The #2 of top stories in Africa for 2017 is that a lot more innocent Africans are being killed and maimed by the U.S. military than ever before.
Americans may have an impression that our military is the one arm of Trump’s government that’s not in complete dysfunction. Even putting aside a few gigantic megalithic ship crashes in the Pacific and Air Force plane crashes at an all time high, I believe that our increased military in Africa is as undisciplined and misdirected as the rest of Trump policy, so clearly the most dangerous of all.
Current American wars in Africa were almost all started by Obama, and I will forever blame him for the increased terrorism that subsequently ensued. Like with almost all conventional military responses to terrorism it works for a time but only a time, then fails with a vengeance.
That’s exactly what happened to Obama’s Africom, the huge military buildup in Africa that he began early in his administrations.
Obama’s strategy seemed rational from a military point of view: The rout of terrorists in the MidEast sent a large majority of them fleeing to Africa. The new frontline for terrorism became the border between Kenya and Somalia, so Obama turned a near defunct Kenya military into a modern fighting force.
But by 2015 it looked quite rosy. That’s now changed: terrorist control of African territory, especially in Somalia, is on the increase again.
Mind you all what Trumpism has done is rational post-Obama: As terrorism declines its adversaries grow more confident. The American military even under Obama was arguing that its missions should be ratcheted up to quash the few remaining threats.
Today under Trumpism there is nearly ten times as much military action in Africa as under Obama.
I don’t believe Trump himself has anything to do with this. It’s the cabal of old military hands who run the White House. And to be fair the strategy would likely have appealed to all but the most liberal-minded of presidents. Hillary would have done the same.
Hardly in office a few months and the White House was circulating an important infograph from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Its March report projected rapidly increasing ISIS attacks in Africa.
Shadow wars proliferated everywhere. We threw so much arsenal into Somalia that we’ve shattered the fragile constitutional government built over four decades of arduous diplomacy by virtually all the world powers.
Military strategy in Africa has been simplified: just add guns. Georgia National Guard popped up in Zanzibar! In May I personally met 30 young American soldiers in Madagascar! They refused to describe their “mission” but really, Madagascar? There aren’t any terrorists or old Russians in Madagascar and even if there were, there’s absolutely no strategic reason to be there!
And while Trumpism increased our military attacks in Somali tenfold over the Obama years, for no explicable reason it simultaneously reduced the behind the scenes surveillance and other covert operations. This resulted in many more horrible terrorist attacks that the military under Obama absolutely would have prevented only a few years ago.
So what we have is a rather disorganized and reckless firefight going on in the dangerous parts of Africa. Our arsenal is thousands of times greater than the masked terrorists racing about the desert and one inevitable result is what is so disgustingly called “collateral damage.” This innocent destruction of the bystander is increasing geometrically.
That, in turn, increases support for the terrorists.
It’s tiresome to ask, When Will We Ever Learn? But like a Mississippi kid in a gun shop the bigger the better I guess. Less money for kid’s health and more money for more guns that does nothing but increase “collateral damage,” more support for the bad guys, and then more fighting than ever: the endless cycle we just can’t seem to break.