Who's 'Winning' In Africa?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Brian Cloughley via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

On October 4 in Niger in central Africa four American special forces soldiers were killed in an ambush by “fifty fighters, thought to be associated with ISIS [Islamic State], a US official said.” In the course of the attack, one US soldier was left behind when the others withdrew, and was subsequently found dead. Nigerien soldiers were also killed, and it is interesting to examine how US media outlets recorded this aspect of what was obviously a disaster for US Africa Command, AFRICOM, the organisation headquartered, bizarrely, in Germany, that has 46 military bases (that we know of) in that continent. (Niger, incidentally, is twice the size of Texas.)

ABC News reported that “a soldier from Niger also died from the attack” while CBS thought that “four Nigerien soldiers died,” and Stars and Stripes went with “several.” CNN’s tally was five but the New York Times didn't mention Nigerien soldiers at all. Fox News, surprisingly, said that four were killed, as did the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, which even expanded to record that there had been eight Nigerien soldiers wounded.

It isn’t to be expected that the US media would ever concern themselves with deep research into how many foreign soldiers are killed in any of the countries in which the US is involved in armed conflict, but the sloppy reporting is a good indicator of the shrug factor.

And the western media continues to shrug about the deep involvement of the US military and the CIA in countries throughout Africa.

President Donald Trump claims he would win an IQ contest against his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson (how bizarre and nationally demeaning that a President of the United States of America can stoop to such childish yah boo behaviour), but it’s a fair bet he would not be able to identify on a blank map of Africa the countries in which his armed forces are at present engaged in various degrees of conflict. As recorded by Alexis Okeowo in the New Yorker, “Publicly, Africa may not be on the radar of the Trump Administration, but it is a priority for the US military. At the moment, seventeen hundred members of the Special Forces and other military personnel are undertaking ninety-six missions in twenty-one countries, and the details of most are unknown to Americans.”

It is intriguing that the US military - the Pentagon - so rarely informs the public of their global operations, yet much of the world knows about them down to the last detail. For example, it’s obvious that the Taliban in Afghanistan are well aware of all the crash-and-bash US special forces assaults in villages, because they have become more expert in avoiding them and then concentrating on defeating the weak, corrupt, and increasingly ineffectual Afghan armed forces. Not only that, but they reap massive propaganda benefit from publicising the fact that the wham-bam kick-the-doors-down infidels have once again struck a blow for Islamic State recruiting efforts. In Africa, it’s much the same game, with no publicity until that becomes unavoidable because there has been a major disaster involving the deaths of US soldiers. (Mere injuries are never mentioned, but some reporters keep an eye on casevac [casualty evacuation] flights arriving for attention of the caring saints at the US military hospital in Landstuhl in Germany. The numbers are interesting.)

The United States military and the CIA have a large presence in Africa and, as recorded by Nick Turse in April, “A set of previously secret documents, obtained by TomDispatch via the Freedom of Information Act, offers clear evidence of a remarkable, far-ranging, and expanding network of outposts strung across the continent . . . AFRICOM lists 36 US outposts scattered across 24 African countries.”

According to the Pentagon “US forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region.” In fact, as CNN reports, “There are about 800 US troops in Niger and the US military has maintained a presence in the northwest African country for five years, with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle terrorist groups, including, Islamic State in Greater Sahara, the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram and al Qaeda's North African branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.” The place is a war zone, and citizens of the US and Europe have little idea about what’s going on in their names — and at their expense in cash, international credibility and growing distrust and hatred of the West.

Mind you, it’s unlikely that very many Chinese citizens are aware of the deep involvement of their country in the African continent, either. But the difference between ephemeral US policy and long-term Chinese strategy is that Washington seeks domination, while China seeks trade and gradual influence and trust.

While attending the UN General Assembly in September President Trump addressed the leaders of several African nations at lunch. He didn’t mention drones or Special Forces or CIA interrogation cells but made clear his enthusiasm for their countries by declaring that “Africa has tremendous business potential, I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you, they’re spending a lot of money. It has tremendous business potential, representing huge amounts of different markets. It’s really become a place they have to go, that they want to go.”

It’s a pity he hadn’t read the Financial Times in June, when it sagely pointed out that in Africa “In the past 15 years the level of engagement by Chinese state-owned enterprises, political leaders, diplomats and entrepreneurs has put centuries of previous contact in the shade... While Europeans and Americans view Africa as a troubling source of instability, migration and terrorism — and, of course, precious minerals — China sees opportunity. Africa has oil, copper, cobalt and iron ore. It has markets for Chinese manufacturers and construction companies. And, perhaps least understood, it is a promising vehicle for Chinese geopolitical influence.”

Trump doesn’t read the FT or any other source of balanced information, but gets his news and forms his opinions from US television channels, which suits the military-industrial complex very well, as it can count on being unhindered by the White House as it expands its counter-productive military operations across the continent.

Not that China has avoided Africa militarily. Not at all. The United Nations records that China has some 2,600 troops in Africa — all of them firmly under command of UN peacekeeping missions in Congo, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and South Sudan. (The US contributes a total of 48 military personnel and 19 police to worldwide peacekeeping.) The duties of Trump’s soldiers in Africa are, in the words of their chief, General Thomas Waldhauser, to conduct “joint operations, protection of US personnel and facilities, crisis response, and security cooperation.”

General Waldhauser considers that “Just as the US pursues strategic interests in Africa, international competitors, including China and Russia, are doing the same. Whether with trade, natural resource exploitation, or weapons sales, we continue to see international competitors engage with African partners in a manner contrary to the international norms of transparency and good governance. These competitors weaken our African partners’ ability to govern and will ultimately hinder Africa’s long-term stability and economic growth, and they will also undermine and diminish US influence — a message we must continue to share with our partners.”

But the US doesn’t have any genuine partners in Africa. On the other hand, China has created many. As noted by Forbes, “In December 2015, President Xi Jinping ushered in a new era of ‘real win-win cooperation’ between China and Africa. This strategy aims to create mutual prosperity, allowing investors to ‘do good while doing right.’ China has backed this proposal up with a commitment of $60 billion of new investment in major capital projects, which are tied to developing local economic capacity. This level of commitment contrasts starkly with the action, or lack thereof from the West.”

The message is clear. The US military-industrial complex has overtaken and indeed supplanted State Department diplomacy in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, and is intent on escalating its military presence while China is quietly winning friends and influencing people by engaging in massive, well-planned economic projects. No prizes for deducing who is winning in Africa.

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Fireman's picture

USSA is a corpofascist thug state like its owner in occupied, apartheid Palestine and everyone knows it. Now that the IOU petroscrip Saudi Mercan toilet paper fiat filth dollah is being flushed by the countries that matter who will pay for the Pentacon scum to continue their global rape?

WTFRLY's picture


Haus-Targaryen's picture

Who eventually wins there? 

Mother Nature, when the western-sourced food and medical supplies dry up due to financial crisis or war (or both) in the West.  It will be the single largest loss-of-life event in human history and will be written about for millennia. 

Lordflin's picture

Why bother winning hearts and minds when you can simply riddle them with bullets.... its cheaper, more fun, and the graphics are better...

Escrava Isaura's picture

Is-Be below:

Africa is 1/5 of the world's land.

During the bad old colonial days the per capita wealth of the continent was increasing year on year.

Then two things happened.

1 the colonials went native and

2 the population exploded.

All else is stuff and nonsense.



It’s the Industrial Revolution to blame. Colonials went native and population exploded because of the industrial revolution.

Africa is an agrarian/hunter gatherer society. If wasn’t for the industrial revolution, Africa, make that the world, would have a fraction of the people that it has today. Even the Romans needed North Africa and Egypt to survive, otherwise their empire would had starve to death.

The problems are not the locals. Yes, they are greedy but, they are pretty mediocre. I grew up in a conservative family in Brazil. Then, I looked at the conservatives from America and Brazil. Both don’t lead to too much.

The problem is the high mental faculty, high IQ people that want more and more but, that is unsustainable in a finite planet.  

Now to add insult to injury, the high mental faculty people added technology on the top of the industrial revolution, leaving the conservatives and agrarian Africans without way ‘jobs’ to survive.

You need a job to survive in the capitalist society but the industrial revolution can no longer supply because we live in a finite planet.

Governments are trying to stop the bleeding by creating services jobs, but that too are unsustainable. But can’t blame them for trying.  

All else is stuff and nonsense.



BennyBoy's picture


Same old shit.

To get free minerals and oil for big corps CIA/MIC go in and murder, rape, enslave, starve locals, install new easy to pay off puppet gov, big corps come in steal stuff from ground, leave nasty pollution. At the same time big banks come in give unpayable loans to the country to make it stays bankrupt for generations.

Flavor may change but its been going on for centuries.

Twee Surgeon's picture

I met a guy from the Netherlands who was a long career missionary in Africa. He told me that when the Mosquito nets stop being delivered and the innoculations for one of the big diseases other than Malaria. Smallpox or TB perhaps ? When that particular remedy fails to arrive then the whole continent is going to die off back to mother natures calculations. Rapidly.

The guy had begun his career in a well meaning manner but he had pretty much given up hope on Africa after 30+ years of trying to make things better there, for them. Long term results were Zero. This was before Ebola and Aids were on the public radar in the USA.

tuetenueggel's picture

Famous Albert Schweitzer, already stated:

Africa cannot survive due to its catastrophic lack of intelligence, as average IQ is below 60

nuff said ( almost 80 years ago )

Nightjar's picture

You hear this from all african and nigger experts eventually, the only people that still defend the blacks are on the stolen from whites public money gravy train (no consequences to them).

EddieLomax's picture

This article is sugar coating China's "investment" in Africa, well planned?  No.  Take a read of this


The situation is even further complicated by the hypothecation of Ghana’s cocoa revenue some years ago to repay China for the Bui Hydroelectric dam project. This was always a very poor project in terms of design and available water in the Volta watershed, and has had a number of disastrous wildlife consequences. There has been a huge amount of trumpeting of Chinese “aid” projects in Africa, but my experience has been that they are even more designed to help the “donor” country than Western aid, and almost always turn out to be loan rather than grant. As with the Bui Dam project, this is usually disguised in a lack of transparency about the underlying financial arrangements, and the Chinese surge into Africa has ramped up levels of corruption still further.



It is pretty clear they are exploting the corruption and lawlessness of Africa for their own ends too, who is winning?  Whoever makes the biggest profits as always, long term it isn't looking good for Africa as they have a chicken and egg problem.  They need well developed infrastructure to keep their best people, but they need their best people to develop this.  The result is the best people go to America or Europe legally where it is already developed, the rest stay behind, they also lack that national cohesion to make people want to devleop their "nations", which are just collections of tribes.

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

Confessions of an Economic Hitman, Vol. II.

'Enter the Dragon.'

dogismycopilot's picture

The Chinese are letting the US do the expensive work in Africa (fighting) just like they did in Iraq where Chinese oil and gas companies and service companies are now out-earning US oil and gas companies and service companies. The Chinese control the Iraq oil industry.

The Chinese are letting the US go in, get a face full of shrapnel, then stepping on the dead bodies of Americans to win the real business.

President Trump needs to get the Department of State under control.

DOS/CIA was limiting the resources requested by the Army SF operators in Niger who had repeatedly asked for additional support and drones.

It's the usual DOS/CIA Benghazi shit show all over again - just this time no one knows about it.

soyungato's picture

Americans went into Iraq to do the chosen ones bidding, nothing more. America withdrawn from that hell hole since it is next to impossible to govern a conquered people - as history shown again and again. So what do you expect when you do not have any plan as to what to do next after looting Saddam's gold.  No one is in charge when everyone looks out only for themselves in our "government".

Escrava Isaura's picture

China is there as capitalists, meaning to take resources.

It’s no different than the US and the British before.


HardAssets's picture

That's like saying there's no difference between a slave master and an employer - they both want labor.

There's an obvious difference to the laborer and in the kind of results generated long term.

EddieLomax's picture

Take a read of this and reconsider

All that is true throughout Africa. There has been a further development specific to Ghana. Chinese convict labour was imported to build the Bui Dam. Many of the workers absconded into the countryside, taking the earth moving equipment with them, and started illegal gold-mining. The result was the collapse of the rule of law in much of the Ghanaian countryside, and the Chinese criminal gangs introduced the widespread use of firearms to protect their illegal workings, know in Ghana as Galamsey. Word spread back to China and thousands of Chinese gang members started to arrive to join the illegal trade – of course facilitated by Ghanaian administrative corruption. The result has been a massive expansion in illegal working in Ghana with environmental consequences which include the complete devastation of several key watersheds and the wholesale pollution of community drinking water supplies.


The Chinese are screwing Africa over even harder than the American's or Europeans.  There is nothing at all about development or aid (some people in Europe really are for giving bundles of cash away for nothing!), its just centrally planned theft, convict labour though really is something from Stalin's USSR - yet in the west we trade freely and help this communist hell hole called China.

tuetenueggel's picture

a very small difference between China and USA/GB

Chinese until now managed toe get their fortune without wars.

dogismycopilot's picture

Christ you really are a dumb fucker. 

In Iraq, US oil and gas employees require private security to comply with US Health and Safety Standards (HSE). US oil and gas companies must also adhere to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. US oil and gas companies also have to properly feed and house their staff.

The Chinese don't need to do any of the above. While a few of the head honchos would meet US standards, the rest of the Chinese workers fall far short of US HSE and welfare standards. Chinese workers eat rice and fish head soup at their compounds and when they get injured/kidnapped, there are about 1,000 guys begging to replace the lost worker. 

Also, the Chinese are very liberal with their bribes and pay offs to the Iraqi government. Every US oil and gas executive in Iraq knows they will A.) be fired for even talking about bribes B.) most likely go to jail back in the US for paying a bribe if they are caught.


tuetenueggel's picture

There´s always one in this world, whose IQ is above yours.

Now they´re almost all chinese. Compared to US-morons.

Easyp's picture

How many overseas bases does the US have?  I have seen a figure of 900 which if correct reflects the extent of the American Empire.  I am sorry the US lost men in Niger but the question is why were they there?  

HardAssets's picture

GWOT (Global War on a Terror) is an excellent excuse to send troops anywhere - particularly places with strategic and material resource value. It's also a win for MIC (military industrial complex). It's 'fun' for spec-ops guys; that's what they train for & like to do. ISIS is us-is in many places. In other places the label is applied as convenient.

There's some controversy over what Trump may have said to the family of a US soldier recently killed in Africa. Supposedly it was along the lines of 'he knew what he signed up for'. If that soldier was spec-ops, that statement is true.


Redneck Makin-tosh's picture

ISIS trying to secure "copper" mines - must be for that pipeline it wants to build/ expand in M.E.

Sounds like a massacre (/collateral drone damage) or were some of the dead ISIS? If so were they wearing uniforms and if so, who tailored them, etc.

spdrdr's picture

Look, if the Chinese think that they can control Africa's resource abundance, they are in for a bit of a surprise.  The only way possible is to have every single leader in your pocket, and making sure that the wheels of commerce in whatever shithole has been appropriately greased all the way down the chain.

The Chinese are masters of corruption (and hiding it well), but I suspect that they will be confounded by low IQ African attempts at corruption.  Seriously, at every single point in the supply chain there is a potential bribery bottleneck.

Let the Chinese go to town in Africa - it will be a rude awakening when their assets start being "nationalised" (i.e. stolen).

EddieLomax's picture

Bang on, take a look at Craig Murrays site and discussion on China's investment in Africa.  Its using convict labour and exploitng every bit of corruption possible.

The problem here they will have is race, the African's do not like anyone of a different race taking over, yet the Chinese are trying to bring their own labour in, this is a recipe for disaster.

medium giraffe's picture

Yep, the Chinese are winning in Africa, which is why NATO suddenly find themselves with occasion to pitch up in The Heart Of Darkness.  Oh, no, sorry, I meant 'Islamic Terrorism', that's why. Yes indeed.

Cardinal Fang's picture

Ha, I was going to make a sarcastic remark about how Kurtz is alive and well...

But you beat me to it.

SmittyinLA's picture

Soros is winning Africa, with Helios towers and Abengoa

Water power and airwaves

Is-Be's picture

Africa is 1/5 of the world's land.

During the bad old colonial days the per capita wealth of the continent was increasing year on year.

Then two things happened.

1 the colonials went native and

2 the population exploded.

All else is stuff and nonsense.

Redneck Makin-tosh's picture

Sure I dont know either but when the Naira was introduced in 1973 it was 2:1 with British pound, then people started dying of a mysterious disease that favoured neither class nor education.

A competent, functioning middle class was slowly (then rapidly) replaced by individuals promoted above their competence/ integrity level, infrastructure crumbled.

More oil was discovered, more regulations were introduced,  overseas production and employees were subjected to US tax code with lax oversight (bills introduced without knowing their content, etc), corporations responded by ringfencing their opex and recirculating costs through the company store/ village.  Potential for trickle down was sealed off by armed guards on the gate and Kola Aluko was able to invest $50M in 2000m3 of penthouse space some 300m above Carnegie Hall.

Naira is now 465 to a much devalued British pound. Lucky for them natives a master-race happened along to discover all that oil for them, or they simply may not have survived.

tuetenueggel's picture

Take a look at Simbawe (Rhodesia) or South Africa after ANC overtook.

All brankrupt, corrupt and overflowing violence. Build a big concrete wall around and don´t enter before they all have eliminated themselves. Will take about 40 - 50 years. Job done, mission accomplished.

Cardinal Fang's picture

I'm thinking there is a whole lot more to this Niger incident than meets the eye.

This 'disrespect to the widow' kerfluffle didn't just happen, it was contrived.

It just makes me wonder why.

Another thing that doesn't make sense is if Trump talked about his friends trying to make a buck in Africa, he is full of shit, because someone would have to point out specifics to me.

I don't see it. Africa is a shitty place, poor security situation and rife with corruption.

Even the 'economic hitmen' don't want to go there...

Hell, even the locals don't want to be there, they are leaving in droves.

Maybe that is Soros' plan. Create a bunch of instability using greed and incompetence, evict the locals, steal their shit all while destroying Europe at the same time.

Maybe the disrespect the widow thing is to bring people's attention to our involvement to create a climate here in the US where we feel guilty and start accepting African refugees here too.

Twee Surgeon's picture

I dont feel guilty, do you ? And if so, Why, what is it that you did to Africans ?

BeansMcGreens's picture

Though not having a say so in any of it, this country let that demonic clinton/obama go in and kill Qaddafi and destroy Libya for no reason.

roddy6667's picture

"Mind you, it’s unlikely that very many Chinese citizens are aware of the deep involvement of their country in the African continent, either"

All these trips and win-win deals in Africa and South America are published almost daily in Chinese newspapers. 

Xi Jinping practically lives on an airplane, as he is constantly in some other country promoting a mutually beneficial  enterprise. The newspapers follow all these moves.

PT's picture

Re " but it’s a fair bet he would not be able to identify on a blank map of Africa the countries in which his armed forces are at present engaged in various degrees of conflict." : 


Umm, ummmm, ... ALL of it?

PT's picture

... or just overlay a resource map and look there?

hooligan2009's picture

china is around 30 years ahead of the US in Africa - and around 300 years behind the portuguese, the french and the british.

the europeans have been thrown out, the chinese are taking their turn.

in the end, the sad continent will outlast all of them, though not before the extinction of most, if not all, the animals, but not the insects.

Twee Surgeon's picture

The Chinese are not famous for fastidious hygiene. Can you imagine what will happen if Ebola gets into China during the Summer, or anywhere else for that matter ?

The West has had the Tech and resources to deal with that Reoccurring nightmare a few times but it's a dodgy situation at best.

hooligan2009's picture

a propos, there is a growing chinese presence in madagascar where the plague "outbreak" is already up to 74 dead and 600 reported as infected (around double the usual plgue outbreaks in recent years)



a bit older.. but there's this


Rebelrebel7's picture

The war for African natural resources began last summer.  Aljazeera claims that whoever controls Mali will control all of West africa, and posdibly all of Africa. The whales have beached there. Gates, Buffet, Clinton Foundation, Sorros, JPM, Goldman Sachs, Zuckerberg, Leapfrog Investments, and a slew of corporations, the Chinese government, and the U.S. Army.

It has been planned to create public private partnerships since 1992 by the U.N. in Agenda 21. Obama had also sent Russ Feingold to Africa in a two pronged strategy to get him out of the way in America and lend his Great Lake expertise, qualified by living in a state with two great lakes. https://www.state.gov/p/af/srgl/index.htm http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2016/10/mapping-africa-natural-resources-161020075811145.html http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2016/10/shadow-war-sahara-161009025023817.html https://sorosconnection.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/george-soros-african-ngos/ http://africanagenda.net/george-soros-style-destabilization-of-south-africa/ https://www.clintonfoundation.org/our-work/by-region/africa https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Where-We-Work/Africa-Office http://allafrica.com/stories/201608311188.html http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/1/philanthropist-howard-buffett-backs-brown-revolution-in-africa.html https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2016/06/22/u-s-army-africa-s-largest-exercise-ever-is-now-underway/ https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa https://www.google.com/amp/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSL3N0RA11U20140909 https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/outcomedocuments/agenda21
WTFUD's picture

How many commenters have ever been to Africa? Do you receive your information from CNN's Richard Quest?

Rebelrebel7's picture

I don't watch CNN, so I do not get my information there, and I believe that my links are proof of that. 

As far as your claim that you have to have been somewhere to be qualified to say anything about that place, I remind you that most Americans aren't qualified to discuss American politics, despite the fact that they live here. 

Most aren't even able to name the governor of the state that they live in. 

The fact that you would use that as an argument knowing that about Americans living in America, makes you look ridiculous. If you didn't know that about Americans living in America,  that makes you look ridiculous too. 

Rebelrebel7's picture

From US News and World Report:


85 percent could not define "the rule of law."


75 percent did not know function of the judicial branch.


71 percent were unable to identify the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land."


63 percent could not name one of their state's Senators.


62 percent did not know the name the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.


62 percent could not identify the Governor of their state.


57 percent could not define an "amendment."



Expat's picture

What's your point?  People don't need so-called facts to have an opinion or a belief.   And believing makes things real.  So that proves science is bullshit because scientists say they don't believe.  Only fags knows stuff.

LOL.  America is the stupidest fucking developed country as proven for decades by tests.  Ask any Canadian who the American Vice President is.  They will know.  As any American to name two countries bordering America and you might get Florida and China as answers.

Rebelrebel7's picture

Well,  you are obviously among the awardably stupid if you are so inept and illiterate that you have to ask what my point is, so I won't waste my time on an intellectual degenerate like you.