AFRICOM
Obama: Into Africa

Obama: Into Africa

President Obama is definitely “into” Africa. Unfortunately that has translated into holding the door open for U.S. multinationals to do what outsiders have done for centuries: extract the continent’s wealth.

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The Pentagon’s Italian Job

The Pentagon’s Italian Job

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the...

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Mali’s War: The Wages of Sin

Mali’s War: The Wages of Sin

The bad dream unfolding in Mali is less the product of a radical version of Islam than a consequence of the West’s scramble for resources on this vast continent, and the wages of sin from the recent Libyan war.

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Why Kony 2012 Fails

Why Kony 2012 Fails

From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate. But it has also demonstrated the dangers posed by oversimplification in an age when policy is made in the 24-hour news cycle. This has proven especially so on issues concerning Africa where, lacking historical context, over-simplistic media framing can quickly take root and lead to problematic policy “solutions.”

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History Repeats Itself with Somalia Invasion

History Repeats Itself with Somalia Invasion

Kenya’s ill-advised incursion into Somalia on Oct. 16 after a rash of kidnappings in the tourist paradise of Lamu will most likely lead to a long and expensive quagmire. The escalation will further destabilize a region already reeling from war, piracy, famine, and international terrorism.

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Target: Africa

An informal competition took place during the Bush years for the title of “second front” in the war on terror. Administration officials often referred to Southeast Asia as the next major franchise location for al-Qaeda, with the Philippines in particular slated to become the “next Afghanistan.” Then there was the border between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, which State Department officials termed a “focal point for Islamic extremism in Latin America.” Worried about the spread of al-Qaeda operatives in North Africa, the Bush administration also developed the Pan-Sahel Initiative, which became the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative before finally being folded into the Pentagon’s new Africa Command.

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