Africa missing from the Trump administration new defense strategy

Posted on February 2, 2018 09:54:02 Filed in English News

Mr. Elbridge Colby, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and development addresses foreign journalists at a briefing in Washington DC on January 29, 2018. Photo: Simon Ateba

Africa will not be a priority in President Donald Trump's administration, according to a new National Defense Strategy just made public, and a media briefing held on Monday in Washington D.C.

Rather, the United States would reaffirm its military advantage with "strength", and approach the world from a position of "dominance". Diplomacy, it seems, would take a back seat, while military power would be more visible to reassure allies and deter adversaries.

Mr. Elbridge Colby, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and development, told foreign journalists at a briefing in Washington D.C. on Monday that the new strategy became necessary following the realization that the United States "competitive military advantage has been eroding".

In the new military strategy, the U.S. would focus on outdoing China and Russia and showing off its strength to deter adversaries.

"Should the deterrence fail, the Joint Force is prepared to win," Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, was quoted as saying in the new strategy, which he added, "establishes my intent to pursue urgent change at significant scale".

"A dominant Joint Force will protect the security of our nation, increase U.S. influence, preserve access to markets that will improve our standard of living, and strengthen cohesion among allies and partners," Secretary Mattis added in the new policy highlights.

But the fight against terrorism in Africa, and even partnership with the 55 African nations were all missing.

At the briefing, no question was taken from African journalists and the word Africa was not mentioned whether directly or indirectly.

Reports in the United States in recent weeks seemed to indicate that Mr. Trump does not respect Africa and is not interested in any partnership with the African continent.

Mr. Trump was quoted as describing African immigrants as people who come from "shithole" countries and would never go back to their "huts" in Nigeria once they see the United States.

He denied making the racist and arrogant comments, but the Times and the Washington Post, as well as several people who attended the two meetings in June last year and January this year confirmed that he indeed made the disparaging comments.

At the briefing, Mr. Colby denied that the Trump administration was bringing back some Cold War policy. He said it was not declaring war on China or Russia and was not pursing "confrontation" any way but was engaged in winning the "competition".

He said China would be fine if it "respects" the U.S. military strength and advantage in the world.

Simon Ateba, Washington D.C. -


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