In this Paul Jay interview from The Real News Network, Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo casts some light on the announcement that a U.S. combat brigade is headed to Africa as the first deployment under the Pentagon’s newest military command, AFRICOM.
Here’s AFRICOM’s mission statement:
U.S. Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development.
We’ve written about AFRICOM before as a military force designed to secure African resources for corporate interests. While our primary focus has been on the capture of commonly held lands for agrofuel plantations, a page on the Friends of the Congo website focuses on another critical resource in that country, coltan [the metals columbium and tantalum], essential for cell phones and other high technology device.
Militias from Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi have invaded the Congo to secure the metals, and many of their customers are here in the U.S.
From the website:
Major United States players identified by the UN include:
- Cabot Corporation, Boston, MA
- OM Group, Cleveland, Ohio
- AVX, Myrtle Beach, SC
- Eagle Wings Resources International, Ohio
- Trinitech International, Ohio
- Kemet Electronics Corporation, Greenville, SC
- Vishay Sprague. Malvern, PA
We would note once again that AFRICOM’s genesis was driven by Air Force Gen. Charles Wald during his days at CENTCOM. He was also the driving force behind the Air Force agrofuel policy. Wald retired to the private sector, finding employment as a lobbyist for the — you guessed it — agrofuel industry.
So you’ll forgive us if we don’t share the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for basing American troops in Africa.
The latest move by AFRICOM is part of a larger agenda, as American military resouces are repositioned to secure critical resources around the globe. To see it otherwise would be a tragic mistake.