Monday, October 17, 2011

Why US Forces are in Uganda?

by Thomas Lifson

Pepe Escobar, writing in the Asia Times, contends that the motive for the mission sending 100 servicemen to Uganda is not humanitarianism but geopolitics in a mineral-rich region of East Africa.

Museveni's government (helped by Washington) has also perpetrated horrendous massacres against civilians. Kony [the rebel leader] may even be an amateur compared to Museveni - a sort of dictator for life who has just supervised the displacement and mass murder of at least 20,000 Ugandans on behalf of British corporations. Additionally, Museveni basically stole the Ugandan elections early this year.

Obama's Uganda surge should be seen as a crucial exchange of favors with Museveni - who has sent thousands of Ugandan troops to the African Union (AU) force that is fighting the hardcore Islamist al-Shabaab in Somalia. So while Uganda fights a proxy war for the US in Somalia, Washington helps the dictator to get rid of the LRA "rebels". No wonder the Pentagon is quite fond of Uganda; Museveni recently got $45 million in equipment, including four small drones.

The LRA - a ragged bunch of hardcore Christian fundamentalists - is based in northern Uganda but spread out between four countries, including the new South Sudan and Congo, in Central Africa. They carry no heavy weapons. They don't stand a chance of destabilizing the Ugandan government - much less being a "national security" threat to the US. Bogeyman Kony may be in hiding somewhere along the immense Sudan-Congo border, with no more than 400 warriors left.

Uganda's proximity to the new country of South Sudan is key in the whole equation. So far, for Northern Sudan the LRA has been a convenient, weaponized firewall against Western puppet Museveni. But most of all, this whole area is prime real estate where the fierce battle between China and the Americans/Europeans plays out, centered on oil and minerals, all part of the Great 21st Century African Resource War.

I cannot speak to the realities of Ugandan politics, but there is no question that the Chinese are moving aggressively in Africa in a bid to lock up control of resources for their hungry industrial economy. As latecomers to the global resource game, they have to scramble to avoid being locked out of access to vital resources. The 19th and 20th centuries saw the Western industrial powers and Japan conduct their own quest to guarantee resource access, so the Chinese effort recapitulating this history is not surprising.

If this report is true, I am a little surprised, however, to see Obama engaging the struggle at this level, which is, after all, a manifestation of imperialist conflict, to use a term beloved of Marxist-Leninists.

Thomas Lifson


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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