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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Imperialism not taking hold

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North Africa Reluctant to Host U.S. Command
Algeria and Libya Reject Pentagon's AFRICOM Proposal; Morocco Signals Its Lack of Enthusiasm

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, June 24, 2007; A16


RABAT, Morocco -- A U.S. delegation seeking a home for a new military command in Africa got a chilly reception during a tour of the northern half of the continent this month, running into opposition even in countries that enjoy friendly relations with the Pentagon.
Algeria and Libya separately ruled out hosting the Defense Department's planned Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, and said they were firmly against any of their neighbors doing so either. U.S. diplomats said they were disappointed by the depth of opposition, given that the Bush administration has bolstered ties with both countries on security matters in recent years.
Morocco, which has been mentioned as a possible site for the new command and is one of the strongest U.S. allies in the region, didn't roll out the welcome mat, either. After the U.S. delegation visited Rabat, the capital, on June 11, the Moroccan foreign ministry strongly denied a claim by an opposition political party that the kingdom had already offered to host AFRICOM. A ministry statement called the claim "baseless information."
Rachid Tlemcani, a professor of political science at the University of Algiers, said the stern response from North African governments was a reflection of public opposition to U.S. policies in the predominantly Muslim region.
"People on the street assume their governments have already had too many dealings with the U.S. in the war on terror at the expense of the rule of law," said Tlemcani, who is also a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The regimes realize the whole idea is very unpopular."
The Bush administration announced in February that it intends to create a separate military command for Africa this year. Responsibility for U.S. military operations on the continent is now divided primarily between the Central Command, based in Florida, and the European Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany.
As they search for a place to put a headquarters for the new command, U.S. officials have tried to allay concerns in Africa that the Pentagon has warlike designs in the region.
Ryan Henry, leader of the U.S. delegation and principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said the main mission for the command would be to stabilize weak or poor countries by training local security forces and doling out humanitarian aid.
"It's mostly a headquarters and planning focus," he said after meeting with Moroccan officials. "AFRICOM doesn't mean that there would be additional U.S. forces put on the continent."
Henry said no decision had been made about where to locate the command headquarters, which is expected to have 400 to 1,000 people.
During a stop in Algeria, Henry suggested that the Pentagon might "network" the command from several sites in Africa, rather than have a single headquarters. "If at all possible, that's the way we'd like to proceed," he told journalists during a briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers.
Defense officials acknowledge that one reason they are paying more attention to Africa is because the continent provides an increasingly large share of the U.S. supply of imported oil and natural gas.
Bush administration officials have also touted the new command as a key part of their strategy for countering terrorism threats on the continent. Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have experienced a resurgence in North and East Africa in recent years.
A group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb asserted responsibility for simultaneous suicide attacks in Algiers in April that killed 33 people. Suicide bombers have also struck Casablanca, Morocco, on three occasions since March, including an attack on the U.S. Consulate.
Since 2003, the Pentagon has developed a regional counterterrorism partnership with several impoverished countries in North Africa, including Mali, Niger, Senegal and Chad. Defense officials say parts of the vast Sahara and neighboring regions serve as training and recruiting grounds for extremist groups, in part because local forces are unable to patrol their own territory.
Rear Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Forces in Europe and most of Africa, said the counterterrorism training programs are designed to avoid a large U.S. military presence and usually involve units of only 10 to 15 people, who spend a few months in Africa at a time.
"Some nations remain somewhat concerned about too overt of a U.S. presence in the area," McRaven said in an interview in April. "But the nature of the special operations forces is that we can come in with a very small footprint. We can do that without a lot of visibility."
The North African counterterrorism partnership is headed by the State Department and also includes economic and humanitarian aid programs delivered by civil affairs units. But Tlemcani, the Algerian political scientist, said the U.S. government needed to do much more on those fronts before taking a more prominent military role in Africa.
"The best way to build a strategic relationship is with socioeconomic programs, which haven't been funded very well," he said by telephone from Beirut.
AFRICOM Maybe Afrika Korps might work better
Maybe we should invade them because they are not really our friends and I bet you if we had asked that from Israel we would be more than welcomed to stay but it would be very difficult to come up with a nice sounding name for the command in that region; any suggestions?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 10:50 AM
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Foolish idea. Magnet for terrorist bombs

What is the reason for this. It sure sounds like an imperialist agenda to me.
At least, it will be perceived as one if this is implemented. It is like a stick in the eye to the population of a nation which allowed that. Having an embassy with diplomatic relations is better.

Probably a much better idea, to prevent the troops from being a magnet for Terrorist attacks would be to station a couple of carriers in the Middle of the Mediterranean.

Even better, just stay out of there altogether.

Thed Bush administration should just be done with it, declare war on Islam, and invade the religion.

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Last edited by cascade; 06-24-2007 at 10:53 AM.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 11:45 AM
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The exceptional foundation of Foreign Policy that has been laid out over the past six years is obviously paying big dividends. Heck of a Job.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 02:26 PM
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By George (W), I thnk she's (Rice) got it...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th

Don't believe everything you think
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jayhawk
By George (W), I thnk she's (Rice) got it...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th
I have seen a couple of crazy folks that were cornered and unless done VERY VERY well controlling them is just about impossible and the consequences are ugly.

Thank goodness we have a well qualified team to plan and execu...oh wait.

SHIT!!

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 10:39 PM
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Well lets roll up the welcome mat, close in upon ourselves, become nationally acclaimed cynics and pat ourselves on the back while the world moves on. Great!
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 10:54 PM
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^ You aren't exactly in NYC yourself, you know...

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 10:59 PM
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^Myopic statement.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 01:45 AM
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USA is simply running the "lets conquer the world" campaign. Something all super and colonial powers of the past have done including britain. This is a step towards self destruction.

Fuel economy!! whats that??
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane
Well lets roll up the welcome mat, close in upon ourselves, become nationally acclaimed cynics and pat ourselves on the back while the world moves on. Great!
^ Does this not speak to the general population of NM (a wise bunch, btw)? I mean the whole world dominion thing rings a bit hollow from your ranch in NM....

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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