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Long Arm of Vlad and Xi in the Sahel

by Oui Mon Mar 18th, 2024 at 02:44:25 PM EST

African states are not ripe for sovereignty ...

Dutch Efforts in the Sahel

Diplomatic Presence, Expanding Partnerships and Policy Priorities

NATO aggression offering jihadists a choice: Syria or Mali

Both civil conflicts are born out of Western intervention to overthrow Libyan dictator Gaddafi and Syrian dictator Al-Assad.

Destination Jihad: Why Syria and not Mali | ICCT - 10 Apr 2013 |

On 13 March, the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) raised the national terrorism threat level to "substantial", in large part due to the estimated one hundred Dutch jihadists already operating in Syria. Cause for worry is not so much what they are doing there, but the threat they could pose if and when they return. According to the NCTV, ten jihadists have apparently already returned to the Netherlands and are now subject to government surveillance.

Other European countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, also have significant numbers of citizens fighting Assad's regime in Syria. Mali, however, is proving a less attractive destination for jihadists, in spite of a forceful French military intervention against different Islamic terrorist (and rebel) groups.

Libya in the African context | TRT World |

In 2008, Libya was hosting an African Union (AU) summit, and its dictator Muammar Gaddafi, sporting a robe and wraparound sunglasses, was on stage to be declared "King of Kings" of Africa by more than 200 African chiefs. 

The bizarre show in which Gaddafi called for borderless African unity with a common army and currency, was a representation of his nostalgic Pan-African anti-imperialist credentials that made many African heads of state grimace. 

Gaddafi's impassioned pan-Africanism was paradoxical. 

Before migrants and just self-serving exploration contracts for BP to head off Italian ENI and past deals signed under rule by right-wing PM Berlusconi.

BP, Sonatrach and ENI resume operations in Libya after 10-year absence | 4 Aug 2023 |

Will the Sahel Military Alliance Further Fragment ECOWAS? | CSIS |

The unity of West African leaders will be tested as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger announced their withdrawal from the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in late January. Since it was established in 1975, the West African bloc has been the pillar of inter-dependence and integration across one of the most diverse geopolitical spaces on the continent. ECOWAS did not buckle under the weight of the region's history of political upheaval, namely military coups or attempts in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Guinea-Bissau--to name a few--or even civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Instead, it became politically and militarily influential, which prevented wider instability and fractures.

However, since 2020, ECOWAS has been on the back foot against the tide of military coups in the Sahel, triggered primarily by a fallout over the response to the ongoing militant siege. Nigeria's hegemony as the seat of ECOWAS also declined due to various internal security crises. So in that time, Mali's colonel Assimi Goïta deposed two governments in a space of nine months as the army rejected a pro-France counterinsurgency approach; Guinea's presidential guard overthrew Alpha Conde in September 2021 in response to public anger over his third term bid; Burkina Faso experienced two military coups in 2022 as public patience over insecurity worsened; while Niger deposed its pro-Western leader in July 2023, citing inadequate response by France to the militant violence. The decision by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso to leave will take a year to formally ratify and is a culmination of mistrust between the Sahel military rulers and ECOWAS.

Amid Coups, Public Anger, Lessons for West African Leaders and Allies | VOA - 5 Oct. 2023 |


Will UNDP change their approach in Africa?

Discussing the 2023 UNDP Report Journey to Extremism in Africa: Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement UNDP | 31 August 2023 |

Dr van Ginkel makes some historical reflections stressing that for a long time the PCVE and CT (Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, Countering Terrorism) agenda was mostly driven by the security sector and understood through a security lens. The development sector as a whole was not engaged in these discussions.

However, some years ago, a pivot occurred driven by the change of direction of the OECD and World Bank. They argued that it no longer makes sense to solely focus on the poorest social classes, since perceptions of poverty also have a destabilising effect on countries and communities. It appeared that the effects of violent extremism (VE) in the states where a lot of development aid programmes were implemented were devastating. With the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General's PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) Plan of Action, UNDP also made a historical turn and began engaging in those agendas.

However, UNDP took a different approach than the traditional security partners, by being much more thorough in their risk and needs assessments, being conflict sensitive, and respecting the do no harm principle. They also were aware that to do proper PVE, it is necessary to have a good understanding of underlying grievances and motivational factors. Yet, empirical evidence was lacking. Despite all the efforts of the security sector in the earlier years, a thorough mapping had never been done.

War narrative from Pentagon spokespersons and the NSC at the White House 😅

Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on posture of USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY24 and the future years defense program | 16 Mar 2024

Turning to Afghanistan, although we have transitioned all forces out of the country, the Biden administration has maintained its commitment to ensuring that Afghanistan cannot be used as a base for ISIS, Al Qaida or other terrorist groups to conduct attacks against the United States or its allies.
I would ask for an update on our posture and capabilities and whether additional regional agreements have been reached to ensure we maintain a robust regional counterterrorism architecture to address the threats from these groups.
General Langley, AFRICOM's area of responsibility is becoming increasingly important in the United States' strategic competition with China and Russia. Many African countries have long-standing military ties with Russia and even deeper economic ties with China.
As the United States manages relationships across the continent, we must be mindful of these pre-existing ties and avoid taking a "With us or against us" approach, or we will risk alienating the very nations we seek to engage with.
I would welcome your thoughts on how best to calibrate the U.S. approach to strategic competition in light of these factors.
The security situation in East Africa remains dangerously unstable. Since last fall roughly 500 U.S. servicemembers have been redeployed to Somalia to support the Somali government's fight against Al-Shabaab, one of Al Qaida's most powerful global affiliates. Our renewed presence is an effort to stabilize the Somali government and train their forces after our departure in December 2020 allowed Al Shabaab to grow in size and strength.


Finally, the security situation in West Africa also continues to decline. Violent extremist operations have expanded across the Sahel, including pushing down into the (inaudible) and the Gulf of Guinea. At the same time Russia and China are seeking to increase their engagement in this region. The Wagner Group continues to seek opportunities to exploit instability in the region, and China has made no secret about exploring basing operations on the West African coast. Both countries are also investing in natural resource extraction across the continent, often at great expense to the long-term health of African partners' ecosystems and economies.
Given these challenges, General Langley, I would like to hear how AFRICOM is seeking to engage with partners in Africa to expose these harmful and manipulative practices.

General Michael Langley (USMC), Commander, U.S. Africa Command, Holds an Off-Camera Press Briefing

Wilsonian doctrine: Creating the world in our image ... or "shared" values.

As I blogged in 2016, progressive Democrats fell for the domestic propaganda of the Obama White House and candidate HRC supported by the intelligence arm of MIC @ Langley HQ VA.

Fewer Americans say China, Russia top threats to US: Gallup | The Hill |

The survey found 41 per cent of respondents see China as the "greatest enemy" to the U.S. today, while 26 percent said the same of Russia. These shares are both down from last year, when 50 percent and 32 percent listed China and Russia, respectively, as the U.S.'s top enemy.

Republicans and independents are more likely to list China as the top enemy, while Democrats are more likely to list Russia. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats listed China in the survey. Meanwhile, 48 percent of Democrats, 21 percent of independents and 10 percent of Republicans selected Russia.


Additionally, 5 percent of Americans now say the U.S. was its own worst enemy, which is up 4 points from last year. Pollsters noted this is the highest percentage of Americans who said the U.S. is its own worst enemy since 2005. Eleven percent of independents said the U.S. was its top enemy, according to the new poll.

Israel and Ukraine made the enemy list

Israel and Ukraine were each listed by 2 percent of respondents, while 1 percent selected the Middle East and Iraq each. None of those countries or regions were chosen last year.

US Foreign Policy and CIA Maskers | Posted by Oui @BooMan - 20 Aug 2018 |

US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus | The Guardian |

The 9 August attack killed 40 boys aged from six to 11 who were being taken on a school trip. Eleven adults also died and local authorities said 79 people were wounded, 56 of them children. CNN reported that the weapon used was a 227kg laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of many thousands sold to Saudi Arabia as part of billions of dollars of weapons exports.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 05:58:49 PM EST

Not in the footsteps of his predecessor for serious talks with Kim Jong Un in the DNZ.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 19th, 2024 at 08:25:35 PM EST

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