Monday, June 25, 2007

No Takers For America's Military in Africa

Concerned about the expansion of Chinese influence into Africa, the US Military has been keen on establishing an Africa Command or AfriCom. The trouble is, the Pentagon can't find an African country that will have them.

A US delegation has returned home after knocking on the doors of Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti and with the African Union (AU) and finding nobody home anywhere. From The Guardian:

"The Libyan and Algerian governments reportedly told Mr Henry this month that they would play no part in hosting Africom. Despite recently improved relations with the US, both said they would urge their neighbours not to do so, either, due to fears of future American intervention. Even Morocco, considered Washington's closest north African ally, indicated it did not welcome a permanent military presence on its soil.

"'We've got a big image problem down there,' a state department official admitted. 'Public opinion is really against getting into bed with the US. They just don't trust the US.'

"Another African worry was that any US facilities could become targets for terrorists, the official said. Dangled US economic incentives, including the prospect of hundreds of local jobs, had not proven persuasive."

They don't trust the US? What could they be thinking?

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