Thursday, May 17, 2012

Obama to deploy heavy combat brigade to Africa: no end to the wars he'll fight

This is just what we need, he said sarcastically.

Having created AfricaCom, then mission creeped in Somalia, in Nigeria, and now Uganda, we are now on the road to constant US military intervention in Africa.

But there are other nondemocratic regimes there that might need propping up:

Current wars in Africa (not counting the Libyan
intervention). Roughly 25% of the continent is
at war--and the US wants to be involved!!??

The strategy is characterized by military aid to and reliance on brutish, undemocratic regimes, proxy militias, and targeted special operations as opposed to full-scale invasion and occupation. All of this is done without the consent of Congress or the American people.
The Obama administration has deployed Marines and assisted a spate of African tyrannies engaged in warfare. Murky justifications of al Qaeda-like enemies color the stated mission, but these expansions of empire into Africa are a prime example of going abroad in search of monsters to destroy.
Through the Pentagon’s Africa Command, the U.S. is now training and equipping militaries in countries including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia in the name of preventing “terrorists from establishing sanctuaries.” 
Of course, there is this to think about, the concept that Ron Paul calls "blowback":
The strategy appears irreconcilable with recent history, however, given the US-sponsored invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia in 2006 gave rise to the militant group al-Shabaab – now ironically justifying current interventions. 

Unfortunately, within the current two-party system there is no real alternative:  both President Obama and Governor Romney are dedicated military interventionists.  Whether Dr. Paul will have some influence on that part of the Republican platform remains to be seen.

Libertarian presidential Gary Johnson is not an interventionist, but. . . [you could tell that "but" was coming, right?] has supported humanitarian interventions to prevent genocide like the hunt for Joseph Kony.  I tend to see his position as realists, though the possibility of mission creep worries me.  On the other hand, if he actually cuts the Defense budget by 43%, then there is a lot less excess capacity sitting around to intervene with.

Nonetheless, Governor Johnson should be clear that if he wants the votes of Ron Paul supporters that anti-interventionist call will have to be both loud and consistent.

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