On Oct. 17, the head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), U.S. Marine Corps General Michael Langley visited Morocco. Langley met with senior Moroccan military leaders, including Inspector General of the Moroccan Armed Forces Belkhir El Farouk.
Since 2004, AFRICOM has held its “largest and premier annual exercise,” African Lion, partly on Moroccan soil. This past June, 10 countries participated in the African Lion 2022, with observers from Israel (for the first time) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Langley’s visit is part of a broader U.S. push onto the African continent, which we documented in our dossier No. 42 (July 2021), “Defending Our Sovereignty: U.S. Military Bases in Africa and the Future of African Unity,” a joint publication with The Socialist Movement of Ghana’s Research Group.
In that text, we wrote that the two important principles of Pan-Africanism are political unity and territorial sovereignty and argued that the “enduring presence of foreign military bases not only symbolises the lack of unity and sovereignty; it also equally enforces the fragmentation and subordination of the continent’s peoples and governments.”
In August, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield travelled to Ghana, Uganda and Cape Verde. “We’re not asking Africans to make any choices between the United States and Russia,” she said ahead of her visit, but, she added, “for me, that choice would be simple.”
That choice is nonetheless being impelled by the U.S. Congress as it deliberates the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, a bill that would sanction African states if they do business with Russia (and could possibly extend to China in the future).
To understand this unfolding situation, our friends at No Cold War have prepared their briefing No. 5, “NATO Claims Africa as Its ‘Southern Neighbourhood,’” which looks at how NATO has begun to develop a proprietary view of Africa and how the U.S. government considers Africa to be a frontline in its Global Monroe Doctrine. That briefing can be downloaded here.