Mali and the Scramble for Africa: A New Wave of Barbarism

The French military intervention into Mali recently — France’s second in as many years into a former African colony — was reportedly ‘seconded’ by the United States. This ought to come as no great surprise, given the Pentagon’s deepening penetration into Africa.

According to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the Pentagon plans on deploying soldiers to 35 different African countries in 2013. As NPR reports, upwards of 4,000 U.S. soldiers will ‘take part in military exercises and train African troops on everything from logistics and marksmanship to medical care.’  (The Malian army officer responsible for the country’s March coup just so happened to have received U.S. military training)

“The U.S. currently receives about 18% of its energy supplies from Africa, a figure that is slated to rise to 25% by 2015,” Hallinan writes. “Africa also provides about one-third of China’s energy needs, plus copper, platinum, timber and iron ore.”

What’s more, as Maximilian Forte contends in Slouching Towards Sirte, “Chinese interests are seen as competing with the West for access to resources and political influences. AFRICOM and a range of other U.S. government initiatives are meant to counter this phenomenon.”

And this explains NATO’s 2011 foray into Libya, which removed a stubborn pan-Africanist leader threatening to frustrate AFRICOM’s expansion into the Army’s ‘last frontier.’ And this explains the French-led, US-supported, intervention into Mali, which serves to forcibly assert Western interests further into Africa.

Intervention, we see, breeds intervention. And as Nick Turse warned back in July, “Mali may only be the beginning and there’s no telling how any of it will end.”

All that appears certain is a renewed wave of barbarism, as the scramble for Africa accelerates.

[Courtesy: Information Clearing House]