In 2004 the US military began to expand into Africa. In 2007 they created Africa Command (Africom). Since then they’ve accelerated and expanded operations. Africa has great natural resources, but why more interest now?
Here is one possible explanation: the great game. A rival great power expands its reach and things of no interest to us suddenly become worth contesting. China has become a major importer from many African nations, and the US replies to this challenge in the only way it knows how.
Note the contrast between US and Chinese grand strategy. China expands its influence through commercial ties. Development loans, usually at below-market rates, in exchange for contracts to sell resources. The US provides arms, military training, and strike forces. It’s a different way of seeing the world.
Whose grand strategy seems more likely to produce peace and prosperity for them, and for the world?
Update: About US interventions in Africa
Important: “Neo-Imperialism and the Arrogance of Ignorance“, Frankin C. Spinney, 1 March 2013
Washington Post articles by Craig Whitlock:
- “U.S. shares fruit of spy missions“, 14 June 2012
- “Contractors run U.S. spying missions in Africa“, 14 June 2012
- “White House secret meetings examine al-Qaeda threat in North Africa“, 1 October 2012
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Some posts about China and America:
- Power shifts from West to East: the end of the post-WWII regime in the news, 20 December 2007
- China becomes a super-power (geopolitical analysis need not be war-mongering), 9 July 2008
- A different perspective on the US and China, seen by an American living in Russia, 23 March 2009
- China – the mysterious other pole of the world economy, 22 July 2009
- Another big step for China on its road to becoming a great power, 27 July 2009
- Update about China: a new center of the world, 13 December 2009
- China moves to the center of the world. America moves to the edge, 6 January 2010
- How China builds its commercial empire, 12 July 2010
- Why China will again rise to the top, and their most important advantage over America, 11 November 2010
- Will China become a superpower?, 9 September 2011
- Every day the new world emerges, yet we see it not. Like today, as Europe begs China for loans, 15 September 2011
- What China Wants Us to Understand about China’s Rise, 12 March 2012
- Are America and China secret twins? The similarities are striking, but we don’t see them., 17 May 2012
- Why does the US government seek a hotter conflict with China?, 15 October 2012