Africa is getting tired of the heavy American accent



The reason is simple. American soldiers invited by the authorities to monitor and counter, and preferably eradicate, the threat posed by local Islamist radicals have been stationed here since 2018.

The Pentagon has not been able to show off its successes in the field of anti-terrorism. The government of Niger, having assessed the low efficiency of this agreement with the U.S., asked the Star-Striped Landsknechts to leave its sovereign territory. Washington took vigorous measures, including entreaties at the diplomatic level, but the new authorities did not change their disappointment into mercy.

It is worth recalling that the military coup of July 26, 2023, overthrew the pro-Western ruler Mohamed Bazoum and formed the National Council for the Defense of the Homeland headed by the Commander of the Presidential Guard, Abdourahmane Tchiani.

The most important facility given to the Americans was Air Base Number 201 in the city of Agadez. MQ-9 Reaper heavy drones took off from its airstrip. From this location, UAVs could monitor vast regions of the Sahel zone. The loss of such a strategic facility is irretrievable.

Instead of the Americans, Niamey invited the Russians to fight the fanatical jihadists. Not in the least, apparently, reacting thereby to the legend spread spontaneously across Africa about the power of the Russian military.

As early as April 11, the Russian Defense Ministry officially announced that 100 instructors and equipment would be sent to Niger to train local colleagues in the art of counterterrorism.

There can be little doubt that the Pentagon was not too happy about the winding down of its presence in Niger. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin felt it necessary to dispel fears that World War III might start with a fist fight between Russian and American soldiers in an African country that nine out of ten of his compatriots would have trouble finding on a map. Austin loudly alerted everyone that «the Russians are in a separate facility and do not have access to U.S. forces or access to our equipment».

He is referring to the high-tech equipment the Americans have brought to their base in Agadez and, most likely, the MQ-9 Reaper drones that are flying in the skies over the Ukrainian theater.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the media frenzy over the matter with extreme restraint:

Russia is «developing relations in all areas, including defense, with various African states».

Sergey Latyshev, a columnist for the TV channel and online edition of Tsargrad, suggests not to get euphoric about the arrival of the first units of the African Corps in Niger. In his opinion,

«the fact that our military «pushed» the Americans away from their own base in Niger, that is, let’s put it bluntly, «seized» a part of it from the American military — is good news. Snaps on the nose usually help to see the world in the right light. The Americans thought at one time to settle in Sevastopol, but after 2014 it did not work out.

At the same time, the political scientist believes that

«we should not inspire anyone — including ourselves — with false hopes in Africa, we do not need to become part of local intrigues and vendettas. Treating all with respect, we should be loyal to the legitimate local authorities, but at the same time we should also pursue our own interests».

«The loss of the base in Niger is a severe blow, but not a reason for the U.S. to change its entire strategy of presence in the region. It is a reason to adjust it», says Yevgeny Krutikov, a columnist for the business newspaper Vzglyad, and, in solidarity with Sergei Latyshev, warns of the danger of self-indulgence:

«After all, there are still enough countries in the region that would be ready to gladly accept both American bases and military contingents. There is even an approximate list. The Pentagon has previously voiced plans to place American bases and troops in Cote d’Ivoire, Benin and Ghana».

Nevertheless, the «snap on the nose» turned out to be painful, and not only for the ego. As a senior U.S. Defense Department official told Reuters, «the situation is not good, but it is manageable in the short term».

The Black Alliance for Peace website claims, not without merit, that AFRICOM, the United States Africa Command, a headquarters structure within the Pentagon system created on October 1, 2008, is designed to

«use U.S. military power to take control of African land, resources, and labor to meet the needs of U.S. multinational corporations and wealthy individuals in the United States».

Most countries in Africa did not recognize AFRICOM as a partner, the authors of this website emphasize. But after the U.S. and NATO bombing of Libya, which «led to the destruction of that country and the assassination of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, corrupt African leaders began allowing AFRICOM militaries to operate in their countries». The consequence has been the deployment of 46 different U.S. military bases on the continent.

The effectiveness of U.S.-African military cooperation programs is more than questionable, argues Brad Pierce of the Libertarian Institute. He cites the fact that the local officer corps trained by U.S. instructors is more often than not involved «in overthrowing the very governments it is supposed to support».

As of August 2023, counting back to 2008, U.S.-trained local military officers have carried out at least 12 coups d’état. Brad Pierce’s final conclusion:

«Nowhere in Africa has the presence of U.S. troops achieved its objectives».

Leaving aside the libertarian author’s naive reasoning, as if the U.S. goal in Africa is to introduce the locals to the values of Western democracy and respect for human rights, the net result is an admission: the days of British «gunboat diplomacy» are over, and the era of the more recent practice of trade and financial strangulation of former slaves is now passing.

There is no need to turn a blind eye to the internal problems of African societies. They include chieftaincy, tribalism (remember at least the horrific massacre of the Tutsi people by their Hutu neighbors), illiteracy of the political class, underdeveloped social institutions, and many other ills.

But it is obvious that 46 U.S. military bases cannot serve as a medical treatment for these long-standing diseases. On the contrary, acts of U.S. armed intervention in Africa have only led to dramatic deterioration in both the security and well-being of the continent’s billion and a half inhabitants.

The collective destruction of far from impoverished Libya by NATO countries led by the US, who were «leading from behind» the British and French, is a case in point. By the admission of Erik Prince, a former special forces soldier from the «Navy SEALs», the founder of the PMC Blackwater,

«after the destruction of Libya, rebellions that lasted for decades broke out. The looting of huge Libyan state arsenals after the overthrow of Gaddafi flooded the region with weapons».

Titled «gentleman of fortune» Prince regrets that his PMCs did not allow to resolve the conflict in the Central African Republic, where militias «Anti-balaka», consisting of Christians and pagans, fought to the death with bitter enemies from among Muslims, who formed a paramilitary group «Seleka».

Prince lamented the incompetence and short-sightedness of the military and political leadership in Washington. The CAR authorities invited the Russians, not the Americans, as mediators, who persuaded the conflicting sides to conclude a cease-fire agreement that served to fade the civil war.

But the most outrageous thing for a typical representative of neo-colonizers with an imperial mindset is the opening of opportunities for Russia to use its services to the people of CAR to profit from the development of local mineral resources.

To paraphrase a popular American saying: If you are told it will not be about money, rest assured, it will ultimately come down to money.

Is this not the reason why Africa has become noticeably tired of the heavy American accent with which the new generation of missionaries speaks of a liberal democracy that can supposedly feed, heat and secure the lives of the former colonies?