The Real African|| By I.K. Cush
As President Trump focuses on defeating ISIS and all of its horrific iterations – Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, etc. – his administration is signaling a new, respectful collaboration with the African Union, departing from the Obama administration’s supercilious and offensive relationship with that regional body.
“We do listen to the African Union,” general Everhart declared at a recent briefing, explaining the U.S. military’s partnership capacity that is being developed with Africa’s regional air chiefs.
“I have a support team, a mobility team that goes out, and it’s on that continent constantly to support Africa, based off of their needs, based off of their requests. We just don’t show up,” Everhart said.
This is a welcome departure from the fatuity of the Obama administration’s relationship with African leaders and institutions. Recall the Obama administration’s insouciant dismissal of the African Union’s Declaration of Principles – a negotiated agreement in the Sudan in which all parties to the conflict agreed to cease hostilities. The Declaration established a political basis for peace in that war-torn country. The Obama administration ignored it, instead forging ahead with its plan. Chaos, violence and terrorism continues to this very day in the Sudan.
In the wake of the collapse of Sudan’s Declaration of Principles, South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki, observed, ruefully, that the African Union’s strategic framework in the Sudan, was always based on two considerations: Protecting the civilian population and finding an inclusive political solution.
People who share the same neighborhood always want the best for their neighbors. Outsiders and interlopers don’t care one way or the other.
The Obama administration’s anachronism in its relationship with Africa was influenced by the Council on Foreign Relations, a Democratic Party-leaning think tank, whose president, Richard Hass, proposed that America becomes one of the world’s “custodians of sovereignty.” Hass’s fanciful and bizarre proposal hews to the colonial arrogance of the past and is undergirded by his belief that “the world is essentially not a self-ordering or self-organizing place… so without the United States playing a large role out there, things out there tend to go from bad to worse.”
Many on the African continent disagree. Things get worse when the United States overreaches and by-passes African institutions. Consider Libya.
Libya was a successful, stable and secular Muslim country. The Obama administration with secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, at the helm, along with NATO member states, orchestrated an invasion of the country. The result: the destruction of Libya, the murder of its leader, Moammar Gadaffi, and the spawning of the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, in Nigeria!
Before the destruction of Libya, Boko Haram was a marginal, rag-tag group of miscreants. After the destruction of Libya, the jihadists, who were contained by the Libyan government, transferred vast amounts of weapons to the Boko Haram wannabe terrorists. Now, Boko Haram is a bona fide Islamic terrorist organization, wreaking havoc in West Africa.
President Donald Trump will have none of that. He insists that he is the “President of the United States of America.” He has no interest in the United States becoming one of the world’s “custodians of sovereignty.” And, that’s good for Africa.