10/31 US Again Expands African Operations, Again OKs Child Soldiers in its Target Regions

"The Tide of War Is Receding"
Obama , June 22, 2011

Obama’s Shadow Wars
2/27/12 http://www.foreignpolicy.com/war_issue
War, as Clausewitz so memorably put it, is the continuation of politics by other means. Strikingly, the United States under its Nobel Peace Prize-winning president has been pursuing war itself by other means over the last few years, a campaign that has blurred the lines of legality and lethality, technology and weaponry, as it spread from Afghanistan across an ever-widening swath of the planet. Which is why we’ve devoted our third annual War Issue, to the question of Barack Obama's Secret Wars. From drones that rain death down on Pakistan’s tribal areas to the collateral damage of “war on terror”...we may look back on the Obama years as a definitive chapter in the spread of this new way of war...

"When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed - that's slavery, It is barbaric, it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world. Now, as a nation, we've long rejected such cruelty"
Obama at Clinton Global Initiative.http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/25/remarks-president-clinton-global-initiative

Presidential Memorandum--Child Soldiers Prevention Act
Presidential Determination No. 2011-4 to Section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, pursuant to section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), title IV of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA.You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the accompanying memorandum of justification, and to publish it in the Federal Register. BARACK OBAMA

third year in a row...
Obama issues presidential memorandum waiving penalties under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 ...
thecable.foreignpolicy.com/ posts/ 2012/10/ 01/ obama_waives_sanctions_on_countries_that_use_child_soldiers
Obama waived almost all U.S. sanctions that would punish certain countries that use child soldiers for the third year in a row. Late Friday Obama issued a presidential memorandum waiving penalties under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 for Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen to prevent U.S. arms sales to countries declared by the State Department the worst abusers of child soldiers...and partially waived sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow some military training and arms sales to that country.

Obama declares new strategic 'peace, democracy and security'' for imperialist domination
New US Africa Strategy
6/14/12 www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/africa_strategy_2.pdf
Our message to those who would derail the democratic process is clear and unequivocal: the United States will not stand idly by when actors threaten legitimately
elected governments or manipulate the fairness and integrity of democratic processes...America believes in Africa as a region of growing opportunity and promise, for Africa, for America, for our people and our economies. We believe that Africa can be the world’s next major economic success story...we will encourage American companies to seize trade and investment opportunities in Africa, so their skills, capital, and technology will further support the region’s economic expansion, while helping to create jobs here in America....
The United States will partner with sub-Saharan African countries to pursue interdependent and mutually reinforcing objectives...

US unveils new drive for Africa
6/15/12 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-unveils-new-drive-for-africa.aspx
...The renewed focus on Africa comes as China increasingly funnels investment toward the continent, seeking to bolster its diplomatic footprint partly as a way of slaking its growing economy’s thirst for new energy sources. China is bringing “incredibly needed” capital to African economies, and could play a role in bringing lasting peace to Sudan, the official said. Bilateral trade between China and Africa reached over $120 billion in 2011, from less than $20 billion a decade earlier.

Growth for China, Sub-Saharan Africa
10/12/12 http://www.voanews.com/content/imf-sees-continued-growth-for-china-sub-s...

Obama Vastly Expands US Military Operations in Africa
6/19/12 http://www.congoresources.org/2012/06/obama-vastly-expanding-us-military...
One locale likely to see an influx of Pentagon spies in the coming years is Africa. Under President Obama, operations on the continent have accelerated far beyond the more limited interventions of the Bush years. Last year's war in Libya; a regional drone campaign with missions run out of airports and bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Seychelles; a flotilla of 30 ships in that ocean supporting regional operations; a multi-pronged military and CIA campaign against militants in Somalia, including intelligence operations, training for Somali agents, secret prisons, helicopter attacks, and U.S. commando raids; a massive influx of cash for counterterrorism operations across East Africa; a possible old-fashioned air war, carried out on the sly in the region using manned aircraft; tens of millions of dollars in arms for allied mercenaries and African troops; and a special opsexpeditionary force (bolstered by State Department experts) dispatched to help capture or kill Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and his senior commanders, operating in Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic (where U.S. Special Forces now have a new base) only begins to scratch the surface of Washington's fast-expanding plans and activities in the region.
Even less well known are other U.S. military efforts designed to train African forces for operations now considered integral to American interests on the continent. These include, for example, a mission by elite Force Recon Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 12 (SPMAGTF-12) to train soldiers from the Uganda People's Defense Force, which supplies the majority of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia.
Earlier this year, Marines from SPMAGTF-12 also trained soldiers from the Burundi National Defense Force, the second-largest contingent in Somalia; sent trainers into Djibouti (where the U.S. already maintains a major Horn of Africa base at Camp Lemonier); and traveled to Liberia where they focused on teaching riot-control techniques to Liberia's military as part of an otherwise State Department spearheaded effort to rebuild that force.
The U.S. is also conducting counterterrorism training and equipping militaries in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Tunisia. In addition, U.S. Africa Command (Africom) has 14 major joint-training exercises planned for 2012, including operations in Morocco, Cameroon, Gabon, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Senegal, and what may become the Pakistan of Africa, Nigeria. Even this doesn't encompass the full breadth of U.S. training and advising missions in Africa. To take an example not on AFRICOM's list, this spring the U.S. brought together 11 African nations...to take part in a maritime training exercise code-named Saharan Express 2012.

3 months later...
U.S. expands secret war in Africa
9/24/12 http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/09/24/US-expands-its-secret-war...
ALGIERS, Algeria, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama 's "secret wars" against al-Qaida are steadily widening, most notably in Africa, with U.S. Special Forces Operation Command doubling in size and CIA strike capabilities undergoing radical expansion, international analysts said. "Ad hoc global 'counter-terrorism' efforts that began under President George W. Bush and encouraged by Obama, have become institutionalized -- and will continue to expand for the next couple of years, particularly in Africa. Washington is in the process of a massive expansion of what are referred to internally as 'lily pads' that allow it a global strike capability," according to a recent Oxford Analytica assessment....these include facilities in Kenya, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. Western military sources say they are seeking to establish a base in the new state of South Sudan as well...
West Africa is emerging as a vital mineral and oil-producing zone attracting China and India...East Africa is on the cusp of a major oil and natural gas bonanza, making it of particular interest to Beijing and New Delhi because its energy and mineral wealth can be shipped directly eastward across the Indian Ocean. Some analysts view the Indian Ocean as a future conflict zone between China and India because of its sea lanes....autocratic and dictatorial regimes plunder their countries' wealth....Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso come to mind ...energy booms will strengthen those regimes and forestall moves toward democracy and good governance. In 2007, the US inaugurated an Africa Command [AFRICOM] to coordinate U.S. military affairs with governments across the continent.
Africans see the U.S. AFRICOM as an instrument to protect U.S. investment, particularly oil and gas, rather than Washington's stated aims... African expert Toby Leon Moorsom of Canada's Queen's University observed "interest in Islamic fundamentalism is much more appealing to people who've lost everything for the sake of the 1 percent intent on taking it all. Armies are not signs of hope for those who have recently lost their land in mining concessions and land grabs."
Indeed, some analysts suspect these developments will drive Africans toward groups like al-Qaida and its allies in North Africa, Nigeria and Somalia, which will trigger U.S. "secret war" operations to contain them, as is now taking place in Somalia and nearby Yemen.

02/08/12 http://libya360.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/tuareg-rising-in-mali/
The Tuareg-led National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA) since the 1960s has struggled to liberate Azawad, what they call North Mali, from 'Malian occupation'.

Panetta: Cannot let al-Qaida hide in north Africa
www.marinecorpstimes.com/ mobile/ news/ 2012/10/ ap-panetta-cannot-let-al-qaida-hide-north-africa-mali-102412 -
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday the U.S. must work with nations in the region to ensure that al-Qaida has no place to hide and expand its capabilities.Senior U.S. defense leaders are working with allies on a plan to deal with al-Qaida- linked militants in Mali and elsewhere in the North Africa region, with American assistance likely to center on intelligence and logistical support and not troops on the ground. Panetta provided no details on what the U.S. would be willing to do, and officials say no final decisions have been made. But senior Defense Department leaders have been in France for the recent meetings on the matter,
A senior U.S. diplomat said there is very little appetite in the U.S. to intervene in Mali without the express agreement of the Malian government and as part of a strategy laid out by ECOWAS, the alliance of West Africa nations. Officials are discussing plans for an African-led military offensive against al-Qaida-linked militants in northern Mali. U.S. Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, has said the U.S. would not put boots on the ground there, but would be able to provide other assistance, including intelligence gathering and other support.There are only about a dozen members of a U.S. military team in Mali as part of the normal embassy staff and security.Officials have linked al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb to the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. AQIM's leaders are known to be largely in northern Mali, operating out of safe havens there.

10/24/12 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/war-in-mali-inevitable-as...
The US has been lukewarm in its support for a military mission in Mali, but said a war to reconquer the region had become "inevitable". US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta yesterday refused to rule out US support for training or other ground operations. The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the US ambassador has been linked to AQIM but no evidence has been produced. .French president François Hollande, just returned from an African tour, warned that terrorists must not be allowed to install themselves in the Sahel region. "It's not just an aggression against the sovereign country of Mali. It's a major issue for the security of the entire continent – and Europe." France pushed for action at the UN ...The UN Security Council authorised military intervention in Mali...likely outcome an African-led force paid for by Western governments ....and re-launched co-operation with the military junta in Mali, suspended six months ago following a coup. An uprising earlier by Tuareg independence fighters, the MNLA, who drove out the Malian army and briefly declared independence for the north, was pushed out by better-armed and organised Islamist groups, including AQIM, accused of widespread abuses and crimes such as the destruction of ancient sites in the fabled city of Timbuktu....about a third of the population in the north fled during the conflict which has also worsened the already appalling hunger in the Sahel - the land spanning nearly a dozen of the world's poorest countries on the southern rim of the Sahara - where millions are on the brink of starvation due to drought.

Coup threatens to plunge Mali back into the darkness of dictatorship
3/23/12 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/23/coup-mali-dictatorsh...
'Most Malians are wondering who this hitherto unknown Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo really is and who’s backing him.'
Mali's reputation as a beacon of democracy and stability in west Africa was extinguished Wednesday night, when a group of army officers stormed the presidential palace in the capital Bamako and announced they were suspending the constitution and taking power. Thursday morning, the leader of the putsch, Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, went on state TV to declare a state of emergency...a military coup born out of the deep anger at the way the ousted president Amadou Toumani Touré conducted the war against a Tuareg insurgency in the north.

US Expanding Anti-Terror Operations in Djibouti
10/26/12 http://www.voanews.com/content/report-says-us-is-expandingi-anti-terror-...
U.S. Defense Department spokesman George Little said the base plays an important role in U.S. international security efforts. "...Africa is becoming more and more important for the security and prosperity of the international community. There are threats in the region and our presence is intended in part to address some of the threats in the region," Little said. The US is planning to spend $1.4 billion to expand facilities at the Djibouti base...Camp Lemonnier... the only U.S. military base in Africa... The Washington Post report said the Djibouti base has also become home to a squadron of F-15 fighter jets flying combat missions over Yemen in the war against al-Qaida. The U.S. is also known to operate drones from two other East African countries -- Ethiopia and the Seychelles islands. But the Post calls Lemonnier the centerpiece of an expanding U.S. network of drone and surveillance bases in Africa...Earlier this month, the Post reported the Obama administration is considering military strikes against al-Qaida militants in North Africa [where]  Al-Qaida-affiliated groups seized control of northern Mali after a coup toppled Mali's government in March.

Experts meet on Mali army intervention
10-31-12 http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Experts-meet-on-Mali-army-intervention...
Bamako - The conference will discuss "upgrading" the Malian army, under-equipped and demoralised after its rout at the hands of Tuareg fighters whose separatist rebellion in January triggered the country's rapid implosion. Angry at the government's handling of the rebellion, a group of soldiers ousted the government in March, which allowed the vast north to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists who overcame erstwhile Tuareg allies.

Touareg liberation struggle is long-standing target"
French-language MNLA English-language http://crossedcrocodiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/mali-10-gao-spops.j...
GAO, Mali – U.S. Navy SEAL advisor watches Malian special operations vehicle unit run through immediate-action drills for counter-terrorism missions during training February 26, 2010.
The Special Operations Command – Africa SEAL team spent several weeks in Mali working with a Malian special operations unit on advanced counter-terrorism skills training. Military training engagements such as this are geared to build on previously established relationships and help African partner nations develop capacities, achieve regional cooperation and improve security. These capacity-development events support regional interagency objectives of the U.S. State Department’s Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership program and the Department of Defense’s Operation Enduring Freedom (Trans-Sahara).

State-Dept.funded International Military Education and Training program reveals extent of US merged soft-hard power war, as well as its 'strategic information' war
Mali military coup leader trained in U.S.
3/23/12 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/leader-of-mali-mil...
Mali...is a key U.S. counterterrorism partner in efforts to contain al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa. The U.S. has bolstered Malian security forces for years...AFRICOM's planned major regional military exercise in Mali last month was canceled because of Mali’s struggle to contain a Tuareg insurgency in the northern part of the country. The exercise, called Flintlock 2012, was supposed to bring together security forces from West Africa, Europe and the United States to coordinate counterterrorism missions....
The coup came a month before Mali — one of the few established democracies in the region — was to hold a presidential election. Mali coup leaders pledged a return to democracy and said they deposed President Amadou Toumani Toure because of his incompetence in combating the Tuareg insurgency. A U.S. defense official said Friday that the leader of the military coup Thursday received military training in the United States on “several” occasions. Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, who led a renegade military faction that deposed Mali’s democratically elected president, visited the US several times to receive professional military education, including basic officer training, said Patrick Barnes, a U.S. Africa Command [AFRICOM] official in Washington...he could not provide further details about the duration or nature of Sanogo’s participation in the International Military Education and Training program. The State Department funds that program, and foreign officers are generally selected by U.S. Embassy officials. The State Department condemned the coup and called for restoration of democratic rule...[but] has not suspended aid or diplomatic relations with the impoverished country....“The actions of the mutineers run contrary to everything taught in U.S. military schools, where students are exposed to American concepts of the role of a military in a free society,” said Hilary F. Renner, a spokeswoman for the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. “If this situation is not resolved democratically, the remaining aid could be very seriously affected” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday. By law, the U.S. government will be required to suspend military relations with Mali because of the coup.

Mali Tuareg rebels declare independence
4/6/12 (AP) Bamako - "We, the people of the Azawad, proclaim the irrevocable independence of the state of the Azawad starting from this day, Friday, April 6, 2012" said a statement published on the rebel website

"My brothers, the great Tuareg tribes of Libya and Africa, you elected the deceased Mu’ammer Qadhafi as your Leader. Your Leader was killed…We know that the Tuareg of Libya, Algeria, Western Sahara, Mali and Niger will avenge his death. Your actions will determine the fate and future of the mercenaries and colonizers.... corporate oil conglomerates sponsored the unleashing of elite army counterinsurgency units to quash the Tuareg rebellion that posed a threat to their interests in the region.
Khaleej Times, Bamako, 04--06-2012

to be continued...