U.S. Africa policy to remain imperialistic
With Barack Obama’s reelection as president of the leading imperialist state in the world, the Obama administration will continue along the same foreign policy trajectory as in its first term: exploitation of the labor and resources of oppressed peoples and the intensification of militarism in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and other geopolitical regions. The Obama administration enhanced the role of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), started under the Bush presidency, and led a war of regime change against the oil-rich nation of Libya, resulting in the brutal assassination of martyred leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
The upsurges in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011 shook up the U.S. and its allies in the region. However, the governments that have come to power in these countries have not fundamentally changed their relationships with imperialism. Palestine is still under Israeli siege despite a new government in Egypt, and the regime in Tunisia was compelled to turn over the former prime minister of Libya to the CIA-installed junta in Libya.
The economic damage done to the world capitalist system as a result of imperialist war has been enormous. The economies of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Haiti have all been devastated.
Imperialist militarism will escalate
Under the Obama administration the Horn of Africa nation of Somalia has become an outpost of U.S. imperialism. With a military base in neighboring Djibouti at Camp Lemonier, the Somalia nation is a staging ground for military operations against the Islamist resistance movement Al-Shabab.
At present more than 17,000 U.S.-backed troops from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) are stationed in Somalia. These troops are trained and financed by the Pentagon with full political support of the White House.
Somalia is a source of growing oil exploration. In the breakaway northern region of Puntland, oil is already being extracted by Canadian and British firms.
In fact, throughout the entire regions of East and Central Africa, new findings of oil, natural gas and various strategic minerals are fueling the increased presence of transnational corporations and military forces from the U.S., Britain, Israel and the European Union. Drones and fighter aircraft are flooding into the area under the guise of fighting “terrorism” and “piracy.”
The presence of the U.S. and other imperialist states in Central and East Africa has not stabilized the political situation at all. The plight of the people has actually worsened under the Obama administration, with widespread dislocation in Somalia and Ethiopia as well as the spread of war into Kenya.
Kenya has deployed several thousand of its defense forces in southern Somalia at the behest of the U.S. administration. The southern Somalia port city of Kismayo has been seized by the Kenya Defense Forces and AMISOM.
The Israeli Air Force bombed the country of Sudan in late October. A military factory was targeted at the same time that Sudan and Iran were engaged in joint military exercises around Port Sudan.
This was not the first time that Israel has bombed Sudan. These provocations are also designed to send a clear message to Iran that Israel can strike there, too.
Sudan is still under sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other imperialist states. Formerly the largest geographic nation-state in Africa, Sudan has been partitioned between the North and the South, and other efforts are ongoing to break away the Darfur region in the west of the country.
Last October, at the height of the Occupy Movement across the U.S., the Obama administration announced the deployment of at least 100 Special Forces and military trainers to Uganda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. These U.S. military forces were purportedly dispatched to hunt down Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The campaign known as “Invisible Children” was launched through social media on the internet.
The entire operation was designed to deflect attention away from mass demonstrations taking place, throughout the U.S. and the world, against Wall Street financiers and the impact of their policies of exploitation and oppression. It was also aimed at creating confusion about the role of the U.S. military within Africa and other parts of the world.
In West Africa, the imperialists are planning an intervention in Mali to put down a rebellion in the north of the country by the Tuareg people. The Mali crisis is partly related to the Pentagon-NATO destabilization of Libya, as thousands of Tuaregs were displaced as a result of the 2011 war.
Malian armed forces staged a coup against President Amadou Toumani Touré in March, despite the fact that the U.S. has maintained close ties with the Malian army through AFRICOM training and joint maneuver projects. The coup leaders said that the military takeover was related to the government’s failure to quell the Tuareg rebellion. Nevertheless, the situation in the north worsened after the coup, leading to a declaration of independence by the Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and other regional Islamist groups.
In November, the U.N. Security Council announced that some 3,300 troops provided by the member-states of the Economic Community of West African States will be sent to Mali to put down the Tuareg rebellion. However, Pentagon and E.U. military forces will provide the logistics and funding for this operation, which will inevitably benefit imperialism in its drive for resources and profits.
In South Africa the rising tide of the labor movement is challenging the transnational mining industry. An outbreak of wildcat strikes is weakening the neoliberal policies of the ruling African National Congress and their allies within the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party.
A broad-based debate within the national liberation movement in South Africa is taking place over the future of the struggle, which after 18 years has still not reached the objectives outlined by the Freedom Charter of 1955. The South African revolution must move toward socialism, or it will face even greater contradictions and internal strife.
In Zimbabwe, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party has consolidated the comprehensive land redistribution program, and is moving toward greater control of the mining industry, which is linked with the same sectors in neighboring South Africa. Throughout the Southern Africa region, the former liberation movements are once again enhancing their dialogue and political coordination.
The anti-war and anti-imperialist movements in the U.S. must follow the situation in Africa very closely. These movements must be prepared to politically defend the various movements and states that are under threat by imperialism.
Unemployment in the Western industrialized states has not been as high since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Poverty and social misery are increasing even within the advanced capitalist countries.
As economic conditions of the workers and the oppressed inside the U.S. and the imperialist countries grow more desperate every day, the aggressive military actions against the peoples of the so-called developing states will intensify. Consequently, the workers and oppressed of the West must form closer alliances in order to coordinate political actions with their counterparts in the developing and oppressed nations.