The People's Daily from China is an interesting resource. Definitely an item worth monitoring because of the alternative insight which is sometimes just that, an insight. Other times, just like any other source of news from any other agency or media outlet, it comes on a slant. From the opinion section of the People's Daily Online comes this: U.S. steps up military infiltration into Africa. The piece starts w/ Rumsfeld's recent trip to the Maghreb, hitting Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria.
After citing some prominent trips by US officials from former Secretary of State Powell to Preident G W Bush, to General Wald, it actually fails to consider the most potent and recent visits (and this) to hotter spots than the north (something I need to re-post on to highlight also). Here are some highlights from the piece:
- Oil security is another purpose of the U.S. military expansion in Africa. Currently, oil supply from Africa accounts for 20 percent of U.S. total imports and the percentage is predicted to be 25 percent by 2015, exceeding that from the Persian Gulf region. Relevant documents from the U.S. government have treated oil supply from Africa as important as concerning U.S. national security.
- To ensure the oil supply, the U.S. government has taken many measures of infiltration such as selling weapons to oil producing countries including Nigeria, Angola and Algeria, conducting joint military maneuvers, providing military training and establishing military bases in Africa. In 2002, the U.S. government reached an agreement with Sao Tome and Principe on building a navy base.
The 2002 agreement was never consumated. The People's Daily is outdated and clearly didn't follow up on leads, but they are on the right track.
- U.S. military presence in Africa has two obvious tendencies: one is to deepen military cooperation in North Africa and the Horn of Africa for anti-terrorism purpose; and the other is to cooperate with West Africa for oil security. From strategic perspective, Washington's Africa policy has combined anti-terrorism, oil and garrisoning.
Clearly correct. Perhaps the Chinese are effectively blocking?
U.S. officials said most countries welcomed the American visits, though one officer described Equatorial Guinea military officials as "distant and standoffish," speculating their estrangement was because of growing Chinese influence there.