Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

US Turning Oil-Rich Nigeria into Proxy for its Africa Wars

 

Gulf of Guinea

What AFRICOM is doing under the cover of counterterrorism



By T.J. Coles (The Grayzone)

Last month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari wrote an op-ed in The Financial Times. It might as well have been written by the Pentagon. Buhari promoted Brand Nigeria, auctioning the country’s military services to Western powers, telling readers that Nigeria would lead Africa’s “war on terror” in exchange for foreign infrastructure investment. “Though some believe the war on terror [WOT] winds down with the US departure from Afghanistan,” he says, “the threat it was supposed to address burns fiercely on my continent.”

With Boko Haram and Islamic State operating in and near Nigeria, pushing a WOT narrative is easy. But counterterror means imperial intervention. So, why is the Pentagon really interested in Nigeria, a country with a GDP of around $430 billion — some $300 billion less than the Pentagon’s annual budget — a population with a 40 percent absolute poverty rate, and an infant mortality rate of 74 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 5.6 per 1,000 in the U.S.?

A U.S. Naval Postgraduate School doctoral thesis from over a decade ago offers a plausible explanation: the Gulf of Guinea, formed in part by Nigeria’s coastline, “has large deposits of hydrocarbons and other natural resources.” It added: “There is now a stiff international competition among industrialized nations including the United States, some European countries, China, Japan, and India.”

Since then, the U.S. has been quietly transforming Nigeria’s police and military into a neo-colonial force that can support missions led by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Buhari’s offer makes U.S. involvement in Nigeria appear as if Nigeria is asking for help, when in fact the stage is already set for AFRICOM.

The Pentagon’s broader aim is to stop China and Russia from gaining a foothold in the continent. In the meantime, it aims to crush any and all opposition groups that disrupt energy supplies so that oil giants can continue exploiting Nigeria’s resources. 

Read the rest of this important article here

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