated under the current administration.
A key figure in this project, set to begin in March, is Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who headed the Multi-National Force during the later years of the Iraq occupation. The White House claims the military teams will be involved only in training and equipping efforts and not direct military combat operations.
Gen. Odierno said in late December that the idea for this type of training mission came to him while he was commanding U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, an overall operation that lasted nearly nine years. (Washington Times, Dec. 23)
This strategy uses what the Pentagon calls the "Regionally Aligned Forces" model. It is designed to train and coordinate military structures from the African states in order to attack those forces Washington considers are operating contrary to U.S. economic and political interests. This effort will also draw in other imperialist states from NATO, including Britain.
British Col. James Learmont, an exchange officer working with the Pentagon on the deployment project, said in the same article, "Responsiveness is a pretty key component of this because everybody wants us to be more responsive -- in other words, quicker. ... [B]y aligning ourselves with combatant commands, it gives them more capability, capacity and the ability to respond quicker."
Continues existing policy
With the formation of AFRICOM in 2008, the U.S. has intensified its military interventionist policies in Africa. The war against Libya in 2011 represented the first full-scale AFRICOM operation on the continent.
This operation in Libya resulted in a partnership with NATO and other allied states in the region, including Egypt and Qatar. Over the course of the operation, imperialist forces flew 26,000 sorties over Libya and carried out some 9,600 air strikes, killing tens of thousands of people and displacing as many as 2 million Libyans and foreign nationals working and living in the oil-rich state.
Obama and HRC imposing R2P policy of regime change
Nonetheless, the war against Libya has brought neither peace nor stability to the country and the region. Internal political divisions among the pro-U.S. rebel units and the ongoing resistance by the loyalist forces have required the escalation of Pentagon and intelligence personnel on the ground.
In Mali, where a military coup took place in March 2012, the administration is seeking, through AFRICOM, to deploy regional forces through the Economic Community of West African States. The pretext is that they are supposedly part of an effort to curtail and eliminate groups linked to al-Qaeda. Such groups have been operating in the north of the country, which has been effectively partitioned by Tuareg elements divided between nationalists and Islamists.
However, the Malian government had maintained agreements with the Pentagon for several years leading up to the coup, which involved joint training and war games.
But U.S. military cooperation with the Malian armed forces did not provide the capacity for the government to halt the Tuareg insurgency in the north or prevent the coup. Additional Pentagon intervention can only lead to further instability.
Additional reading ...
Libyan Leader Aims for Separate Cyrenaican State | Jan 7, 2014 |
Thanks Boo - Obama Stance on Syria | Feb 8, 2013 |
Related reading ...
John Pilger has always been a bit cracked | @ET - Feb. 2013 |
Each and every intervention by military means will spread terror, not solve local disputes between tribes in foreign powers' quest for fossil fuel or precious metals.
Boko Haram using weapons looted from Libya: Diplomat | Jan. 2015 |
Nigeria's notorious Boko Haram insurgents are using weapons that were looted from Libyan arms depots during the 2011 uprising, a South African diplomat has said.
"There were a lot of arms that were looted during the war," Mohammed Dangor, South Africa's former Ambassador to Libya told The Anadolu Agency after delivering an address at the opening of a major conference on political Islam held in Pretoria.
He said some of weapons looted during and since a 2011 uprising that ousted long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi were later smuggled into Niger, Chad, Mali and Nigeria, among other African countries.
"Looted arms have created a cycle of instability in the region," Dangor, who has just returned to South Africa after serving as ambassador to Libya from 2009 to Dec. 2014, told AA.
He asserted that the African Union's stabilization force needs to intervene and deal with the Boko Haram insurgency otherwise the militants will continue to wreak havoc in Nigeria and the region.
The Rise of China & India in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Critical Interventions | Africa Trends - Jan/Feb 2012 |
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Algerian Challenge or Global Threat? | Carnegie - Oct. 2009 |
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, established in January 2007, is the latest in a long line of Algerian jihadi groups. Like many terrorist organizations, AQIM enjoys global media exposure on activist Internet sites, but unlike other al-Qaeda franchises, it has managed to maintain its indigenous leadership. The group has become known for fearsome suicide attacks, which were previously unheard of in Algeria, but has failed to incorporate the jihadi outfits from neighboring Morocco and Tunisia. AQIM has therefore focused on the north- ern Sahara, carving out safe havens and threatening weak government forces, first in Mauritania, and now increasingly in Mali.
At the outset, AQIM's global strategy was based on the triangular dynamic of the Middle East (where Iraq serves as a magnet for potential recruits), North Africa (where the group functions as a regional jihadi recruiting hub), and Europe (where it pursues aggressive propaganda against the French and Spanish "Crusaders"). The demise of al-Qaeda in Iraq jeopardized this grand design, undermining AQIM's capabilities on both sides of the Mediterranean, but although it primarily targets Western "Crusaders" in its own Algerian and Saharan environment, AQIM remains wedded to a global agenda.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former GIA member who had fought in Afghanistan and who was himself from a community of Saharan Arabs, the Chaânba.
From a post @ET ...
A Decade of US Special Ops in the Sahel-Maghreb | Feb. 7, 2013 |
US joint military exercises across five Saharan states, including Mauritania and Algeria, known as Operation Flintlock or the Trans-Saharan Counter Terrorism Initiative, in 2005.
American policy of a hegemon and expansion of the empire with NATO mercenaries ...
MSM Is Part of Propaganda War on Ukraine