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A response to Nick Turse’s “Terror Diaspora”

When Western commentators who are supposedly opposed to militarism write in ways that suggest AFRICOM should step up its activities in Africa, citing the failed states index that was prepared by militarists and lobbyists for private military contractors, it is the obligation of people in the peace and justice movements to speak up

Why is it the case that many Western analysts and critics would oppose global militarism but directly or indirectly fan the flame of U.S. militarism in Africa? It is well known among the U.S. forward planners that one of the many roles of the offshoots of the Western military-financial-information complex is to reproduce information conducive to supporting the Pentagon and its chokehold over the population of the United States. In the midst of a global capitalist crisis, some U.S.-based opinion moulders, think tanks and research institutes are busy stoking the fires of war in order to keep the order books for the military contractors full. Progressive Africans understand the sweep of U.S. militarism in a context of the massive deployment of U.S. troops and military bases worldwide to support the global accumulation by U.S. corporations. This has been the contribution of African scholars who have written on the linkages between militarism and neo-liberalism. [1] Many journalists and commentators writing about U.S. Africa Command, U.S. War on Terror in Africa, and the broad U.S. military engagement with Africa adopt a tone that reinforces the flimsy justification of U.S. militarism in Africa. Commentator and writer Nick Turse of TomDispatch committed this very error in his article, ‘The Terror Diaspora: The U.S. Military and the Unraveling of Africa.’ [2]

Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist and managing editor of This platform is supposed to represent an alternative to the mainstream reports of the corporate media. I have read Nick Turse’s missives and enjoyed some of his publications. His book ‘Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam’ is a genuine contribution to the ongoing debate on the violation of humanity in Vietnam. As a progressive specialist on the military and intelligence he, along with Jeremy Scahill, National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine, has been writing on U.S. military in Africa and the U.S. Africa Command. I have also followed with interest the exchange between Turse and the Director of Public Affairs, US Africa Command, Colonel Tom Davis. [3]

Given Turse’s history, it was quite surprising to read his latest article parroting the U.S. party line that Africa is a hotbed of terrorism. The article, “The Terror Diaspora: The U.S. Military and the Unraveling of Africa,” inadvertently supports the public relations campaign for military engagement on the African continent. In the article, Turse gave a somewhat superficial overview of the U.S. military operations in Africa and concluded with the following paragraph: “Today, the continent is thick with militant groups that are increasingly crossing borders, sowing insecurity, and throwing the limits of U.S. power into broad relief. After 10 years of U.S. operations to promote stability by military means, the results have been the opposite. Africa has become blowback central.” The tone of the entire article oscillated between two problematic narratives: First, the narrative of a terror-swamped Africa overwhelmed by insecurity and instability, suggesting that the heightening of US military engagement may be justified; and another narrative of an Africa where increased U.S. militarism has not yielded enough success, indicating that more needs to be done on the military front.

Because of the proliferation of negative and misleading research currently circulating from U.S.-based think tanks and given Turse’s influence and progressive base, a corrective response is required. That is, Africa is NOT a hotbed of terrorist activity. Whether it is the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Center for International and Strategic Studies (CISS), The Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars or the Conservative Heritage Foundation, there is an infrastructure of researchers in the United States who are integrated into the United States Military Strategists Association (USMSA). These think tanks are also integrated into the journals and platforms of the differing branches of the US military and intelligence services. The think tanks are the mouthpieces of the US Military and advance its agenda contrary to the impression reproduced by the platforms of the United States Military Strategists Association that the whole of Africa is terror-swamped. Of the 54 countries in Africa, Islamist extremists are active in less than six. There might be pockets of instability in places such as Nigeria, Sudan, DRC, Somalia, Libya, Egypt and Mali, but these few places cannot be the entire story of Africa. There are 48 other countries in Africa. It is not that progressive activists do not perceive threats of military destabilization, but the point needs to be made that many of these threats are over exaggerated. One can distinguish between the forecasts of military planners who want a full scale external military intervention in Nigeria and those from entities such as Renaissance Capital that are planning for the large market that will be provided by Nigerians. Turse did not seriously distinguish himself from the writers integrated into the USMSA and failed to give an in-depth analysis on the complicity of U.S. military and clandestine activities in aiding and creating instability and conditions that breed terrorism in Africa.

Where the strategists and forward planners are unable to credibly tout successful military activities as a basis for further militarization of engagement, they draw upon the narrative of “terrorists overrunning the whole of Africa” to justify increased U.S. military activities on the continent and increased expenditures from Congress for the Pentagon. In the midst of the preparation of this paper there was wall-to-wall news that the United States was closing a large number of embassies in Africa and Arabia because of a major terrorist threat. While the information regarding the al Qaeda threats in Mideast and northern Africa are still yet to fully be revealed, there is reason to be suspicious that the closing of U.S. embassies in the region is another public relations campaign to support U.S. militarism at a moment when many members of Congress and Senators are opposing the Surveillance State – in the aftermath of the revelations by the whistleblower, Edward Snowden. [4]

Turse’s discussion of an Africa overwhelmed by terror could be considered a public relations gift for those who want to fight perpetual war. Turse clearly stated that the spokesperson for AFRICOM could not give U.S. military success stories in Africa (other than in Somalia, whose instability in the first place the U.S. had contributed to, and the Gulf of Guinea where U.S. originally moved to for the purpose of easy flow of oil). Instead of using the lack of credible success stories to probe the ineffectiveness of U.S. militarism in Africa, Turse seems to suggest that this failure makes a case for the stepping up of AFRICOM and U.S. militarism on the continent. By citing the discredited Failed States Index and other statistics to prove that Africa is overwhelmed by insecurity and instability, Turse is supporting the military strategists. According to Turse, “After all, in 2006, before AFRICOM came into existence, 11 African nations were among the top 20 in the Fund for Peace’s annual Failed States Index. Last year, that number had risen to 15 (or 16 if you count the new nation of South Sudan).” It is no news that the failed state narrative is popular in the talking point of those American militarists who support perpetual war in Africa and elsewhere.

This same old narrative about "failed states" has been used repeatedly by scholars such as Christopher Clapham, William Reno and other Afro-pessimists. Other commentators and so-called policy wonks, such as Robert Kaplan, author of ‘The Coming Anarchy’, have made a reputation for themselves as foreign policy analysts with views about state failure in Africa. This line of argument was then taken up by organizations such as the United States Institute for Peace that carried out research on “Collapsed States.” From these platforms there is then the international NGO constituency that bid for resources on the basis of the idea of “state failure” in Africa. It is a worn out idea that gained currency when the world was still under the spell of the Global War on Terror.

In the article ‘Failed States are a Western Myth,’ Ross noted: “The organisation that produces the index, the Fund for Peace, is the kind of outfit John le Carré thinks we should all be having nightmares about. Its director, JJ Messner (who puts together the list), is a former lobbyist for the private military industry. None of the raw data behind the index is made public. So why on earth would an organisation like this want to keep the idea of the failed state prominent in public discourse?” [5]

The concept of the failed state has never existed outside a program for western intervention but rather has always been a way of constructing a rationale for imposing US interests on less powerful nations. [6] European policy makers who call themselves liberal and left have a vested interest in these forms of intervention and Robert Cooper, an aide to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, called for a new liberal imperialism. Regis Debray, who forty years ago sought to align himself with the revolutionary forces of Latin America now writes that despite the capitalist crisis, the West is not declining and that the “African Union is up for grabs.” [7] Debray and Cooper joined the ranks of scholars such as Jean-Francois Bayart and Patrick Chabal who made a career out of Afro-pessimism.

Afro-pessimists have been writing books and articles about a “New Scramble for Africa.” These writers cite the engagement of the emerging states in Africa but these writings do not have a full appreciation of the real effects of the scramble for Africa that destroyed millions of African lives between 1880 and 1920. [8] When Western commentators like Nick Turse who are supposedly opposed to militarism write in ways that suggest AFRICOM should step up its activities in Africa, citing failed states index that was prepared by militarists and lobbyists for private military contractors, it is the obligation of people in the peace and justice movements to speak up. This is very important given the stranglehold of the militarists on global information apparatus and the misinformation they peddle in order to ensure that those opposed to war would support militarism in certain parts of the world. Recent disclosures of the massive surveillance apparatus of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the massive information gathering capabilities of the networks should open room for new research to dismantle the American Security Deep State. Along with this Deep State has been the development of the AFRICOM Social Science research spending to collect that information that cannot be scooped up by NSA’s digital fortress. The misinformation about the need for increased militarization of Africa could be bought into by otherwise credible analysts who are made to believe that Africa is becoming a “Ground Zero” for terrorism. This notion of ground zero is echoed in Turse’s narrative:

“A careful examination of the security situation in Africa suggests that it is in the process of becoming Ground Zero for a veritable terror diaspora set in motion in the wake of 9/11 that has only accelerated in the Obama years. Recent history indicates that as U.S. “stability” operations in Africa have increased, militancy has spread, insurgent groups have proliferated, allies have faltered or committed abuses, terrorism has increased, the number of failed states has risen, and the continent has become more unsettled.”

This kind of analysis fits into the narrative of those sections of the foreign policy establishment who would like to deepen the US militarization of Africa. I would like to suggest that Nick Turse widen his sources of information about the U.S. military activities in Africa.


It is misleading to state that militants are everywhere crossing borders in Africa and sowing instability. Such sweeping assertions reinforce the criminalization of the broader movement of the workers, youths and market women in Africa, which has been part of the long Pan-African traditions that do not respect the borders that were instituted at the Berlin Congress that partitioned Africa in 1884-5. Such a broad characterization of Africans ropes in Africans who cross borders on a daily basis as part of ordinary lives. This position on “terrorists” crossing borders does not distinguish those who are legitimate from those who are illegitimate. From Southern Africa to East Africa, West and North Africa, people move across these artificial borders for many legitimate reasons, including trade and maintenance of social/family ties. Yes, a few of these numerous borders are also crossed by some people with criminal intents, but it is a stretch to cast almost all cross border interactions in Africa in terms of militants and jihadists everywhere crossing borders on the continent. Dangerous anti-social elements are also crossing the borders and need to be stopped. In most border communities in Africa the traders and ordinary people can ferret out these elements if the states trusted the people. From the point of the law enforcement and counter-terrorist planners, there is a benefit to keeping the characterization as nebulous and unspecific because it is part of the propaganda to make the issue of terrorism in Africa bigger than it really is. The majority of these Africans believe that Africa is for Africans. They should not be criminalized or broadly labeled as militants.

Such a narrative about Africa becoming a ground zero for terrorists has no place at this moment when the collective actions of Africans have delegitimized the U.S. military operations and the African activists have turned the corner in focusing on economic reconstruction and transformation.

Apart from military engagement, in an era of economic crisis and sequestration, the U.S. establishment has little or nothing substantial to offer in its relations with Africa. There is desperation among the U.S. militarists to expand operations in Africa and for African governments to use scarce resources to purchase outdated U.S. ordinance. Recent experiences of the U.S. government rushing to sell 20 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt is only the latest indication of the desperation of the militarists to control the weapons market in Africa. In Africa, the U.S. cannot compete economically with emerging economies, such as China and Brazil, so they manipulate the ideas of terror and brute force to sustain their influence. China’s “resource for infrastructure” initiatives signed with 25 countries have undermined the bullying powers of the IMF and the World Bank, two institutions that have been a tool of U.S. capital equity forces in Africa.

At the last Chinua Achebe colloquium in Brown University, in December 2012, Mo Ibrahim, the African billionaire, spoke out the loudest against AFRICOM. It was at that same colloquium where I stated to General Carter Ham that AFRICOM has been a failure and that it is time to dismantle it. [9]


In all imperial centers there are factions and the U.S. is no different; there are real struggles within the military establishment and some of these internal struggles are played out in the context of the military planning for Africa. There are some basic features of U.S. militarism that many Americans, even progressives, do not appreciate: the efforts to dominate the research agenda in African institutions, the development of a digital dossier to control pliant leaders, [10] and the ideological struggle between the Rocks and the Crusaders inside the U.S. military establishment [11] The Crusaders are those who benefit from war, either ideologically or through the military revolving door, [12] and thus want to fight perpetual war. They search for any little evidence to make a case for intervention and continuous militarization. Because liberals such as Barack Obama do not have an alternative to the projection of U.S. military power, the Democratic Party of the United States is constantly steamrolled into supporting military deployments such as the fiascos in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Since last year (2012), the Crusaders have been campaigning for the State Department to brand the deadly Islamist group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, as a foreign terrorist organization. Such move has the implication of internationalizing and further complicating a local problem, creating room for full fledged U.S. intervention in Nigeria.

Nick Turse stated in the article that in 2012, General Carter Ham, then AFRICOM’s chief, added Boko Haram to his own list of extremist threats. What Turse should have added is that the Nigerian government, along with the White House and the State Department, refused to agree to label Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). When Johnnie Carson, the then Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs testified before Congress last year, he named three individuals from this organization as “specially designated global terrorists” (SDGTs). There is a crucial distinction because in this way the U.S. State Department stopped short of designating the group as an FTO under U.S. law, a step some conservative Republican have long been urging. More recently, the U.S. government offered financial rewards for the capture of these leaders of Boko Haram.

This was an explicit rejection of those sections of the Pentagon who wanted open intervention by the U.S. military in the current struggles over Boko Haram in Nigeria. However, the sections of the Nigerian government understand the implications of the U.S. government labeling Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization – a blank check for U.S. militarists and private military companies to turn the country into an open playground for unhinged militarization.

Even conservative and repressive African military personnel resent the deep racism of the Crusaders. Hence, when one is dealing with the relationship between the U.S. military and Africa it is necessary to dig deep to grasp the contradictions within contradictions. Racism and arrogance of white supremacists alienate all but the most servile of African leaders. African generals and top military personnel grasp the entrenched racism of the Crusaders. The Crusaders are the elements from the Dick Cheney/ Donald Rumsfeld/ David Petraeus/Jack Keane/John Bolton branch of the establishment who want perpetual war. These Crusaders surround themselves with likeminded fellow travelers all over the world, including a few token African Americans who share their social values and ideology. Therefore the Crusaders believe that they are colourblind because they have friends such as Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. Yet, it is precisely the racist and classist attitudes that exposed how out of touch these elements are with the realities of the lives of millions of Africans and other oppressed peoples of colour.

The Crusaders are supporting the religious fundamentalists who are penetrating the villages in Africa and creating conditions for terrorism to thrive. It is now known that conservative militarists in the U.S. intelligence and military establishment have an alliance with the Wahabists and Salafists sects of Islam from Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Qatar. These conservative Islamic sects are known for financing Islamists in Northern Nigeria and some other parts of Africa.


The Rocks are those who oppose the Crusaders. They are not from the peace and justice forces but they have contradictions with the raw jingoism of the Crusaders. The fall of General David Petraeus was a big blow to the Crusaders and in my own writings I have argued that these Crusaders have maneuvered General David Rodriquez as the head of AFRICOM to advance their global agenda while they wait and plan. One can get a sense of how the Crusaders are linked to the military journalists by the way Thomas Ricks responded to the firing of General James Mattis. [13] General James Mattis was the Head of Central Command and it is reported that he wanted immediate war against Iran.

When President Obama wanted to place loyal military personnel, General Michael Harrison, as the Deputy of Central Command, the army high command demoted him on the basis that he had tolerated sexual harassment. General Harrison already had been selected to become deputy commander of the Army component of U.S. Central Command, based in Kuwait. General Lloyd Austin was appointed the Head of CENTCOM and the Crusaders could not bear the thought of two black generals running the Central Command.

Of course, progressives have been at the forefront of opposing sexual harassment in the armed forces, and progressives must continue to oppose sexism and homophobia; but the top brass of the Army would like the world to believe that it is only the black generals who are tolerating sexual harassment under their watch – two top black generals have been suspended. Indeed, decisive action must be taken against those who commit or tolerate sexual assaults in the military; and similarly those perpetuating and tolerating racism within the military should be dealt with as well. It has now been revealed by CNN that military leaders tolerate blatant display of white supremacy in the U.S. military. [14] Racism, sexism and sexual assault must not be tolerated in the larger society; neither should they be condoned within the military.

War is required to keep the US as the super power in the transition period after the Cold War. In order to keep the military machine turning over and dominate the U.S. social system, the warfare state has to be oiled and greased. Hence, the Crusaders understand the full long term implications of Obama's May 23, 2013 speech that the perpetual war must come to an end. The recent announcement for the U.S. to expand overt operations into Syria is part of a desperate measure by the private military contractors to ensure that they have work after the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan. Where is the peace movement when the military and foreign policy establishment pressure the executive and the legislative branches of the government to provide arms to the Jihadists in Syria and then proclaim that they are fighting the same Jihadists in Somalia and Mali? Al Qaeda operatives were recently arrested in Spain while recruiting fighters for the rebels in Syria. America’s support for Syrian rebels thus shows that the U.S. might be supporting in Syria groups with links to the same Al Qaeda it seeks to kill elsewhere.

We have seen the results of Petraeus arming the Jihadists in Libya. Vijay Prashad in excellent articles in Counterpunch has documented the horrors of the ordinary citizens so much so that even those women from civil society who supported the rebellion have now gone into hiding. [15] There is such a vast difference between the analysis of Prashad and the analysts from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace writing about Building Libya’s Security Sector. [16] I have explored the failure of the US military planning in Libya in the book, ‘Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya’. Ambassador Stevens was caught in this duplicitous planning and it will now backfire on a grand scale in Syria unless the peace movement intervenes more decisively. This is a dangerous moment and Turse did not mention the link between U.S. complicity in terror in Africa and this support of terrorists and Jihadists in Syria. Ultimately, it must be the role of the peace movement to diminish the massive expenditure on the military and to rise beyond the contradictions between the Rocks and the Crusaders.


In opposition to Africa's economic reconstruction, the Crusaders and conservatives in the U.S. military and intelligence establishment are doubling down on the intelligence fronts and their alliance with some forces in the Middle East and Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to covertly keep some societies unstable. Take Algeria for example. This is one state that is manipulating the U.S. military for its own interest. The regime is in a delicate situation and what progressive peace activists should do is to expose how the U.S. conservatives and elements in the Algerian military and intelligence services fabricated terrorism in the Sahel to justify the expenditures of the Trans Sahara counter terrorism Initiative. This fabrication of terrorism has been exposed in the book ‘The Dying Sahara’ by Jeremy Keenan.

Recently the business papers reported that “Somalia Could Become World's 7th Largest Oil producer.” [17] Dubious “NGO” contractors such as Bancroft Development have established themselves in Somalia in order to reap the benefits of reconstruction or to profit from warfare. These “humanitarian actors” want to be in a win- win situation. One major contribution that can be made by the peace and justice forces is for the U.S. government to expose the insurance companies and lawyers who have been complicit in the piracy in the Indian Ocean. Nick Turse mentions the same growth of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. These so-called pirates are small cogs in a big wheel of international insurance and private military contractors. These militarists are in turn integrated with the humanitarian actors who dominate the so-called aid and NGO enterprise in Africa.

The Crusader, Erik Prince, founder of the private military company and CIA front Blackwater [18] (later renamed Xe/Academi), is one good example of militarists who gain contracts from the Pentagon and are then implicated in the massacre of 17 innocent civilians in Iraq. Erik Prince is one of such Crusaders active in East Africa. Prince once suggested that the U.S. deploy private military companies to countries such as Nigeria and Somalia to deal with terrorists. [19] After his Iraq debacle, Prince relocated to the United Arab Emirates in 2010, from where he became involved with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of UAE, Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, to set up private military “anti-piracy” network for East Africa. [20] Erik Prince’s destabilizing activities in East Africa, reportedly supported by some in Washington DC, [21] have received a scathing critique in reports by the United Nations monitoring group in Somalia. One of such reports categorically referred to one of Prince’s front companies, Saracen, as a company that has committed in Somalia “the most brazen violation of the arms embargo by a private security company.” [22]


Characteristic of many Western commentators on African issues, the narrative by Turse is cast as though Africans were passive to or incapable of tackling security issues. This narrative is well fitted for the justification of U.S. military expansion in Africa. Since the emergence of China, Brazil, India, Russia and other economic behemoths in Africa, the plan of US militarists has been the expansion of its militarism there. But they overplayed their hands through the Libyan intervention. Africans reacted by removing Jean Ping as the head of the African Union. Nick Turse can still be an ally of Africans by using his position within the intellectual apparatus in the United States to point to African progressives and intellectuals the agencies that are at the forefront of casting the digital net over Africa. Within the ranks of social scientists, there are those who exposed the Human Terrain Systems planning of the Pentagon to foment divisions across ethnic and religious lines. [23]

The aggressiveness and resilience of Africans on matters relating to security challenges should never be disregarded. Post-colonial Africa has hardly ever witnessed any security challenge greater than apartheid. But at that epoch in history when the U.S. and Western powers threw their military might behind apartheid, Africans united and aggressively defeated, both morally and physically, the seemingly gargantuan and nuclear armed apartheid system. Though hardly acknowledged by western analysts, Africa is still up to the task. Less than fifteen years ago there had been over 20 countries in Africa where the international arms manufacturers were stoking the fires of warfare and destruction (from Charles Taylor in Liberia to Foday Sankoh in Sierra Leone down through all of Central Africa to Southern Africa and up to Eastern Africa).The figures of the U.S. military expenditure in Africa today cannot compare with the monies that had been spent during the period of U.S. military support for apartheid. In those days, the U.S. military, through Foreign Military Financing (FMF), the International Military Education and Training (IMET) and State Department through USAID, spent large amounts of money from apartheid South Africa, Zaire, Angola (on Jonas Savimbi), to Morocco, Egypt and Somalia under President Siad Barre. Mobutu in Zaire was the link for much of these military expenditures. Yet, Africans defeated the apartheid/Savimbi alliance.


This is a long response, but I wanted to alert readers to the fact that many in the media in the U.S. would want to have a monopoly on the discussion on Africa but they are so out of date. At a recent conference on ‘Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Forty years on’, Firoze Manji, (formerly of Pambazuka) made the observation that there is no other continent where Europeans and white Americans feel they have the right to have a monopoly on the study of society as they do about their control over the narrative about Africa. Hence, there is a degree of unanimity from the liberals and conservatives on the need for humanitarianism and fighting terrorism and these ideas feed into plans like the Kony 2012 video of Invisible Children. The USMSA and the journalists inhabit the same world where they uncritically reproduce the press releases from the information centers that fit into the propaganda war against Africans by AFRICOM. Africa is past the stage of failed states. Wall Street is looking at the mega deals between Brazil, China and Africa and wants to find a way in.

The military calculation of the Crusaders and war profiteers is better understood when viewed within the larger context of the global planning by these elements for the kind of war that is intended at the perpetuation of U.S. military management of the international system. The capitalist crisis that started in the U.S. in 2007 has exposed further the weakness of the U.S. as a global economic power, putting the dollar in a more precarious position as currency of world trade.

China, a country that finances America’s debt, is a rising global economic power seen as a threat to U.S. global hegemony and competitor for strategic resources in Africa and elsewhere. America’s militarists are planning for war with China, and the attempt to heighten U.S. militarism in Africa through AFRICOM and private militaries is part of the broader strategy to stretch and reassert U.S. military might across the globe in the face of its declining economic clout and forward planning for war. This plan for war with China without the authorization of the U.S. president or Congress was recently called out by George Washington University Professor Amitai Etzioni in an article titled, “Who Authorized Preparations for War with China?” [24]

Instead of reproducing the view that Africa is a hotbed of terrorism in a bid to shore up support for AFRICOM and militarism, there is need to do thorough research on Africa, beyond the talking points of U.S. military and intelligence apparatus, and independent of the of the old worn out narratives about Africa. Western analysts who oppose militarism elsewhere must do same with regards to Africa. We must eschew the arrogance of narratives that tend to portray Africans as being passive about their own challenges. The forces in Africa that defeated apartheid are still alive.


1. Samir Amin, The Liberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the world, Monthly Review Press, New York 2004. See also Seymour Melman, The Permanent War Economy: American Capitalism in Decline, Simon and Schuster, New York 1976
2. Nick Turse, “The Terror Diaspora: The U.S. Military and the Unraveling of Africa,”, June 18, 2013.
3. See Nick Turse, “The Nature of the U.S. Military Presence in Africa: An Exchange between Colonel Tom Davis and Nick Turse,”, July 26, 2012.
5. Elliot Ross, “Failed States are a Western Myth,” UK Guardian, June 28, 2013.
6. Elliot Ross, “Failed States are a Western Myth,” UK Guardian, June 28, 2013.
7. Regis Debray, “Decline of the West?” New Left Review, May-June 2013.
8. Padraig Carmody, The Scramble for Africa, Polity Books, 2011.
9. See Horace Campbell, “Dismantle Africom! General Carter Ham Makes the Case?” Pambazuka News, December 13, 2012.
10. The information about the digital dossier is developed in the article by James Bamford, “The Silent War, Wired magazine, July 2013. See also by the same author, The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, Anchor Books, 2009.
11. Horace Campbell, “US Military and Africom: Between the Rocks and the Crusaders,” Pambazuka News, March 31, 2011.
12. See for example, Bryan Bender, “From the Pentagon to the Private Sector,” Boston Globe, December 26, 2010. See also Melvin A. Goodman, National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism, City Lights, San Francisco, 2013.
13. Thomas E. Ricks, “Obama Administration’s Inexplicable Mishandling of Gen. James Mattis,” Foreign Policy, January 18, 2013.
14. “White Supremacy in the Military,” CNN, August 24, 2012.; see also “U.S. Military Battling White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis In Its Own Ranks,” Huffington Post, August 21, 2012.
15. Vijay Prashad, on Women moving out of political life:
16. Frederic Wehrey and Peter Cole, “Building Libya’s Security Sector,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, August 2013,
17. “East Africa Hits Big in Oil, Gas Boom,”, February 29, 2012.
18. Eli Lake, “Exclusive: Court Docs Reveal Blackwater’s Secret CIA Past,” Daily Beast, Mar 14, 2013.
19. See Jeremy Scahill, “Secret Eric prince Tape Exposed,” Daily Beast, May 3, 2010.
20. Mark Mazzetti and Emily B. Hager, “Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder,” New York Times, May 14, 2011.
21. Mark Mazzetti and Emily B. Hager, “Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder.”
22. United Nations Security Council, “Letter Dated 11 July 2012 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee Pursuant to Resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) Concerning Somalia and Eritrea Addressed to the President of the Security Council,” July 13, 2012. See also:
23. Maximillan Forte, “The Human Terrain System and Anthropology: A Review of Ongoing Public Debates,” American Anthropologist, Volume 13, No 1, March, 2011
24. Amitai Etzioni, “Who Authorized Preparations for War with China?” Yale Journal for International Affairs, June 12, 2013.

* Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Syracuse University. Campbell is also the Special Invited Professor of International Relations at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of ‘Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya: Lessons for Africa in the Forging of African Unity’, Monthly Review Press, New York 2013.