In a few weeks, US President Barack Obama will visit Ghana in his first visit to Africa since taking office.
Africa editor Martin Plaut looks at Washington's little-discussed military relationship with the African continent.
Click Here to Listen
Analysis now, and in a few weeks, President Obama will be off to Ghana - on his first visit to Africa since taking office. Our Africa editor Martin Plaut looks at Washington's little discussed military relationship with the African continent.
Martin Plaut: There is much excitement in Ghana and speculation in the Ghanaian media that there is more to this visit than meets the eye. Some suggest President Obama might be looking for a base for military operations on the continent for the United States' Africa Command or AFRICOM.It is a suggestion categorically rejected by its spokesman Vince Crawley:
Vince Crawley: "We absolutely are not seeking bases in Africa right now. We have one base in Djibouti which the United States has had for a number of years. And I have seen the same press reports coming out of Ghana. And the purpose of the Obama trip is to engage with sub-Saharan Africa with a very reliable partner nation, but ... Africa Command has no interest in seeking bases in that region at this time."
Martin Plaut: Announced by President Bush in February 2007, Africom was the result of ten years of planning to bring together all of America's military assets relating to the continent.At first there was a suggestion that AFRICOM would have a headquarters in Africa, an idea South Africa vigourously resisted. Henri Boshoff is a military specialist of South Africa's Institute of Strategic Studies in Pretoria:
Henri Boshoff: "South Africa, especially the Defence Minister, Mr. Lekota was very much against it. I think it's the way that it was packaged and announced by AFRICOM. It came as a quite a surprise to the Africans. I think that position is now slightly changing. And I think there is a better understanding but still there is some unease about it"
The US was forced to retreat sending its general on missions to Africa to explain what their plans really were. Daniel Volmann of the School of International Service of the American University in Washington
to be continued!
FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Nana Akyea Mensah distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C ß 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this blog for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.