1.)”The Crisis in Somalia: US-NATO Plans to Control the Indian Ocean

by Rick Rozoff

Global Research, May 3, 2009
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Cold War Origins

For the past seven months world news outlets have provided daily coverage on what has been described as escalating piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden and attempts by international, primarily Western, military vessels to combat it.

Absent from such reporting, as the exigencies of commercial news broadcasting inevitably entail, is how and why the situation in the region reached the impasse it has and what its broader significance is.

Instead the picture presented is, according to the standard formula, a point on a blank canvas with no historical depth, no geoeconomic and geopolitical width and no strata of diversified and interrelated causes that contribute to and dynamics that result from what is in truth a lengthy and complex process of developments.

In short the Somali situation is portrayed as a simple and self-contained event that at a seemingly gratutitous moment was declared a crisis.

There are dozens of comparable cases in the world, analagous in the general sense of presenting economic, security, national and regional threats to other nations and their environs, but these have not been declared crises and so aren’t given world attention.

The determination of what constitutes a crisis, and a world crisis at that, since the end of the Cold War is a prerogative of the United States and its allies, the governments of which render the verdict, with their own and much of the world’s news media echoing the claim.

And the evaluation is inevitably a onesided affair. What has been observed about Europe’s most mature writers – Skakespeare, Goethe and Balzac, for example – that their antagonists were never mere villains, that they reflected the complexity and even ambiguity of real life with no character monopolizing the virtues or the vices – is summarily discarded and a broad panaroma of multifaceted motives, players and conflicts reduced to an banal pseudo-morality play with just three actors: Evil culprits, innocent victims and valiant heroes.

The first category is assigned to any individual or group which is opposed to the designs on their nation by major Western powers or, what is interpreted by the latter as the same thing, pursue a policy of protecting local rights and interests. The second is comprised of whoever can be cast into the role to arouse indignation and hostility against the first, currently the crews of Western commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden. And the third is led by the United States, NATO and the European Union, the self-deputized military vigilantes of the world.

That many of those off the Somali coast capturing foreign, mainly Western, vessels and holding them, their cargo and their crews for ransom are reported to be former fishermen driven out of their sole occupation by years of intrusive and illegal large-scale poaching by world commercial concerns or affected by eighteen years of toxic, including nuclear, wastes dumped off their shores isn’t acknowledged. To do so would complicate the narrative contrived by those who have with disastrous consequences interfered in the internal affairs of Somalia and its neighborhood for several decades and are in large part responsible for the current crisis.

Instead the action begins where the governments of the Western states that have deployed warships, helicopters, snipers and bases to the region script its opening act: With pirates.

As though a director would begin a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the protagonist thrusting his sword through Polonius and not with the visitation of his father’s ghost, so that Hamlet appeared as a brutal murderer and not a reluctant avenger of parricide and regicide.

The national tragedy of Somalia didn’t begin last summer with an increase in the seizure of foreign vessels off its coast; it didn’t begin with the armed conflict between the Transitional Federal Government and the Islamic Courts Union in 2006 and the invasion by military forces of the US proxy government of Ethiopia; it didn’t commence in 1991 with the ouster of long-time president Siad Barre and internecine fighting between militia groups.

It started in 1977.

Eight years earlier, almost forty years to the day, a military government headed by General Siad Barre came to power in Somalia. Anticipating what would become a general pattern in Africa and indeed throughout most of the non-Euro-Atlantic world, the government pursued a path of non-capitalist, avowedly socialist development. The term Barre and his allies used was scientific socialism; that is, Marxism.

In the decade between 1969 and 1979 similiar political and socio-economic transformations occurred throughout Africa, resulting in socialist-oriented goverments allied with and receiving assistance from the Soviet Union. In addition to Somalia, nations matching this description included Angola, Benin, Capo Verde, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), the Republic of Guinea (Conakry), Guinea Bissau, Libya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe, with Namibia, Rhodesia, South Africa and Western Sahara poised to follow suit.

The pattern also emerged in Asia – Vietnam with its unification in 1975, Laos, Cambodia (after the ouster of the Khmer Rouge in 1978) and Afghanistan; on the Arabian peninsula with South Yemen; and in Latin America and the Caribbean with Chile, Nicaragua, Grenada, Jamaica and Surinam during the same period.

What was progressing at an apparently inexorable pace was the integration of the Soviet-led socialist bloc, including Cuba, with the entire developing, non-aligned world which coincided with and gave substance to the demands for a New International Economic Order advocated by the developing nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and supported by the world socialist community.

Demands included the replacement of the US-enforced Bretton Woods system – the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in the first instances – in a revision of the entire international economic system that would elevate the nations of the South from mere monoculture exporters to diversified and modernized countries with with industrial bases.

On March 25, 1975 the Second General Conference of UN Industrial Development Organisation, meeting in Peru, adopted the Lima Declaration and Plan of Action on Industrial Development and Co-operation which included the following provisions:

“That every state has the inalienable right to exercise freely its sovereignty and permanent control over its natural resources, both terrestrial and marine, and over all economic activity for the exploitation of these resources in the manner appropriate to its circumstances, including nationalisation in accordance with its laws as an expression of this right, and that no state shall be subjected to any forms of economic, political or other coercion which impedes the full and free exercise of that inalienable right.”

“That special attention should be given to the least developed countries, which should enjoy a net transfer of resources from the developed countries in the form of technical and financial resources as well as capital goods, to enable the least developed countries in conformity with the policies and plans for development, to accelerate their industrialisation.”

“The new distribution of industrial activities envisaged in a New International Economic Order must make it possible for all developing countries to industrialise and to obtain an efficient instrument within the United Nations system to fulfil their aspirations.”

One objective of the plan was to insure that by 2000 25-30% of world industrial production was to occur in the developing world – and not in the manner that has ensued in the current neoliberal order with the transfer of manufacturing to underdeveloped states in a manner that has rather intensified than diminished exploitation of both labor and resources.

With the rising tide of political changes in the developing world during the same time, a shift from neocolonialist dependency toward genuine independence and development, and the support of the Soviet-led socialist bloc – which with its industrial base was issuing longterm, low interest loans to southern nations for infrastructual and industrial projects – the prospects for the creation of new global economic and political order was on the near horizon.

But not everyone was pleased with this development.

The US – alone – opposed the Lima Declaration and the follow up New Delhi Declaration and Plan of Action four years later.

America’s NATO allies, almost to a member at the time former colonial powers bent on maintaining historial prerogatives over their former possessions, were no less dissatisfied.

And the People’s Republic of China, having lost earlier bids to dominate the world communist movement and what it deemed the Third World alike, was focused entirely on combating what it derided as “Soviet social imperialism” and after the secret meeting of Henry Kissinger and Chou En-lai in Beijing in 1971, followed by Richard Nixon’s meeting there with Mao Tse-Tung the next year, worked hand-in-glove with the US to counter Soviet influence around the world, including providing joint support to armed groups fighting against the governments of Angola, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Ethiopia.

With what would in the 21st Century be called the US’s hard power/soft power duality and rotation, the Nixon era method of dealing with the reorientation of developing nations away from the West and toward the East – most cynically and brutally exemplified by its support to the military overthrow of the elected Salvador Allende government in Chile in 1973 – gave way to that of the Carter administration and its foreign policy grey eminence and all-purpose Mephistopheles Zbigniew Brzezinski in January of 1977.

The Carter administration had barely moved into the White House when it began to bribe the governments of Somalia, Afghanistan, Egypt and Iraq into entering political and military alliances and in several cases giving notorious “green lights” for military invasions of other nations. Its foreign policy architect was not Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, but the man who brought about Vance’s downfall and resignation over the Operation Eagle Claw fiasco in Iran in 1980: Brzezinski, an arch-Russophobe during the Soviet period and ever since even onto the grave.

Somalia is the main subject of investigation, but a brief review of similiar cases is in order.

In its first year in office the Carter administration bought off Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, splitting the Arab world, destroying any unified approach to the Palestinian catastrophe and the realization of UN resolutions 242 and 338 and ousting the Soviet Union as the fourth partner in the Middle East peace process, leaving Israel and Egypt armed and backed by the US and the rest of the Arab world, including Palestine, unrepresented, unprotected and defenseless.

Since 1979 Egypt has been the second largest recipient of US military aid in the world, with only Israel besting it in that category. Over the past thirty years Egypt has received more US aid, over $30 billion, than any other country.

In the period between Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel in November of 1977 and the Camp David Accords of September of 1978, in March of 1978 Israeli launched an invasion of Lebanon, Operation Litani, with over 25,000 troops, a warm-up exercise for the full-fledged attack of 1983.

This was one of the green lights given by the Carter administration.

A year later Washington gave a green light to China to invade Vietnam, according to Beijing to “punish” the latter for its role in helping drive the Khmer Rouge from Cambodia the previous year.

In the summer of 1978 US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, emulating Kissinger’s trip in 1971, paid a secret visit to Beijing to normalize relations with China, leading to recognition of the People’s Republic and derecognition of Taiwan on January 1, 1979.

On January 29, 1979 Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping arrived in Washington, the first visit by a senior Chinese official to the United States since 1949.

According to former Balkans hand and current US Afghanistan-Pakistan point man Richard Holbrooke, the trip “began with a private dinner at Brzezinski’s house.” [1]

Deng left on February 6 and eleven days later China launched an invasion of Vietnam along its entire northern border.

Reports exist that in July of 1980 US CIA officials – some rumors say Brzezinski himself – travelled to the Jordanian capital of Amman to meet with high-ranking officials of the Iraqi government. Then Iranian president Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr claims the meeting included both Brzezinski and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. [2]

As recently as March of 2009 Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei renewed the accusation, stating that “They gave Saddam the green light to attack our country. If Saddam had not received the green light from the U.S., most probably he would not have attacked our borders.”

Later the first Reagan administration secretary of state, Alexander Haig, wrote in a memo to Reagan that “President Carter gave the Iraqis a green light to launch the war against Iran through [Saudi Arabian Prince] Fahd.”

In appreciation of Somalia’s geostrategic importance, in the first days of the Carter-Brzezinski administration efforts were made to wean Somalia from its pro-Soviet stance and to secure military, mainly naval, bases on its territory.

The covert campaign was largely conducted through the mediation of Saudi Arabia and in July led to the Somali invasion of the Ogaden region of Ethiopia with tens of thousands of troops, tanks and warplanes.

“Somalia had mounted its major offensive in Ogaden because of a U.S. promise to furnish arms aid. The U.S. policy had resulted from Ethiopia’s decision to expel U.S. military advisers from the country and its successful bid for aid from the Soviet Union.

“According to the report, Somali President Mohamed Said Barre had received secret U.S. assurances that the U.S. would not oppose ‘further guerrilla pressure in the Ogaden’ and would ‘consider sympathetically Somalia’s legitimate defense needs.’ [3]

The Soviet Union and its Cuban ally assisted Ethiopia and the US and China, mainly through Saudi Arabia, provided arms to Somalia.

Brzezinski urged the deployment of the US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk to the region as a show of support to Somalia and an act of defiance toward the Soviet Union and its Ethiopian ally and, referring to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks of the time, said “SALT lies buried in the sands of the Ogaden,” as a report of the time phrased it “signifying the death of detente.”

Somalia was defeated and withdrew the last of its military forces from the Ogaden Desert in March of 1978. Estimates are that the war cost Somalia one-third of its army, three-eighths of its armored units and half of its air force.

In marked the beginning of the end for Barre and for Somalia itself. Barre would linger on as president of a weakened Somalia until his overthrow in 1991, yet another former client cast off after having served his purpose.

His ouster would be followed by years of conflict between rival armed militias and US military intervention that caused the deaths of thousands of Somalis.

Yet for all the horrors US administrations from that of Carter to the current one have visited upon the Somali people, Washington gained what it intended to: Military bases and forces astride many of the world’s most strategic shipping lanes and chokepoints in an area encompassing the Suez Canal and the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

In 1977 the Carter White House issued a presidential directive calling for a worldwide mobile military force which in October of 1979 Carter would officially designate Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF).

The site for its first deployments were to be the recently acquired military client states of Somalia and Egypt along with Sudan, Oman and Kenya.

The initiative was inaugurated as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) on March 1, 1980 and according to its first commander, “It’s the first time that I know of that we have ever attempted to establish, in peacetime, a full four service Joint Headquarters.” [4]

Orginally envisioned to focus on the Persian Gulf, the RDJTF was expanded to include Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia as well as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of Yemen [Aden], Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Yemen Arab Republic.

That is, from the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf to the eastern coast of Africa to the western one of the Indian subcontinent with the northern half of the Indian Ocean and its seas and gulfs included.

Carter’s announcement of the launching of the Rapid Deployment Forces preceded by three months his 1980 State of the Union Address in which he laid out the doctrine that has since borne his name.

Coming less than a month after the first Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, Carter’s comments included this disingenuous hyperbole:

“The region which is now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan is of great strategic importance: It contains more than two-thirds of the world’s exportable oil. The Soviet effort to dominate Afghanistan has brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Straits of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world’s oil must flow.”

That at the time a small handful of Soviet troops had arrived in Kabul, the capital of a landlocked nation hundreds of miles from one of the world’s five oceans, could in no conceivable manner affect the Straits of Hormuz.

Carter continued: “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

Brzezinski claims credit for authoring the second half of the above sentence, modeling it on the Truman Doctrine “to make it very clear that the Soviets should stay away from the Persian Gulf.” [5]

It is exactly the Carter Doctrine that was employed by the US for its two wars against Iraq in 1991 and 2003 and for its ongoing military presence in the Persian Gulf in preparation for aggression against Iran.

As “soft power” Carter was succeeded by “hard power” Reagan, the Rapid Deployment Forces were converted into Central Command, the US’s first new regional military command since World War II, under Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

Central Command (CENTCOM) has as its area of responsibility twenty nations: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. It also takes in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and western portions of the Indian Ocean.

It also included the only African nations not formerly assigned to the European and Pacific Commands – Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia and the Sudan – until all 53 African states were turned over to the new African Command last October.

CENTCOM was the main force in the 1991 and 2003 wars against Iraq and the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Both Iraq and Afghanistan remain in its area of responsibility and its current commander, General David Petraeus, is in charge of operations in both nations.

It has bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan and Central Asia and until recently at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, now part of African Command.

The Command’s zone of operations is in fact the northern half of the Indian Ocean from the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz where some 40% of the oil shipped in the world passes to the Gulf of Aden where, as recent reports frequently repeat, ten percent of all global shipping occurs to the Strait of Malacca between Malaysia and Indonesia where 25% of world trade, including half of all sea shipments of oil and two-thirds of global liquefied natural gas shipments bound for East Asia, pass.

In addition to the US, NATO launched its first naval operation in the Gulf of Aden last October and has now resumed it with the deployment of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1).

The SNMG1 held naval maneuvers with Pakistan last week off the coast of Karachi in the Arabian Sea.

These deployments are a continuation of NATO’s plans in the region described last year by veteran Indian journalist M K Bhadrakumar in an article titled “NATO reaches into the Indian Ocean”:

“By October 15 [2008], seven ships from NATO navies had already transited the Suez Canal on their way to the Indian Ocean. En route, they will conduct a series of Persian Gulf port visits to countries neighboring Iran – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which are NATO’s ‘partners’ within the framework of the so-called Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The mission comprises ships from the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

“NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General John Craddock, acknowledged that the mission furthers the alliance’s ambition to become a global political organization.

“By acting with lightning speed and without publicity, NATO surely created a fait accompli.

“NATO’s naval deployment in the Indian Ocean region is a historic move and a milestone in the alliance’s transformation. Even at the height of the Cold War, the alliance didn’t have a presence in the Indian Ocean. Such deployments almost always tend to be open-ended.

“In retrospect, the first-ever visit by a NATO naval force in mid-September last year to the Indian Ocean was a full-dress rehearsal to this end. Brussels said at that time, ‘The aim of the mission is to demonstrate NATO’s capability to uphold security and international law on the high seas and build links with regional navies.’ In 2007, a NATO naval force visited Seychelles in the Indian Ocean and Somalia and conducted exercises in the Indian Ocean and then re-entered the Mediterranean via the Red Sea in end-September.

“[An] Indian warship [dispatched off the coast of Somalia] will eventually have to work in tandem with the NATO naval force. This will be the first time that the Indian armed forces will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO forces in actual operations in territorial or international waters.

“The operations hold the potential to shift India’s ties with NATO to a qualitatively new level.” [6]

Securing the safe passage of vessels in the Gulf of Aden and particularly those delivering United Nations World Food Programme aid is a legitimate concern.

But plans by the United States and NATO to take control of the whole Indian Ocean for military purposes and to insure global energy dominance is not a legitimate concern.


2.)”Venezuela: U.S. Military in Colombia to Control Region’s Natural Resources

With the highly anticipated summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) three days away, the debate over the U.S.’s increased presence on Colombian military bases continues. Venezuela vowed to defend its natural resources, Colombia accused Venezuela of expansionism, and Noam Chomsky analyzed the conflict during a visit to Caracas.


26 August 2009




Energy economics
Control of Latin America

President Chavez marks the location of major natural resources on the South American continent. On national television on Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said the intention of increasing U.S. troops in Colombia is to control the region’s natural resources.

“The United States is desperate because they have few oil reserves left… that is the reason for their threats against us,” said Chavez. “They know that in order to take over the Orinoco Oil Belt [in Venezuela] they should de many things, including overthrow this government.”

Chavez said the U.S. also seeks to control Brazil’s oil reserves, and a large fresh water reserve that lies in the territory of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Brazil recently announced the discovery of a 280 million barrel reserve 120 kilometers outside of Rio de Janerio.

“The United States also has its eye on the Amazon, that enormous treasure,” said Chavez, as he took out a map of Latin America and marked where the major oil, timber, mineral, and fresh water reserves are located across the continent. “We should prepare ourselves to defend our natural resources,” he said.

In the Organization of American States (OAS), Venezuela’s ambassador, Roy Chaderton, said Venezuela “shares the concern of the nations of South America regarding the threats of foreign intervention and the use of our territories to develop expansionist military projects, destined to generate destabilization in the short term, as well as favor strategic imperial interests in the medium and long term.”

Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, accused the Chavez government of having its own “expansionist projects,” namely, Chavez’s announcement that the Venezuelan Information and Communication Ministry will attempt to publish the president’s weekly opinion column “Chavez’s Lines” in Colombia.

Hoyos wrote an official statement that asserted, “The national government will repel all actions of the expansionist projects in Colombia ratified today by President Hugo Chavez.”

Chavez said he intends to use his column to respond to the Colombian government’s accusations that Venezuela supports Colombian guerrilla insurgents, amongst other misinformation and distorted news about Venezuela.

“I have the right to defend Venezuela with my words and address the people of Colombia… I call on the Colombian people not to allow themselves to be confused or intimidated,” said Chavez. “Whoever claims to be anti-Colombian is anti-Venezuelan too, because we are the same thing.”

Colombia firmly maintains that it will neither negotiate nor renege on its military plans with the U.S., and that neither President Alvaro Uribe nor Colombian Chancellor Jaime Bermúdez will attend this Friday’s UNASUR summit. Most regional heads of state are expected to attend the summit, and a major item on the agenda will be the U.S. military buildup in Colombia.

In a press conference last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that the agreement with Colombia will not affect other countries in the region. “This is about the bilateral cooperation between the United States and Colombia regarding security matters within Colombia,” including “drug traffickers, terrorists, and other illegal armed groups,” she said.

“The agreement does not create U.S. bases in Colombia. It does provide the United States access to Colombian bases, but command and control, administration, and security will be Colombia’s responsibility,” Clinton continued.

In response, Chavez said the main issue is not who will administer the bases, rather that that U.S. plans to use Colombia as its base to expand covert intelligence operations across the region.

“Now they say they aren’t bases… but really it is all of Colombia that they are converting into one base… the gringo [US] military personnel are going to be authorized to operate in any part of Colombia. They say they will ask for permission and limit their operations to Colombian territory. That’s a lie, who’s going to believe that story?” said Chavez.

Meanwhile, Brazil has drawn up a special military plan to defend its vast natural resources, according to its Defense Minister, Nelson Jobim. As part of the plan, France will assist Brazil in constructing a nuclear-powered submarine to patrol the oil reserves off the Brazilian coast, said Jobim.

Jobim also stated publicly that he had spoken with General James Jones, a national security adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, about the U.S. military presence in Colombia. “I told him that we must not forget that we are in a sensitive continent and that this type of thing must be explained and discussed beforehand, not carried out in a unilateral manner,” said Jobim. “What we hope for is stability in the region, respecting the individual ideological options that the diverse countries may have.”

Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Nicolas Maduro proposed the organization of “Peace Bases” in Venezuela and across the region. The bases “should be centers for the debate of ideas about the Latin American situation and to reject violence and the installation of U.S. military components in South American territory,” said Maduro.

Regarding the UNASUR summit, Maduro said, “Venezuela has a very clear position and in this presidential summit, we seek important conclusions which allow the justification of our peace initiative, and that the North American military bases begin a process of reversion on the continent.”

Hugo Chávez with Spanish version of Chomsky’s “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance” at the UN General Assembly on September 20, 2006. Maduro’s idea was echoed by U.S. linguist, author, and activist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky met with President Chavez in Caracas on Monday and spoke on national television of the need for a regional agreement not to allow foreign military presence. “Venezuela can help to advance this proposal, but it cannot do it alone,” he said.

The U.S.’s military buildup in Colombia “is only part of a much broader effort to restore Washington’s capacity for intervention,” said Chomsky. He mentioned that the U.S. has already supported three coups d’etat in Latin America this century, first in Venezuela in 2002, then Haiti in 2004, and currently Honduras.

Chomsky urged Venezuela to continue its efforts at progressive political changes. “The transformations that Venezuela is making toward the creation of another socio-economic model could have a global impact if these projects are successfully carried out,” he said.”
3.)”Africa: U.S. Military Holds War Games on Nigeria, Somalia

by Daniel Volman

Global Research, August 15, 2009

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-In addition to U.S. military officers and intelligence officers, “Unified Quest 2008” brought together participants from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies, academics, journalists, and foreign military officers (including military representatives from several NATO countries, Australia, and Israel), along with the private military contractors who helped run the war games: the Rand Corporation and Booz-Allen.

-The list of options for the Nigeria scenario ranged from diplomatic pressure to military action, with or without the aid of European and African nations. One participant, U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stanovich, drew up a plan that called for the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops within 60 days….

-Among scenarios examined during the game were the possibility of direct American military intervention involving some 20,000 U.S. troops in order to “secure the oil,” and the question of how to handle possible splits between factions within the Nigerian government. The game ended without military intervention because one of the rival factions executed a successful coup and formed a new government that sought stability.

-[W]hen General Ward appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, he cited America’s growing dependence on African oil as a priority issue for Africom and went on to proclaim that combating terrorism would be “Africom’s number one theater-wide goal.” He barely mentioned development, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping or conflict resolution.

In May 2008, the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, hosted “Unified Quest 2008,” the army’s annual war games to test the American military’s ability to deal with the kind of crises that it might face in the near future. “Unified Quest 2008” was especially noteworthy because it was the first time the war games included African scenarios as part of the Pentagon’s plan to create a new military command for the continent: the Africa Command or Africom. No representatives of Africom were at the war games, but Africom officers were in close communication throughout the event.

The five-day war games were designed to look at what crises might erupt in different parts of the world in five to 25 years and how the United States might handle them. In addition to U.S. military officers and intelligence officers, “Unified Quest 2008” brought together participants from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies, academics, journalists, and foreign military officers (including military representatives from several NATO countries, Australia, and Israel), along with the private military contractors who helped run the war games: the Rand Corporation and Booz-Allen.

One of the four scenarios that were war-gamed was a test of how Africom could respond to a crisis in Somalia — set in 2025 — caused by escalating insurgency and piracy. Unfortunately, no information on the details of the scenario is available.

Far more information is available on the other scenario — set in 2013 — which was a test of how Africom could respond to a crisis in Nigeria in which the Nigerian government is near collapse, and rival factions and rebels are fighting for control of the oil fields of the Niger Delta and vying for power in the country which is the sixth largest supplier of America’s oil imports.

The list of options for the Nigeria scenario ranged from diplomatic pressure to military action, with or without the aid of European and African nations. One participant, U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stanovich, drew up a plan that called for the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops within 60 days, which even he thought was undesirable….

As the game progressed, according to former U.S. ambassador David Lyon, it became clear that the government of Nigeria was a large part of the problem. As he put it, “we have a circle of elites [the government of Nigeria] who have seized resources and are trying to perpetuate themselves. Their interests are not exactly those of the people.”

Furthermore, according to U.S. Army Major Robert Thornton, an officer with the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, “it became apparent that it was actually green (the host nation government) which had the initiative, and that any blue [the U.S. government and its allies] actions within the frame were contingent upon what green was willing to tolerate and accommodate.”

Among scenarios examined during the game were the possibility of direct American military intervention involving some 20,000 U.S. troops in order to “secure the oil,” and the question of how to handle possible splits between factions within the Nigerian government. The game ended without military intervention because one of the rival factions executed a successful coup and formed a new government that sought stability.

The recommendations which the participants drew up for the Army’s Chief of Staff, General George Casey, do not appear to be publicly available, so we don’t know exactly what the participants finally concluded. But we do know that since the war games took place in the midst of the presidential election campaign, General Casey decided to brief both John McCain and Barack Obama on its results.

The African Security Research Project has prepared reports providing detailed information on the creation, missions, and activities of Africom. In particular, they reveal that neither the commander of Africom, General William Ward, nor his deputy, Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, are under any illusions about the purpose of the new command.

Thus, when General Ward appeared before the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, he cited America’s growing dependence on African oil as a priority issue for Africom and went on to proclaim that combating terrorism would be “Africom’s number one theater-wide goal.” He barely mentioned development, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping or conflict resolution.

And in a presentation by Vice Admiral Moeller at an Africom conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008 and subsequently posted on the web by the Pentagon, he declared that protecting “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market” was one of Africom’s “guiding principles” and specifically cited “oil disruption,” “terrorism,” and the “growing influence” of China as major “challenges” to U.S. interests in Africa.

Since then, as General Ward has demonstrated in an interview with AllAfrica, he has become more adept at sticking to the U.S. government’s official public position on Africom’s aims and on its escalating military operations on the African continent.

These activities currently include supervising U.S. arms sales, military training programs and military exercises; overseeing the growing presence of U.S. naval forces in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea and off the coast of Somalia; running the new U.S. base at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti; and managing the array of African military bases to which the United States has acquired access under agreements with the host governments of African countries all over the continent. These countries include Algeria, Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Sao Tome, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia.
President Obama has decided instead to expand the operations of Africom throughout the continent. He has proposed a budget for financial year 2010 that will provide increased security assistance to repressive and undemocratic governments in resource-rich countries like Nigeria, Niger, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to countries that are key military allies of the United States like Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Rwanda and Uganda.

And he has actually chosen to escalate U.S. military intervention in Africa, most conspicuously by providing arms and training to the beleaguered Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, as part of his effort to make Africa a central battlefield in the “global war on terrorism.” So it is clearly wishful thinking to believe that his exposure to the real risks of such a strategy revealed by these hypothetical scenarios gave him a better appreciation of the risks that the strategy entails.

Daniel Volman is director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC and a member of the board of directors of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. He has been studying U.S. security policy toward Africa and U.S. military activities in Africa for more than 30 years.

Global Research Articles by Daniel Volman “—————————————-

“The Fall of America


The Dreadful Times of America

1 America, and especially North America, has entered into the time that was predicted by Moses and the prophets between him and Jesus. In the 24th chapter of Matthew there is a prophecy made by Jesus of the present time of America, without mentioning her name.

2 He referred to the country as a world, because this part of the earth is referred to in many places, by prophets and by Jesus himself, as a wilderness. The name America is not yet 500 years old, so the prophets referred to it as a wilderness in their prophecy.

3 It is terrible. I use the word “terrible” because it is not a thing that can be described as something mild, or something that is moving slowly, nor something that can be recognized as easily by the common people.

4 It is clear to all who can see that America has reached the stage about which she always has been warned. She always has wanted to keep it a secret, because of her so-called Negro slaves.

5 She never desired for the slave to know too much of what was in store for her, because of her enslaving and mistreating her slaves. She has reared them for the past 400 years — and she knows them. She knows how they think and how they react to her teachings, and she knows their fear of her. She knows her slaves, but the slaves do not know America — their slavemaster.

6 The great, dreadful and awful day (doom) is now in the doors and windows of America, and of the church — the religion of America. As long as Christianity worked, America thought she was safe, because it is one of the most deceiving and outright misleading religions of the world.

7 Allah (God) taught me that, if carefully examined, everything in the religion of Christianity is designed to make a slave out of Black people. If Christianity was in a wet rag and wrung out, every drop would write slavery for the Black man.

8 The world knows this now but the spiritually blinded, deaf and dumb American so-called Negroes, to whom I am calling and appealing to reason. I am calling them to reason with me on the truth and their own salvation, that is now in truth of self and kind and of the enemy of self.

9 There will not be an end to the clashes between Black and white America — and throughout the world — until wrong, evil, murdering, deceiving and robbing the poor Black man of the earth, is destroyed and righteousness and justice are practiced.

10 This is the day of God Almighty to set up justice and equality throughout the earth. He is to free the Black man — the American so-called Negro — from his deceitful, evil and murderous enemies.

11 America wishes to oppose Allah (God) in this work of bringing justice and freedom to her once slaves, but this is just what Allah (God) wants. He (Allah) wants America to attack Him, to get the fight started and to bring His judgment against her with the fullness of His strength and power.

12 America is bringing about political gloom. Here politicians are unable to carve out a future for America. The plan of deceiving the so-called Negro politicians to work against their own freedom, justice and equality (salvation) that Allah (God) has brought to them, is making the so-called Negroes in high offices become the enemy of his own people’s freedom, justice and equality.

13 Such offices are held out as a bribe to get Black politicians to work against the spread of the truth of their salvation. They are happy — and their boss knows that they are — to have a place near him in such offices just for the purpose of trying to oppose Allah and His Messenger in freeing the poor Black man who is in the mud.

14 This is causing the political confusion and complete destruction of the house divided against itself.

15 I am asking, in the name of Allah, that the American government agree on the separation of her once slaves and their master. Of course, Allah (God) is sufficient.

16 We want a home on this earth we can call our own. We do not want to be slaves anymore to white people. We do not want to be free “Uncle Toms” for white people. We want to do something for self and go for self. However, America, with her blind, deaf and dumb politicians and clergy class of the so-called Negroes, will bring a swift destruction upon their heads, along with the doom that is inevitable against the enemy.

17 It is not twenty years in the future — nor fifteen years. Let no one deceive you. It is here at our doors now. The dreadful plagues and confusion of America are beginning to boil. Their fuel making it boil will not cease until it is boiled down to the last of the dregs.

18 The present promise of a better future that America is making to the so-called Negroes will prove to be false. All of her false promises to the American so-called Negroes, will be short-lived by both — because the time of her doom has approached. America would have to do a miraculous thing of justice (a square deal) to turn it back.

19 A fantastic show of tempting the Negro to filth and evil will not work. It takes justice to work, to postpone the dreadful days of America. America’s loss of world friendship is speeding her doom.”

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