BOSTON — US President Barack Obama’s Africa policy was unveiled yesterday: Speak nicely and use spy planes.
Obama’s official line is that the United States will help Africa become the world’s next big economic success story. The covert surveillance part came separately, in a good piece of investigative reporting.
Obama’s new Africa strategy, launched Thursday, spells out how the administration plans to spur economic growth through trade and investment and to strengthen democracy.
“As we look toward the future, it is clear that Africa is more important than ever to the security and prosperity of the international community and to the United States in particular,” said Obama.
Billed as a sweeping new strategy for US involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, the document is more like a list of the Obama administration’s successes in the continent so far and a promise to do more to boost economic development.
There is one glaring omission. The new policy does not specifically mention the security threat posed by the rapid spread of Islamic extremists, allied to Al Qaeda, in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia.
Don’t worry. The US government is not oblivious to that growing danger but the details of how it is battling the militants are absent from Obama’s new document. However, a riveting expose of how the US has established a secret intelligence operation across Africa, including a network of small air bases used to spy on possible terrorist activities, is in a Washington Post story, published Thursday.
Taken together, Obama’s new directive on Africa and the investigation into the US military’s covert surveillance network, give a fuller picture of the administration’s policy toward
Category: Africa News