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AFRICOM: The Geopolitical Business of ‘Counter Insurgency’ in Sahel

AFRICOM, an imperialist war machine, supplying the expertise in fabricating threats before managing the perception of safety to further the United States’ economic and geostrategic interest in Africa. These are not solutions providers, but risk managers whose job is to make sure the guns don’t go silent.

Freddie Ponton
21st Century Wire

The recent events in Niger have revived some of the most important debates regarding Africa’s sovereignty, forcing both western and African powers to revisit the integrity and the purposes of organisations such as the African Union or Regional Economic Communities (RECs) such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is also an opportunity to re-examine the conditions that have led to the security challenges and instability that have crippled the Sahel region for many years and destabilised some of the most resource-rich African states, many of who are still listed by the UN and the World Bank as some of the world’s poorest countries.

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), is one of eleven unified military command centres of the US Department of Defense, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

AFRICOM, along with CIA, MI6, French DGSE, NATO, NGOs and western corporations – have all played an important role in securing Western interest in Sub-Saharan countries, but have they truly made things better for the population of these countries? or have they contributed to the worsening of the situation?

Although we cannot fully explain the unrest in this region without addressing the complex topic of ethnicity, it is true that ethnicity and tribal schisms alone cannot explain the crisis and waves of violence that have unfolded in the Sahel for countless years. So who else is responsible? We want to know if and how France, the United States, and other former European colonial powers have contributed to the destabilisation in the Sahel, leading to some of the worse humanitarian and political crises in recent times in Africa. We hope this article will provide some clues.

This article will take a look back at the origin of the growing insurgencies at the borders of Niger and beyond,  whilst auditing the US and Europe security performances in this region, which could help us understand Niger but also Burkina Faso and Mali’s frustration with France and other West African governments, who seems too conveniently happy to remain under the penalising rules and conditions outlined in the “France Afrique Colonial Pact” which is perceived by Pan African adepts and African sovereigntists as the Pact for the Continuation of Colonisation.

Origin of AFRICOM operation in Niger and Sahel

According to a November 7, 2002 report by the Office of Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State, “Pan-Sahel Initiative” was launched as part of a State-led effort to assist Mali, Niger, Chad, and Mauritania in detecting and responding to suspicious movement of people and goods across and within their borders through training, equipment and cooperation. The goal of this Pan-Sahel Initiative was to support two U.S. national security interests in Africa:

1. Waging the War on Terrorism; and
2. Enhancing regional peace and security.

In 2005, the Pan-Sahel Initiative was superseded by the larger-scope Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTP), an interagency plan by the United States government, combining efforts by both civil and military agencies, “to combat terrorism in Trans-Saharan Africa”, which by 2008 was incorporated into AFRICOM.

Defining Insurgency & Counterinsurgency

French insurgency expert David Galula defines an insurgency as “a protracted struggle conducted methodically, step by step, in order to attain specific intermediate objectives, leading finally to the overthrow of the existing order”.

“Unlike conventional wars, where one military aims to defeat another on the battlefield, the centre of gravity in insurgencies is the population, in other words, the battle between insurgents and the state is a tug-of-war for the loyalty and support of the population”, contends Galula.

It’s no secret that part of the Obama administration’s agenda was to push for an overwhelming presence of the US military on the African continent which represented a unique opportunity for AFRICOM (as well as all the intelligence and political weight behind it), to develop their Counterinsurgency “COIN” strategy and corresponding doctrines.

The US State Department identifies five tasks for a counterinsurgency mission (COIN) to be successful and to win the population over.

1. Security;
2. Justice & Reconciliation;
3. Humanitarian & Social Well-Being;
4. Governance & Participation; and
5. Economic Stabilization & Infrastructure Development

Let’s apply these doctrines to Niger and see if they actually work in the real world:

1. After Years of U.S. military aid, terror attacks still rise in Niger. Islamic State group, impose zakat, an Islamic tax whilst stealing animals and killing civilians. The level of security in Niger is simply worse than it ever was.

2. Mohammed Bazoum will be prosecuted for high treason (corruption and endangerment of the nation safety) UraniumGate scandal amongst others is still not resolved. Hence, justice and reconciliation are still compromised

3. Niger is still one of the poorest populations in the world with a constant humanitarian and security crisis on its hand. The well-being of the society is nowhere to be found. Incidentally, humanitarian and social well-being was better in 2002, pre-AFRICOM.

4. Niger’s poor governance is not a myth but a well know reality

5. Economic stabilisation and infrastructure development should have been funded in partnership with those who extract relentlessly the considerable mineral wealth of the country (gold and uranium). Yet Niger’s electricity comes from neighbouring Nigeria (to say thank you AREVA and France who could have built an nuclear power plant in Niger, but they didn’t) and very little infrastructure development has taken place in the country apart from the Kandadji Dam Project whose ECOWAS sanctions has recently stopped it in its tracks. Clearly, no ‘development money’ has made its way into real development in this county.

This simple analysis using not mine, but the US Department of State’s own “COIN” doctrines, shows how unsuccessful the foreign policies which govern AFRICOM have been. AFRICOM’s mission seems to have been more about stopping China’s economic and trade progress in Africa, and to a certain degree Russia’s too, by tying knots with North African and Sub-Saharan countries which US and France as still considering as their “private reserves”.

In 2002 and 2003, the first years of U.S. counterterrorism aid to Niger, the State Department recorded a total of just nine terrorist acts across all of Africa reported The Intercept. According to their article, a recent study by the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, a think tank affiliated with the US Department of Defense, counted 2,737 violent incidents last year in Burkina Faso, Mali, and western Niger alone thus reflecting an increase of more than 30,000% since the United States started its ‘counterterrorism’ initiatives. It would be hard to blame Wagner for these terrible figures since Wagner only started operating in the area in late 2021, and only then on a relatively small level of operations.

The report goes on to explain how back in 2002, a food security monitoring organisation established by USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development, had described the general food situation as “satisfactory” and showing “progressive improvement”. However, can we ignore the fact that ever since the United States started to pump counterterrorism cash into these nations under the Pan-Sahel Initiative, the food situation and well-being of the populations started to crumble? Coincidence or correlation? You be the judge.

One thing for sure: the US, NATO and the EU’s attempt to secure economic and geopolitical goals in Western Africa and in the global south, has come at a very high cost and of course at the expense of Western African nations whose rich soils has been metaphorically “raped” by western-based transnational corporations.

When Uncle Sam spreads his wings in Africa, people die

According to the US government, AFRICOM became fully operational on Oct. 1, 2008. The US Military presence across the African continent was portrayed as a partnership and a strategic move to preserve US Interest in the African continent.

Research by TomDispatch indicates that over the years since Obama took office, the U.S. military had developed a remarkable and extensive network of more than 60 outposts and access points in Africa. Some of these bases were being utilised others are kept for rainy days, and others will ultimately will be closed.

“These bases, camps, compounds, port facilities, fuel bunkers, and other sites can be found in at least 34 countries” says journalist and American military scholar Nick Turse, who called out AFRICOM’s gigantic “small footprint.”

The TomDispatch report indicates also that another 30 countries have agreed to allow the US military to use their international airports as refuelling centres.

This new US command was created to ensure that the United States Department of Defense could harmonise its efforts in Africa with those of the Department of State, as well as other US government agencies such as the NSA or CIA.

“U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was chartered to conduct sustained security engagements to promote a stable and secure political environment in Africa in support of U.S. foreign policy.”

As for the American intelligence agencies, the New York Times wrote back in 2015:

“They were grappling with the expansion of the Islamic State beyond its headquarters in Syria, the Pentagon had proposed a new plan to the White House to build up a string of military bases in Africa, Southwest Asia and the Middle East.”

By Sept 2018 (and likely before), the US military had realised it needed to have a smaller military footprint on the African continent and reduce its number of troops in Africa. This withdraw plan was accelerated in the wake of the Oct 4, 2017 deadly Tongo Tongo ambush that killed four US soldiers and four Nigerien Armed Forces soldiers in Niger, however, this change of strategy was mainly motivated by a “Military Shift Focus to Threats” by Russia and China, forcing the Trump administration to put the fight against terrorism on the back burner.

The Pentagon eventually approved a long-awaited plan to reduce the number of US troops conducting counterterrorism missions in Africa over a period of three years, reducing the number of US counterterrorism troops and their enablers who support US operations by approximately 25%.

The New York Times, which reported on the CIA outpost in Niger for the first time in 2018, stated that there was no evidence to support the claim that the outpost has been used for anything other than drone-based airborne surveillance. However, this rather growing CIA base had a paved runway and appeared to be twice as long as the landing strip from the previous year. A 2021 report from the Times, provided a different take on this CIA Niger base, now describing new structures as well as a fixed perimeter suggesting a great level of security which implied armed drone strike readiness in the area.

The idea of a CIA drone base operation out of Niger was clearly not thought through properly and medium-term consequences are starting to surface, exposing Niger’s cycle of deadly violence which automatically raises questions over the US counterinsurgency role and the efficiency of US COIN doctrines.

In 2020 the intercept published two maps of U.S. “Enduring” and “Non-Enduring” bases in Africa.
“Enduring” which means strategic access and use and “Non-Enduring” which means contingency locations.

The plan was to close military outposts in Tunisia, Cameroon, Libya and Kenya, as well as seven of the eight American elite counterterrorism units operating in Africa.

Some Pentagons officials warned that the decision to withdraw US troops in Africa, proposed by General Dunford and former four-star Marine general Mattis, could reverse the claimed ‘progress’ that had been made against Al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates, while diminishing alliances across the Africa continent, as both Russia and China were moving fast to increase their influence on the African continent, especially in the Sahel region.

In January 2006, the Centre for Contemporary Conflicts of the United States Navy Department took a look at the US policies towards Africa and found it was largely defined by three major factors.

1. International terrorism
2. The increasing importance of African Oil to American energy needs and;
3. The dramatic expansion of Sino-African relations since the turn of the century (Russia was added soon after)

AFRICOM rapidly established a base in Nigeria to secure its interest in the Niger Delta and its huge oil reserves to make sure the black gold does not fall under terrorist hands or so they claimed. Africa Partnership Station (or APS) was used as an umbrella to justify their persistent presence in the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta in Nigeria.

Africa Partnership Station was an international initiative developed by United States Naval Forces Europe-Africa, which works cooperatively with U.S. and international partners to improve maritime safety and security in Africa as part of the  Security Cooperation program under AFRICOM. They were simply securing and controlling the logistics chain, harbors and the flow of cheap oil.

Back then, George Bush was describing AFRICOM as a ‘multidimensional developmental instrument’ that would bring peace, security, health, education and economic growth to Africa. If that were ever true, by now we would be in a position to observe a noticeable increase in quality of life as well as a drastic increase in economic benefits generated by the rich minerals, oil and gas reserves located under the very feet of some of Africa’s poorest nations such as Niger.

Also in play is a type of ‘Pan-African’ gas pipeline (graphic, above) from Nigeria to Italy, but with Niger at the centre – which could transform the EU energy matrix, especially in the wake of dubious sabotage in 2022 of the joint German-Russian Nordstream 1 & 2 gas pipelines. SP Global reports:

“The energy ministers of Algeria, Niger and Nigeria pledged June 20 to accelerate work on the development of a Trans-Saharan gas pipeline designed to carry 30 Bcm/year of gas to the European market. On the drawing board for decades, the three countries decided in February to revive the stalled $13 billion project with the so-called Declaration of Niamey.”

With so many stakeholders, the potential for complications is ever present, so negotiations and conflict resolution involving the relevant actors is an ongoing situation.

In addition to the energy and mineral deposits, the western powers are also interested in controlling the Sahel region because it may become the future ‘bread basket’ for Europe and beyond. The rich agricultural potential is also a primary target of US-based transnational Big Agra corporations, chemical industrial and GMO firms.

The truth however is a far cry from what AFRICOM claims to be…

In essence, AFRICOM is simply an extension of US foreign policies which falsely claim to bring stability to African nations by creating a secure environment for development, using a bureaucratic restructuring approach, to promote good governance and help these nations achieve their own security and sovereignty goals, which for many pan-African adepts ironically implies that Africa is not capable to secure itself.

The reality is that the US, as well as France, are very much embedded in these countries’ affairs and their military presence is amongst many other reasons – a way to mark their territories and let other power like Russia and China know that these countries are theirs to loot – and no one else’s.

ECOWAS & Africa Standby Force & African Union

On paper, AFRICOM was established to address and secure US interests in Africa by building partnerships with African allies and the African Union (AU), but in reality they are not so much partners as they are master and servant.

The AU formally established an African Standby Force (ASF) under the Peace and Security Council (PSC) protocol, supposedly to respond rapidly to conflicts and humanitarian emergencies in support of organisations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), but also US interests on the ground such as USAID.

These so-called ‘standby troops’ are trained and equipped by US and EU special forces, and by NATO.

Regional Economic Communities (RECs) were closely integrated with the AU’s work and are serving as its building blocks. The African Union recognises eight RECs :

• Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)
• Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
• Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD)
• East African Community (EAC)
• Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
• Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
• Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In addition, the Eastern Africa Standby Force Coordination Mechanism (EASFCOM) and North African Regional Capability (NARC) both have liaison offices at the AU.

To understand how ECOWAS became a tool for western imperialism in Africa, I direct you to read this excellent Mint Press News article. Notably:

“ECOWAS traces its own project of African integration back to 1945 and the creation of the CFA franc, a move that brought France’s African colonies into a single currency union”.

It is also crucial to understand how the CFA franc currency has trapped African countries into economic submission to Paris and how, as a consequence, many African governments are still powerless to enact serious political and economic changes, due to a serious lack of control over their own monetary policy.

Sovereignty starts with the control of your borders and your ability to generate and control your own currency.

In the wake of the Niger coup, we saw France’s puppet Mohammed Bazoum was removed from power by a military junta, mainly because Bazoum represented a legacy of corruption that has allowed France and other countries to plunder the uranium and gold of Niger for more than 50 years.

Let’s dig deeper and see what AFRICOM is up to in Niger, and see if their presence has brought the promise of stability, peace and financial reward which was said to trickle down into the population of one of the world’s poorest county, Niger.

AFRICOM & CIA in Niger

Following the fall of the former pro-neo-colonial government in Mali and in Burkina Faso, where transitions happened in a lightning strike, AFRICOM knew they could no longer operate nor partner with these two newly reformed countries, hence the importance of Niger for the US and French armed forces.

There are currently 1,100 U.S. troops based in Niger, I have recently tweeted about the US Base 201, a $100 million U.S. drone base in the Nigerien town of Agadez. I have also reported on a CIA air base in Niger which had remained secret for a very long time.

In one of my recent tweets, I am questioning what are the most pressing national security threats to Niger and here they are:

After France’s disastrous “Operation Barkhane” a military operation conducted in the Sahel and Sahara by the French Army, to combat Salafist jihadist armed groups throughout the Sahel region, it was clear that France and the United States options were running thin. It was Niger who saved the day by affording both western powers (including other EU forces) not only precious time to review their military strategy but also bases to maintain a reduced presence in the region, whilst completely rethinking their approach to security in the Sahel. Some believe it was already too late, and that the damage was already done. Indeed is has.

Niger has the peculiarity to have not one, not two, but four (north, south, east and west) contact border zones under constant jihadists insurgency threat, hence, the reason it was decided by few western technocrats at the Elysee Palace and the White House (via Stuttgart), that Niger’s armed forces will keep on receiving training and equipment from the US and the French armed forces in order to face the threats at their borders. Interestingly both Mali and Burkina Faso have had a long history of working and training with the American military. And yet, here we are….

In light of the coups and instability that have spread across the Sahel, the question of whether the US military’s strategy for security on the African continent is having any positive effect has arisen once more.

The US has had difficulty describing the latest event in Niger as a Coup since section 7008 of US Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations legislation restricts US foreign assistance following a coup d’état.

Recently, ECOWAS announced that their ‘standby troops’ have been activated in an effort to restore “the constitutional order in Niger.”  Thankfully, no military intervention has taken place, yet. This indicates that the firm position was taken by Burkina Faso and Mali to become Nigerien’s brother-in-arms should such a threat arise from western proxy governments in ECOWAS.  Add to this, Algeria’s reluctance to support a military operation against Niger, and it makes the situation more complicated than initially thought for western regime change and destabilisation operations, a sentiment also shared by Nigeria senate who have stated they opposed military action against Niger, preferring instead to back diplomatic and peaceful means to end the crisis.

That dovish rhetoric is not shared by Nigeria’s executive branch though. “No option is taken off the table, including the use of force as a last resort.” said Nigerian President Bola Tinubu – who is known to be a US and French puppet, and whose days in power according to some regional military experts are counted.

Last Thursday Pentagon spokesperson US Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder told Newsweek reporters that “there has been no change to the US military force posture” in Niger and that “the US government focus remains on a diplomatic solution.”

Asked if the US military would continue counterterrorism cooperation in Niger with General Omar Tchiani’s CNSP leader, Ryder said “I don’t want to speculate or get into hypotheticals,” according to a recent Newsweek report.

Meanwhile, Russia and China have both expressed their hope for Nigeriens to “settle differences peacefully through dialogue demonstrating once more their diplomatic long-term commitment to Africa through peaceful means.”

The Wagner bad boys were of course fast to provoke France and the US by making their services available to the new government in Niger, an option understandably entertained by Niger’s new leaders, but nothing was solidified, at least not officially.

Libya’s Anti-Qaddafi Rebels in the Sahel

The current events unfolding in Niger as well as those that unfolded in Burkina Faso, Mali and the Central African Republic in recent years, forces us to reflect on the Libyan War to expose the awkward proximity, or rather the togetherness felt between Islamist ‘rebels’ (later revealed to be al-Qaeda and other terrorist affiliates) in Libya and NATO members and their intelligence outfits (CIA, Mi6, DGSE, etc.) prior the 19 March 2011, when a multi-state NATO-led coalition began a military intervention in Libya to remove leader Muhammar Gadhafi.

We know with a certain degree of certainty that this strategic move from western powers was to secure their economic interests and slow down Russia and China’s undertaking on the African continent by destabilising not only Libya, but the entire Sub-Saharan region, and of course Yemen and Syria too.

US, France and NATO fingerprints are all over the crime scenes left behind by terrorist factions operating in the Sahel region. Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso inherited from the Libyan debacle with a growing jihadist cauldron – financed by the CIA and its associate agencies prior to NATO’s bombing and decapitation of Libya. The cauldron got so hot that it has been branching out into the Sahel, the Middle East and in Syria for years, becoming more powerful and more organised by the day.

Is it possible, as we have seen extensively in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya – that the US, UK, France and allies are covertly using these so-called ‘rebel’ jihadist factions to destabilise entire regions in Africa in view of harvesting and controlling the fruits of these mineral, oil and gas rich countries whilst keeping Russia and China afar?

We wouldn’t be the first to ask this question, but is there any truth or evidence to it?

Whilst many papers and articles have focused on the relationship between jihadism and military coups in the Sahel, where terrorism is often described as the perfect storm for another coup d’état with terrorist groups abound such as Jamaatu Ansaril Muslimina fi Bilad in Sudan (Ansaru), Jamaat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad (Boko Haram), the Islamic State in the West African Province (ISWA -Lake Chad Basin), the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, and Jamaat Nusratul Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), all of who are portrayed as actors in a convergence of a ‘chaos’ scenario. With that in mind, we find very few analyses on the magnetic properties of both the US and French military bases in this region and how their presence seems to be attracting these factions, maintaining a constant state of emergency in Sub-Saharan countries.

The symbiosis between both western military and Jihadist groups is uncanny, it seems as if one couldn’t live without the other, but can it rationally be explained?

More than ever, topics such as inequality, poverty, and even ‘climate change’ appear in the recruitment straplines for violent extremist organizations (VEOs). The emotive talking points are deployed to help re-enforce these often exotic claims, but perhaps more is at play here.

Could we be looking at a foreign political design of some sort, or some kind of long-term Pan-African economic and geopolitical strategy at the service of an increasingly greedy neo-colonial western power bloc using (voluntarily or not) these very insurgent groups to create a constant climate of fear and uncertainty amongst the populations? In this scenario, the engineered ‘threat’ would force governments to accept foreign military presence in their countries to promote stability out of fear, moulding these puppets governments into advantageous and very lucrative partnerships with the promise of a long-reigning power and fortunes, whilst the looting of their nation’s rich grounds is actually taking place. Does this seem plausible?

One thing is for sure, our legacy media has been pushing the same narrative for a very long time, pointing fingers at fanatics and putschists blaming them all for creating failed states in West Africa as described in this Economist article, and in so many others.

Presently, the Sahel region is not a big market for American investments or products, and the US has no significant economic or security interests there, as noted by Webster G. Tarpley, PhD in its 2011 article published by Tarpley, adding, “Although the presence of US forces has made US people in the region a threat, Sahelian militants have never truly assaulted US territory”.

So what could possibly justify US presence in this region, and why haven’t the US learned from the failure of French policies in the Sahel?

Part of the answer lies in Libya, and that is why no legacy media will ever touch it.

NATO’s plague bleeding from Libya

The most startling conclusion comes from a December 2007 West Point authored by Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman. Their study shows that the route from Benghazi to Tobruk, which passes through the city of Darnah, represents one of the highest concentrations of jihadi terrorists to be found anywhere in the world, and by some measures can be regarded as the top source of suicide bombers on the planet. One-fifth of the foreign combatants that crossed the Syrian border into Iraq during the Iraq War were from Libya, a nation of little over 6 million inhabitants.

How many of you know that the anti-Qaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) actually merged with al Qaeda in 2007? my guess is very few.

As cautiously put by Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was a Sunni opposition group, created in 1995 in Libya to overthrow Muammar el-Qaddafi. The LIFG was preceded by a secret Libyan group in the 1980s, of which a faction left to fight in Afghanistan in the late 1980s. This faction returned in the early 1990s to help establish the LIFG.

As you can see on the map below, the West has been able to resuscitate the terrorist LIFG group that Qaddafi had been successfully fighting for decades, and in doing so, allowed them to spread far beyond Libya.

So, indeed, it was not Qaddafi who destabilised the Sahel region, but NATO and AFRICOM, with the help of the CIA and MI6 and the French DGSE.

This excerpt from Bob Coen and Eric Nadler’s film “Shadow War of the Sahara”, charts the rise of AFRICOM. This excerpt reveals why AFRICOM’s chief critic, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, had to be removed from power for the project to succeed.

VIDEO – Africom’s War on Libya:

Looking back at the tragic history of US attempts to organise Afghans against the Soviet occupation in the years following 1979, it is abundantly clear that the Reagan administration’s decision to provide the Afghan Mujahedin with cutting-edge weapons ultimately proved to be extremely damaging to the US. As Defence Secretary Robert Gates essentially admits in his autobiography, the United States founded al-Qaeda during those years to fight the Soviet occupation as a type of Arab Foreign Legion. Thus, many of al Qaeda’s top officials were on the CIA or MI6 payroll.

Al-Qaeda’s fundamental belief is that the existing Arab and Muslim governments should all be overthrown because they do not represent the caliphate that the Koran purports to establish. To a certain degree al-Qaeda was waging war against independent Muslim countries, which coincidentally (or not) suited the interests of the United States and its allies.

Qaddafi was arguing that no caliphate was necessary in order to discover the meaning of the Koran, and supplemented this with a pan-African perspective. This amounted to a guaranteed death warrant.

In direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, the United States was at the time providing modern weapons for the Libyan ‘rebels’ through Saudi Arabia, and across the Egyptian border – with the active assistance of the Egyptian Army and of the newly installed pro-US Egyptian military junta. This was the group of people that were used by the US, France and others to assist in the removal of Gaddafi from power which is giving us some clues already.

Ironically, until a few weeks prior to Libya’s invasion, Muammar Gaddafi was a useful ally for Washington in fighting and containing terrorist groups. When 2011 rolled around, the CIA was able to then benefit from the influence jihadi groups had in Libya’s rebellion, especially after a call had gone out from al-Qaida and a number of other terrorist organisations that people should come report in Libya.

Have you ever wondered why half the names of the “Rebel Council” or the so-called National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya were kept secret? Perhaps safety reasons as claimed in this BBC article? No, these ‘moderate rebels’ were clearly not civilians, but an armed force. The question is: what kind of an armed force, and to whom their allegiance was laying?

Some of you may recall the achievements of Egyptian President Nasser, without whose nationalisation of the Suez Canal and the construction of the Aswan High Dam (with Russian assistance), contemporary Egypt would simply not exist. Many Egyptians and Sudanese people still remember the significant infrastructure projects Russia contributed to as well as the crucial financial and practical support it provided.

In much the same manner that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was announcing its support for the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi, the Muslim Brotherhood served as an active and capable fifth column of foreign operatives against Nasser. The Muslim Brotherhood has continued to be an asset of western intelligence right up to today in 2023.

By gaining a more specific knowledge of who the Libyan rebels actually were, one may be able to trace back the origin of these jihadist factions operating all across the Sahel and down to the Niger Delta region – and wonder if today the CIA, MI6 and AFRICOM are still in business with these people, or perhaps wisely, wondering if things got out of hand with the rebels they financed in Libya, or if they had simply gone rogue and no longer responding to empty threats.

Our view is that both theories should be entertained and seriously looked into.

Starting in 2011, geopolitical analysts cautioned that US, British, French and Norwegian military action in Libya would establish a terror emirate and cause a tidal wave of militant destabilisation throughout Northern Africa and beyond. The violence that is directly related to the extremists and the assistance and weaponry they received from the West in Libya, has been felt everywhere – from Mali to Burkina Faso, from Chad to Niger, all the way to Kenya, and as far as Syria.

Many journalists have exposed the massive infusion of US/NATO-provided money and weaponry going into Libya first to destroy the Libyan government before being sent to Syria to overturn the government there. Such activities had for a result to strengthen coordination between AQIM, Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab, and over the years it has become clear that NATO’s broad support for al Qaeda’s expansion of its operational capabilities in North Africa only benefited terrorists, which have already sprayed across the Sahel region and far beyond.


The unrest in the Sahel region is directly linked to the CIA, AFRICOM, NATO and France’s robust presence in Sub-Saharan countries and is a direct consequence of Western power’s relentless militarisation of these zones. The arms business is just too good, while the level of transparency has been set at zero from day one. This has been a recipe for corruption and incompetence.

It is well established that US and France’s special forces were using countries across Western Africa for years, as proxy bases to wage their endless “War on Terror” (the one they created themselves) which has exacerbated the regional insurgencies which in time brought these jihadi groups to four of the sovereign borders of Niger.

AFRICOM actions have actually stopped any chance of real economic development, peace and unity amongst Western African nations whose cry for true sovereignty and Pan-African ambitions is becoming louder each day that passes.

The time for a neo-colonialist approach has come to an end, which explains why Russia has become so popular in Africa. It might take years before Africa finally gets rid of its domestic and international pirate class, but there is hope as a young, growing population strives for knowledge and higher education, whilst entertaining options with other international partners who seem to understand that Africa is no longer for sale – but open to fair partnerships based on mutual respect and equally shared benefits.

US foreign policy claims to be promoting ‘sustainable development, stability and equality’ in Africa, when in fact, they’ve only brought the sword, followed by misery.

As for France, they are about to learn a major lesson, first by losing control of their entire former colonial stable, which in time will open a window for replacing the French CFA currency (indexed to the Euro) within the next 10 years.

I will leave you with this quote from Karl Kraus an Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright and poet in the thirties.

“How do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists who then believe what they read in the press.”





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