The Startling Size, Scope, and Growth of U.S. Military Operations on the African Continent

Tom’s Dispatch

Nick Turse

They’re involved in Algeria and Angola, Benin and Botswana, Burkina Faso and Burundi, Cameroon and the Cape Verde Islands. And that’s just the ABCs of the situation. Skip to the end of the alphabet and the story remains the same: Senegal and the Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. From north to south, east to west, the Horn of Africa to the Sahel, the heart of the continent to the islands off its coasts, the U.S. military is at work. Base construction, security cooperation engagements, training exercises, advisory deployments, special operations missions, and a growing logistics network, all undeniable evidence of expansion — except at U.S. Africa Command.

Green: U.S. military training, advising, or tactical deployments during 2013 Yellow: U.S. military training, advising, or tactical deployments during 2012 Purple: U.S. "security cooperation" Red: Army National Guard partnerships Blue: U.S. bases, forward operating sites (FOSes), contingency security locations (CSLs), contingency locations (CLs), airports with fueling agreements, and various shared facilities Green push pins: U.S. military training/advising of indigenous troops carried out in a third country during 2013 Yellow push pins: U.S. military training/advising of indigenous troops carried out in a third country during 2012
Green: U.S. military training, advising, or tactical deployments during 2013
Yellow: U.S. military training, advising, or tactical deployments during 2012
Purple: U.S. “security cooperation”
Red: Army National Guard partnerships
Blue: U.S. bases, forward operating sites (FOSes), contingency security locations (CSLs), contingency locations (CLs), airports with fueling agreements, and various shared facilities
Green push pins: U.S. military training/advising of indigenous troops carried out in a third country during 2013
Yellow push pins: U.S. military training/advising of indigenous troops carried out in a third country during 2012

To hear AFRICOM tell it, U.S. military involvement on the continent ranges from the miniscule to the microscopic. The command is adamant that it has only a single “military base” in all of Africa: Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The head of the command insists that the U.S. military maintains a “small footprint” on the continent. AFRICOM’s chief spokesman has consistently minimized the scope of its operations and the number of facilities it maintains or shares with host nations, asserting that only “a small presence of personnel who conduct short-duration engagements” are operating from “several locations” on the continent at any given time.
Continue reading The Startling Size, Scope, and Growth of U.S. Military Operations on the African Continent

South Africa: Time to stop feeding the parasites

Daily Maverick

Mashumi is a a founder member and leader of a strong community organization, Abahlali baseMjondolo, in some settlements in Durban. He criticizes the political leaders and the establishment for being parasites through corruption, on the people after their victory over apartheid. He says “communities need to build healthy organizations, democratic organizations, honest organizations… We need to build organizations that can build the power of the workers and the poor… We need land and housing. We need decent work. Our children need good education. Our demands are clear: The land, the wealth and the power must be shared fairly. Every person must count the same.”

Lindela ‘Mashumi’ Figlan
Apartheid was defeated by the will of the people, but when freedom arrived, along with it came a parasite. This parasite is eating the people’s struggle from the inside out. It’s time to rid South Africa of its unwelcome guest.
Continue reading South Africa: Time to stop feeding the parasites

Corruption in Peru Aids Cutting of Rain Forest

New York Times

By WILLIAM NEUMAN and ANDREA ZARATE

Illegal Logging Thrives in Peru, Environmentalists Say
Illegal Logging Thrives in Peru, Environmentalists Say

PUCALLPA, Peru — Afraid the police would tip off suspects, Francisco Berrospi kept local officers in the dark when he headed into the rain forest as a prosecutor to investigate illegal logging. Sometimes it hardly seemed to matter, though.

Even when he managed to seize trucks, chain saws or illegally harvested trees, judges would often force him to give them back, he said. Bribes were so common, he said, that one anticorruption official openly encouraged him to take them.
Continue reading Corruption in Peru Aids Cutting of Rain Forest

Corruption in the Congo: How China Learned from the West

Think Africa Press

A coltan mine in the DRC. Photograph by Responsible Sourcing Network.
A coltan mine in the DRC. Photograph by Responsible Sourcing Network.

To single out Chinese companies for entering into shady business in the DRC is to miss a fundamental point: Western firms have been at it for centuries, and still are.

Last January I was in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to research Sicomines, China’s controversial $6.5 billion megadeal in which Chinese companies will construct roads, schools and hospitals in exchange for mining and untold billions of dollars worth of copper and cobalt with Congo’s state mining agency.
Continue reading Corruption in the Congo: How China Learned from the West

Eritrean nun mourns Lampedusa victims, calls for action against Sinai torture camps

Independent Catholic News

By: Sister Aziza

mig3The Eritrean community in Israel is in deep mourning, following the terrible news of the two ships that capsized on the way from Africa to Italy. More than 300 bodies have been recovered. Many of us here have relatives or friends who were on the boats and met their deaths by drowning.

Eritreans seeking their way to Italy, like those of us here in Israel, are fleeing an Eritrean dictatorship that subjugates, persecutes and tortures its citizens. These refugees flee in the hope that they will be able to live in dignity as free men.
Continue reading Eritrean nun mourns Lampedusa victims, calls for action against Sinai torture camps

Why Elizabeth Warren Is ‘NOT Celebrating’ The End Of The Government Shutdown

Huffington Post

usa2I’m glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I’m relieved that we didn’t default on our debt.

But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.

Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.

According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.
Continue reading Why Elizabeth Warren Is ‘NOT Celebrating’ The End Of The Government Shutdown