In February of 2008 under the administration of President George W. Bush, Jr., the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) was officially launched with its base in Stuttgart, Germany.
The reasoning behind the creation of AFRICOM has evolved over the last eight years from being a necessary security measure to protect vital American interests on the continent to a mechanism designed to assist post-colonial African states to enhance their national security apparatuses in light of the so-called “war on terrorism”, by then in full operation some four to five years after the invasion of Iraq and Haiti, and six-and-a-half years after the Pentagon occupation of Afghanistan.
There was much controversy within the African Union (AU) member-states over whether AFRICOM should establish its headquarters on the continent. This idea initially was rejected by the Pentagon due to this objection by numerous African states of varying political outlooks and governmental systems.
At this time, 2007-2008, the U.S. had initiated a war in Somalia in order to prevent the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) from fully consolidating power in that Horn of Africa nation fractured since 1991 after the collapse of the regime of Mohamed Siad Barre, a close ally of Washington. The administration of President George H.W. Bush in its final days had deployed 12,000 Marines to Somalia in December 1992, under the guise of responding to a humanitarian crisis of food deficits and internal conflict.
This “Operation Restore Hope” was inherited by the administration of President Bill Clinton. The operation was soon exposed as a war of occupation. Somalians rose up against the presence of U.S., Canadian and United Nations troops.
In July of 1993, the Pentagon troops bombed a location in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu killing over 50 leading members of several organizations including elders. In response to this massacre a full-blown war of resistance was waged by the people of Somalia.
On October 3, 1993, at least 18 U.S. troops were killed in a battle in Mogadishu signaling the beginning of the end of this failed intervention. By early 1994, the U.S. and UN forces had withdrawn from Somalia. Nonetheless, they would later return after 2006-2007 in a proxy war for the maintenance of U.S. influence in the oil-rich and strategic nation of Somalia.
Obama Continues Imperialist Interventions
The President Barack Obama administration after coming into office in January 2009 not only supported AFRICOM but promoted its strengthening and enhancement. A military base in another Horn of Africa state of Djibouti became a launching point for the Pentagon at Camp Lemonier. Pentagon training operations in various African states has not stabilized these countries but driven them deeper into divisions and uncertainty.
In Mali, for example, a captain who attended several U.S. war colleges later staged a coup against an elected government that was ostensibly supported by the Obama administration. The financing and logistical assistance provided to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) has failed to defeat Al-Shabaab despite the presence of Pentagon advisers and a CIA field station in Mogadishu…