Why African Countries Are Opposing America

The article, “Threats to security: caution needed in the US response” looks at the United States policy towards sub Saharan Africa. The United States has two main national interests in sub Saharan Africa; combating terrorism and its growing dependence on African oil.

In its effort to prevent terrorism in Africa, the United States has introduced various security initiatives. The goals of these programmes are noble however most of them have not been met. The article gives the example of the GPOI/ACOTA, the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), the East Africa Counterterrorism Initiative (EACTI), the US European Command (EUCOM) and the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). Most of these security initiatives are funded by the United States department of defense.

The threat of terrorism though a significant problem in Africa, calls for a better strategy in the way the United States handles the problem. So far the United States’ activities in sub Saharan Africa may lead to resentment by the population at large especially the Muslim faithful. The support of the military governments in such countries as Mauritania is likely to threaten democratic and good governance efforts. In addition, the population may turn against the regime and its supporter the United States.   Moreover, Muslims are divided into various groups which are not easily comprehensible in Washington policy makers. The increasing influence of conservatives and neoconservatives in policy making just makes the situation worse.

The threat to African oil is not a big issue warranting a security policy. This is because most of the oil producing countries’ are politically stable. However because of the United States dependence on oil, it has established ties with countries whose regimes are illegitimate. Nigeria being an oil rich country and possibly important to the United States, has received some help to curb its terrorism problems in the oil rich delta and the spread of Islamism in the north. The...