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Thread: More about Africa...

  1. #1
    [sarcasm] A well balanced post there j2k4, both sides of the argument well put. [/sarcasm]
    "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    maebach's Avatar Team FST Captain
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    Thats just amazing, I never knew there were so many problems. The only thing I know about Africa is that they have alot of AIDS, Poverty, and a great Nelson Mandela.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Maybe an end to US military aid to these governments would be a good first step? How much of the aid mentioned was military aid? How many governments are kept in power by Western arms?

    It's wrong to talk about amounts of aid without breaking it down into what that aid is for, and where it goes.

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    AFRICA

    "This isnít target practice! This is about killing people!"
    U.S. military trainer in Niger, April 2005.

    Overview of U.S. Arms and Aid to Africa

    In the wake of September 11th, and in keeping with its interest in securing access to oil and other key natural resources, the Bush administration has been rapidly expanding U.S. military involvement in Africa. While most recent increases in U.S. arms sales, aid and military training in Africa have been justified as part of what the administration refers to as the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT), oil has been a major factor in the administrationís strategic calculations from the outset.

    In his first few months in office, President Bushís first Secretary of State, Colin Powell, stressed the need to improve relations with oil producing nations like Nigeria and Angola. Similarly, the report of Vice-President Cheneyís Energy Task Force stressed the importance of gaining and maintaining access to African oil resources, which U.S. intelligence assessments expect to increase to as much as 25% of U.S. oil imports by the year 2020.

    The Congressional Budget justification underscores the strong pull of oil interests in Bush administration decision making. The entry on Equatorial Guinea notes that "over the course of the past five years, U.S. companies have invested approximately $5 billion" in the countryís oil sector. The entry for Sao Tome and Principe is more forward-looking, noting that "in the coming decade, U.S. companies are expected to participate in the development of petroleum resources in Sao Tomeís territorial waters." Nigeria is cited for its "large oil and gas reserves," while the entry on Angola stresses the need to "help ensure U.S. private-sector oil access to a source of seven percent of U.S. petroleum imports, a figure likely to rise in the coming years."

    Beyond oil, U.S. military officials have cited "a growing terrorist threat" in northern and sub-Saharan Africa to justify a program of stepped up military engagement in the region. General James Jones, head of the U.S. European command, has suggested the need to create a "family of bases" across Africa that would range from forward operating locations that would include an airfield and facilities to house 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. military personnel to "bare-bones" bases that U.S. Special Forces or Marines could "land at and build up as the mission required."

    These new facilities would not be considered "formal" bases like the growing U.S. base in the Horn of Africa in Djibouti, which has a regular deployment of 1,800 to 2,000 troops stationed there. While new basing arrangements are being worked out, a major increase in U.S. military exercises and training missions throughout Africa will be used to sustain a regular U.S. presence.

    Military Aid, Training, and Sales on the Rise

    While the millions of dollars being spent on U.S. military aid and sales to Africa pale in comparison to the billions being expended in the Middle East and South Asia, all of the major U.S. bilateral aid and sales programs have increased sharply in recent years.

    Funding to sub-Saharan Africa under the largest U.S. military aid program, Foreign Military Financing, doubled from $12 million in fiscal year 2000 to a proposed $24 million in the FY 2006 budget proposal, and the number of recipient nations has grown from one to nine.

    The Pentagonís International Military Education and Training (IMET) program has increased by 35% from 2000 to the 2006 proposal, from $8.1 million to $11 million, and from 36 participating nations to 47. Foreign Military Sales more than quadrupled from fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2003 (the most recent year for which full statistics are available), from $9.8 million to $40.3 million. And Commercial Sales of arms licensed by the State Department grew from $.9 million to $3.8 million over the 2000 to 2003 period.

    These bilateral programs are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of overall U.S. military aid commitments going forward. The U.S. European Command has requested $125 million over five years for the Pan-Sahel Initiative, for training and exercises with Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and other nations in the region. U.S. engagement under the program has gone far beyond traditional training to include involvement in combat operations.

    Craig S. Smith of the New York Times offers the following description of the role of U.S. forces in a 2004 operation against the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a designated terrorist organization, and its leader, Ammari Saifi: "The United States European Command sent a Navy P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft to sweep the area, relaying Mr. Saifiís position to forces in the region. Mali chased him out of the country to Niger, which in turn pushed him into Chad, where, with United States Special Forces support of an airlift of fuel and other supplies, 43 of his men were killed or captured."

    Other major U.S. military commitments include a proposed $100 million program for military and anti-terrorist training in East Africa, and a $200 million pledge to train and restructure Liberiaís military forces. The first $35 million of this amount has been committed to a training program run by DynCorp, a private military company with a mixed record in operations in the Balkans, Colombia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In addition to programs targeted to specific countries or regions, the ACOTA program (African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance) has received $38 million in funding over the past three years, with the stated goal of training "select African militaries to respond effectively to peace support and humanitarian crises on their continent." Participants in the program have included Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal and Botswana.

    Transparency and accountability are major missing components with respect to current U.S. military operations in Africa. There is no single source that summarizes U.S. exercises or Pentagon-run training missions like the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET program) in any detail.

    Source

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    "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    You must differentiate what you mean by "Aid" J2.

    The US spends less GDP on foreign aid than any other developed country... with the exception of Military Aid, which it gives more of than anyone else.

    You know the old saying;

    "Give a man a fish and you have fed him for today; shoot him and he wont need to eat anymore"

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    I can't say I agree with these gentlemen overall but I do agree we need to change the way aid is given. I cannot accept that aid should be withdrawn.

    We need to make sure the aid goes where it is supposed to and that is the tricky part.

    On a side note this bit made me smile

    No country that lacks a decent education system, clean water, sanitary sewers and health care should be allowed to waste money on tanks, armored cars and other weaponry.
    All things that seem to be on the decline here
    Last edited by vidcc; 07-26-2005 at 05:54 PM.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    I think the Aid should be targeted better.

    Whats the point of giving money to some of these governments, if they are just gonna put it in their bank accounts?

    Writing off the debt is a good start, however unless trade barriers are removed then its just giving them a breather before they're in the same situation.

    Africa is a rich continent, thats why the west is interested... the western corporations can make big profits by taking advantage of things

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    Why does Africa need to trade with anyone. They survived for centuries trading with each other. Get them back to that situation.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    Rat, why don't you close this-it's another waste of time.

    I think you gave up too easily here J.

    The bloggs you posted were actually advocating we stop selling arms to nations that cannot feed their people, although they could have worded it better or argued it more humanely, which is just what rat and rio have criticised the US for doing.

    I can't go along totally with the posters views because I don't think it's moral to allow innocent people to die because of politics....which is what they are also advocating.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

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