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AFRICOM Year Two: Taking The Helm Of The Entire World

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"The developments come as the White House seeks grounds to establish a major military presence in Africa....[A]nalysts caution that similar pretexts were used to justify the US invasion of Afghanistan, the missile attacks in Pakistan, and its waning military operations in Iraq, where the civilian population continues to bear the brunt of the US intervention."

"AFRICOM facilitates the United States advancing on the African continent, taking control of the Eurasian continent and proceeding to take the helm of the entire globe."
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October 1st marked the one-year anniversary of the activation of the first U.S. overseas military command in a quarter of a century, Africa Command (AFRICOM).

AFRICOM was established as a temporary command under the wing of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) a year earlier and launched as an independent entity on October 1, 2008.

Its creation signaled several important milestones in plans by the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to expand into all corners of the earth and to achieve military, political and economic hegemony in the Southern as well as the Northern Hemisphere.

AFRICOM is the first American regional military command established outside of North America in the post-Cold War era. (The Pentagon set up Northern Command, NORTHCOM, in 2002 after the September 11, 2001 attacks to take in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.)

Its area of responsibility includes more nations - 53 - than any other U.S. military command. By way of comparison, EUCOM includes 51 nations, among which are 19 new nations emerging from the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the reunification of Germany.

The Pacific Command (PACOM) incorporates 36 countries in its theater of operations, down four since the creation of AFRICOM.

Central Command (CENTCOM) currently includes 20 nations in what is referred to as the Broader Middle East.

Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) covers 32 states, 19 in Central and South America and 13 in the Caribbean, of which 14 are U.S. and European territories.

AFRICOM is also the only new U.S. regional military command absorbing nations formerly in other commands; in fact in all other commands outside the Western Hemisphere.

EUCOM ceded 42 nations (including Western Sahara, a member of the African Union whose recognition has been virulently opposed by the West since Morocco invaded it in 1975) to AFRICOM.

The Horn of Africa region (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan) was transferred from CENTCOM to AFRICOM, with the former picking up Lebanon and Syria from EUCOM in return. Egypt is the sole African nation still in CENTCOM. The Pentagon's Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, which includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, the Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen, the last on the Arabian Peninsula, was also transferred from CENTCOM to AFRICOM. The U.S. has an estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Djibouti at Camp Lemonier which hosts the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa.

PACOM lost the Indian Ocean island nations of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles to Africa Command.

Africa is, lastly, the first new continent targeted by the Pentagon for a comprehensive military structure, as the U.S. created comparable commands in Asia, Europe and Latin America after World War II and during the Cold War and had fought wars in all three areas by 1918. With the exception of the bombing of Libya in 1986 and military operations in Somalia in the early 1990s and by proxy since 2006, Africa has to date escaped direct American military intervention. And until the acquisition of Camp Lemonier in Djibouti in early 2001, before September 11, there was no permanent U.S. military installation on the continent.

The beginning of AFRICOM's second year has witnessed major military exercises on the western and eastern ends of the continent.

On September 29 AFRICOM led the militaries of 30 African nations in the ten-day Africa Endeavor 2009 maneuvers in Gabon off the coast of the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea. "The U.S. military has begun an exercise in the African nation of Gabon...to improve command and control between forces for possible peacekeeping or anti-terrorism missions.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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