Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top war profiteers invest in Africa

Canadian journalist Brian Stewart has an "analysis" on view at CBC that purports to tell us why the US and France are sending troops to Africa.

What's striking is that this far-flung and little noticed U.S. Africa Command —​ AFRICOM as it's called — has been on a roll at a time when the Pentagon is undergoing a big downsizing.
But the move coincides with new thinking in Washington that big wars like Iraq and Afghanistan are far less likely in future, so it's now time to shift priorities toward preparing for smaller regional conflicts

Little noticed? AFRICOM has been the subject of thousands of articles and numerous books. Brian goes on to inform us that America's interest in Africa may have something to do with China;

While the U.S. military objectives seem clear enough, it is assumed Washington has an unstated strategic goal as well — to lay down markers again in an Africa increasingly being courted by China and other Asian nations.

Again, hardly a fresh observation, and if I may say, an altogether too delicate way of stating the matter. Let us assume the worst; American troops are being prepared for African adventures in order to protect American capital. And nowhere do the interests of the American military and American capital co mingle, coalesce, and congeal more serendipitously than in the Carlyle Capital Group.  "Making a buck on your bad luck" is their motto, especially where your bad luck attracts the attention of the Pentagon.

Nowhere else in the wacky world 'o inbred crony capitalism does big money snuggle tighter with big guns. So it should come as no surprise that Carlyle just announced a $100 million investment in African logistics.

As you know, "logistics" is just a ten dollar word for trucking, and anyone at all who has paid attention to America's doomed adventures in Afghanistan knows that this most ordinary of enterprises was the achilles heel of NATO and US re-supply. It was also phenomenally lucrative for the contractors providing the services, often running into the hundreds of millions of dollars per month.

Obviously lucrative enough to capture the attention of the big dogs at Carlyle.

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