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France: Recolonizing Africa in the name of counter-terrorism

Written By | Jan 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2014 — Africa is, or soon will be, the new continent of attention for the Western powers. There is oil, there is gold, there are diamonds, and there are precious minerals. There is also instability, corruption, violence, and war; all of the things which are like blood in the water for radical Islamic terror organizations. It just so happens that those Islamic terror organizations are disrupting trade and they are making it more difficult for Western corporations to extract the natural resources from these African nations. So sitting on top of those gems, and gold, and precious minerals, are hardened, well-armed Jihadist fighters.

What to do, what to do.

Africa was once in the tight grip of powerful European nations who shaped many of the national borders we see on the Dark Continent, just like they did in the Middle-East. And it is no surprise then, or at least it should be no surprise, when the Europeans leave and the newly independent nations descend into anarchy and war. To be fair, this is not an African, or Middle-Eastern affliction, it has happened all over the World throughout history. Whenever there a large, formidable, and authoritative presence leaves, there is a natural will to fill the void left behind by such power. It happened in Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, Chile, France, and indeed much of Europe in the wake of Napoleon. After colonists leave, there is the fight to replace them.

Africa has long been without colonists. France, Germany, Belgium, England, Portugal and the rest of the European powers responsible for carving up Africa have for the most part cast aside their colonial endeavors the better part of a century ago.

World wars tend to lay low even the greatest of empires.

But Africa never truly healed from the wars following colonization, it is still a continent with over a dozen ongoing civil wars and insurgencies. It is a continent of unstable nations sitting atop vast deposits of wealth, each a prime target for radical Islam and their drive to acquire territory. This is a problem for the West. Al-Qaeda allied governments taking over nations with almost sole access to various precious natural resources would be very bad indeed for the global economy.

How does the West, and of course the Global community who stands to lose as the result of an unstable World economy, deal with this threat?

The African Union, made up of the strongest and wealthiest of African nations is the best bet Africa as a whole has to deter the rise of radical Islam and deter further destabilization on the continent. The UN, the Global Community, needs to recognize the dangers inherent in a completely unstable Africa and bolster and work with the African Union. They need to be able to not only combat threats to stability, but to deter them. A strong African Union will serve as a continental peace keeping force capable of conducting both diplomatic and defense operations. And since the soldiers, commanders, and various leaders of the African Union are comprised of individuals from many nations, both large and small, they will be able to retain their national identity and also deter the Union from becoming an African Hegemony.

What is actually happening to deter further radical Islamic encroachment into Africa?

In the name of fighting terrorism and the greater good, France has decided to reenter the ring and establish combat outposts in Africa as means of countering the growing threat of extremism on the Continent.

In other news, France is preparing to recolonize Africa in the name of fighting terrorists. FOX News reported yesterday that the French were building up their military presence in the Sahel region of Africa, which is the northernmost area of what is considered sub-Saharan Africa. Their plan, according to President Francoise Hollande, is to establish and fortify a port and logistics base, and then work with African nations in the region in order to combat the spread of al-Qaeda. The French presence will include significant air power, and ground troops.

“We are going to reinforce Abidjan an as an entry point, a logistical support post…then we’ll boost the intervention capacity on each of the different sites.”

Perhaps you have heard of this plan before? Establish a port city, help the local government with their problems, and see how things turn out; does that sound familiar?

That was how the British took India, Ireland, and Scotland. That was how the Romans re-took Egypt under Caesar. And perhaps the French remember, that was how the Vikings “settled” Normandy for services rendered to the crown.

The idea that a foreign, somewhat friendly, power will show up, solve your little insurgency problem, and then just leave without so much as a kindly cruise missile in your capitol is hard to take seriously. It epitomizes the saying, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

But France has been playing up to this for years now. They intervened in Mali when al-Qaeda affiliated insurgents began seizing territory and fortifying their gains. They sent troops to the Ivory Coast. They intervened in Libya, along with the United States. They are currently intervening in the Central African Republic, along with the United States. Now they have seen fit to establish “terrorist fighting outposts” in the Sahel so they can better respond to rising threats.

There are a lot of metaphors to choose from in this situation.

Inviting the fox in the henhouse comes to mind.

Or, if you give a moose a cookie, he’s going to want to colonize Africa.

Because that is what we are looking at here, the beginning of the nominal re-colonization of Africa.

First, military advisors and missions are set up in what are supposed to be temporary encampments.

Then, realizing they cannot do it alone they call in their allies and beef up their own presence. Soon they assume a significant amount of power in the region, as national leaders call on their help to suppress jihadist rebels.

Then arrives Western friendly businesses, having either been hired or having offered to lend a hand to the small and noble African-European anti-terrorist forces. They establish themselves in the area, making contacts, and digging in.

Before these conflicts even end, corporations will begin removing natural resources from African nations under the cover of war.

Corporate presence draws in Asian and Middle-Eastern competition. Their respective governments get involved.

Africa becomes the new Middle-East, as Western and Eastern nations continue to establish spheres of influence under the guise of fighting insurgent jihadists, and Africa is once again colonized.

This is what happened in China during the turn of the last century. It was divided into spheres of influence between American and European powers, and it was basically robbed of its natural resources.

There are too many fingers in the pie in the Middle-East. An unstable country in that region means a formidable army and nuclear weapons, and international incidents. It is too volatile, hints of invasions send oil prices soaring, and too many parties want to see other parties not exist anymore.

Africa is calling them.

Corporations have raided Africa before, of course. Diamonds, gold, and oil are all in abundance there. But so many African nations are unstable due to civil war and insurgency. Fix the insurgency, Africa becomes a more stable market. A more stable market means steady growth.

However no one wants to admit this, or take the blame for setting these things in motion, so we leave it to France. It’s France, no one cares. Before Charles de Gaulle their greatest military leader was Napoleon, and before that Joan of Arc, and before that Charlemagne, it is difficult to take them seriously. The most ferocious and formidable branch of their military is the French Foreign Legion, which is primarily made up of German ex-pats. The Socialist paradise of Europe will look benevolent and paternal if it takes up arms in defense of African stability. It also just so happens that we have been following France’s lead for the last two years in terms of foreign policy. We followed them to the Central African Republic, we provided air support in Mali, we followed them to Libya, and we were about to go to Syria with them but we were looking behind us to our friends Britain and Germany, and we did not feel that France was a substantial enough ally to scare the crepes out of Bashar al-Assad.

Africa will be recolonized, all under the guise of fighting terrorism. While the latter quarter of the 20th century, and the first part of the 21st, saw the battleground of the world reside in the Middle-East and North Africa, soon the focus will change, and the next few decades will see a dramatic shift of focus to the Dark Continent.

Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a BA from Catholic University in DC and an MA form George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, both in history. When he not getting his hands dirty in 2nd Amendment and firearms news he is doing his best to take a crack at some drive-by political analysis. And every now and then he may or may not review a low end bourbon for the tax write off. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Back Porch Politics.