AFRICOM headquarters in Africa…why not?

AFRICOM HQ building, from https://www.dabangasudan.org

The US military in Europe is in a bit of a shakeup. After years of tolerating Germany’s low military investment, President Trump announced that 12,000 troops would move out of Germany, many of them moving to Poland, which has been investing in its military. Because of the “Orange Man Bad” complex, somehow the fact that this saves us money over the long term, is part of continued investment in a country that will be purchasing more US energy resources, and places troops closer to Russia as a deterrent seems to be lost in the media. It’s a smart move economically and strategically.

The shift of forces includes moving the US European Command headquarters to Belgium and the US Africa Command headquarters to…somewhere. But not Africa, according to a few news sources. When AFRICOM stood up, placing it in Stuttgart initially made sense, since many of the staff members came from the EUCOM staff. But AFRICOM’s lack of presence in Africa isn’t smart long term. The US should be more invested in Africa, and moving AFRICOM to Africa would help that investment.

Where in Africa? The best spots are Nigeria, Morocco, Ethiopia or Liberia. Nigeria is a long-term powerhouse in Africa. Not only will it become one of the world’s most populous nations, but it has a positive view of the US and has a democratic government. Morocco was the first nation in the world to recognize the US and we’ve maintained friendly relations for most of our countries history. Ethiopia is another democratic powerhouse in Africa. Liberia, while not as developed as the other three, is still a good choice given its close history with the US.

There is some concern about “militarizing” Africa, but I contend that’s a poor argument. Did we militarize Europe by stationing troops there, or did we stop a continued trend of larger and larger wars that seemed to erupt between European powers? We’ve had a longer peace since the US stationed troops in Europe. Other nations are directly moving into Africa, and while some seem altruistic (like France), others are not aligned with the US (Russia and China). We can’t counter these large investments with minimal footprints.

There are plenty of good options for AFRICOM to be in Africa. Africa is only going to get more important in coming years. We’re either all in on Africa, or we cede that ground to China.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

The Trans-Atlantic Illegal Alien Trade

One wonders if the trade is triangular

by baldilocks

The Organized Left seems to have a limited set of tactics. But, I’m fascinated by the logistics of the following, not to mention the audacity.

The Assembly of African Migrants — a confederation of about 3,000 people from various African countries currently in Tapachula, Mexico — launched in the past week, according to La Jornada, citing assembly leaders. The group issued its first press release Thursday, describing its origins, how members have suffered since entering Mexico, and their demands.

“We, the people of African origin, forced to remain in Tapachula, suffer an unbearable humanitarian situation related to nurture, housing, health and hygiene; as well as systematic discrimination by immigration authorities,” the press release began. “Since we left our countries, for us life has been a permanent escape. We feel despair, hopelessness, fear, demoralization, loneliness and abandonment.”

The Assembly of African Migrants is made up of illegal immigrants who traveled from the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Cameroon, and other African countries. They said they left their countries, traveled across South and Central America, but have remained detained in Tapachula, a city on Mexico’s southern border near Guatemala.

Thanks in large part to pressure from the Trump administration, the Mexican government has dramatically stepped up enforcement against illegal immigration. While the majority of illegal migrants traveling through Mexico are Central Americans, thousands of African migrants have also found themselves stuck near Tapachula’s federal immigration office.

If you’re blown away by the irony of this – especially juxtaposed against the New York Times singling out the United States for its alleged birth defect aka enslavement of black Africans – don’t feel as though you’re alone.

But the same question keeps popping up every time I read about this: who owns the fleet which is bringing these Africans across the Atlantic Ocean?

I’d guess that it’s the same entities who got them organized into an “Assembly,” wrote their press release, told them to march, and supplied them with the lovely Spanish-language signs. (Several possible culprits are listed here. Spanish language.)

Also, I’ll bet that the US Navy has the ferrymen identified.

Another question: has anyone warned these poor Africans about the horrible white supremacism and toxic masculinity rampant north of the USA-Mexico border?

I’m guessing not.

RELATED: Musings on Illegal Aliens

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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