The creeping hum of drones – the divine right of US intervention in Africa

The hum of US drones is becoming more familiar over African skies.

From Nigeria to Somalia, US military presence on the continent is a creeping reality. US troops may be thin on the ground, with the Pentagon preferring to rely on training and financial support to allied forces, but special forces are now operating at any given moment.

I spotted this article in the FT on the ‘creeping’ military invasion of the US across the African continent and thought it was important to share:

I need some time to process the article fully, but it’s clear to me that the US has upped the ante in its modern-day military colonialism of ““ungoverned spaces” with the potential, like Afghanistan, to foster anti-American extremists”; I have lots of questions about why and how “African leaders threatened by extremism are now more ready to seek US assistance and asked Washington to put security on the agenda this week” – what’s the story here?; and worst of all, the US knows exactly what it’s doing:

US officials acknowledge that its record is mixed and calibrating the extent to which they get involved will remain a delicate balancing act.

For me, it also further reinforces my feelings back in May when I wrote about the #bringbackourgirls campaign in May. Read it here.

I don’t have any of the answers, but even the article points out that:

In the view of security officials across the region, one of the biggest recent boosts to the extremist cause came in 2011 when Muammer Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya by a US-backed rebellion.


Arguably, in Somalia too, extremists posed no more than a marginal threat until the US-backed Ethiopian invasion in 2006.

I have my own feelings about right and wrong and morality and I know that we shouldn’t stand by when atrocities take place and when people need help we should offer it to them. But this is something deeper and darker than that. US military expansion will not bring peace. The world must find another way.

I’ve ended up writing a lot more about this than I intended (I thought i’d just post the link – eek), but hope to pick this up again in future posts. Please feel free to leave your own comments and feelings about this article.

NB: I read so many good articles and comment pieces that I want to include here and discuss but at the moment I don’t have as much time as I’d like to research and write big meaty investigative posts, even though my mind is overflowing with ideas for them. I am working on tackling this and hope it will become easier once I have established a good routine. However, I don’t want to miss opportunities to share interesting content with you, so, where possible, I will make sure to pop great reading material up here when I see it, rather than storing it to talk about it future when I have more time. I can always go back to it and analyse when I can right?


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