Hardly a very statesmanlike justification from President Clinton that is recorded for posterity in the history books. But with Obama now as President-elect, I've started to wonder if the media will start to ask any difficult questions about whether there will be any significant policy shifts with respect to Africom. I will be keeping a close eye on Khadija Sharife's blog as developments come to hand, as she has cannily identified Africom's chief purpose as "branding guns as roses". To this end, she cites Daniel Volman, the Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC, and a specialist on U.S. military policy in Africa:
“The PR effort is designed to conceal the true purposes of AFRICOM which are primarily to secure resources, bolster the capabilities of allies and surrogates to repress internal political opposition, and act as proxies for the US (as Ethiopia is doing in Somalia for example), and counter the growing political and economic influence of China".
Such revelations complicate the ways we can legitimately think about the purposes of [alleged] humanitarian intervention. Not coincidentally, Somalia apparently has tremendous untapped [sic] potential with respect to natural resources (i.e. oil).
Here in Australia, the media made no undertaking to present this as an issue in the Presidential election, even though Green candidates and activists such as celebrity Danny Glover had actively campaigned against it.
For another extreme manifestation of strategic logic, it is worth looking at the history of Diego Garcia.