Small Wars Journal

Why This US General Says Russian Wagner Mercenaries In Africa ‘Concern Me Greatly’

Why This U.S. General Says Russian Wagner Mercenaries In Africa ‘Concern Me Greatly’ by Kyle Rempfer - Military Times

The nominee to lead U.S. Africa Command has dealt with Russian mercenaries before during his time in Syria, and is planning to look into their operations on the African continent in his new role.


“I have some experience with these groups and specifically the Wagner Group from my time in Syria,” Gen. Stephen J. Townsend told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing this week. “I think they concern me greatly, I’m sure they concern Gen. Waldhauser [the current AFRICOM commander] as well.”


Russian mercenaries have been reportedly active across the continent, where they offer African governments training and equipment much like U.S. troops would, but without human rights oversight, American officials said during the hearing.


Wagner Group, a private military company allegedly ran by a former Russian intelligence officer with deep Kremlin connections, acts as a Russian proxy force, officials said…

Read on.


Bill C.

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 12:40pm

As I have suggested in the past, what we must come to understand, today, is that Russia and China making exceptional inroads -- throughout the world -- this, in fact, is not something that Trump opposes.  Indeed, activities such as these -- by our "competitors and rivals" (not, in Trump's mind, our "existential enemies") -- this would appear to, indeed, be part of and consistent with the joint -- Trump, Putin and Xi -- "share the world"/"tripolar world order" plan:


The “America First” president who denigrates democratic allies as foes is no longer the leader of the free nor, without them, of the world. Whatever truth there may be in the obsolescence of NATO or the free-riding of the European Union, to diminish America’s allies is to diminish its own influence in the world. The world order President Trump seems to envision is one of grand spheres of influence apportioned to the United States, China and Russia. If the Helsinki summit this week is any indication, what differentiated the United States on the world stage no longer does. Trump’s America is a solely self-interested big power just like the others. ...

The downgrading of America’s leadership role is a boost for Putin and a sign of the no-bones realpolitik order toward which global relations are headed. In his assessment of the Helsinki summit, former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt writes: “Any reasonable Kremlin interpretation would be that Russia can go on pursuing its policies without significant White House objection. The bilateral relationship went from very bad to very good in those four hours without Russia announcing any concessions or course correction whatsoever.” As Bildt sees it, Putin stood by his positions — on Crimea, American election meddling and poisoning ex-KGB agents abroad — “while Trump hardly challenged any of them and directed his fire and fury against his own country.”



... In fact, an examination of his campaign speeches and his actions since entering the Oval Office—including his appearance with Putin—reflect his adherence to a core strategic concept: the urge to establish a tripolar world order, one that was, curiously enough, first envisioned by Russian and Chinese leaders in 1997 and one that they have relentlessly pursued ever since. 

Such a tripolar order—in which Russia, China, and the United States would each assume responsibility for maintaining stability within their own respective spheres of influence while cooperating to resolve disputes wherever those spheres overlap—breaks radically with the end-of-the-Cold-War paradigm. During those heady years, the United States was the dominant world power and lorded it over most of the rest of the planet with the aid of its loyal NATO allies.

For Russian and Chinese leaders, such a “unipolar” system was considered anathema. After all, it granted the United States a hegemonic role in world affairs while denying them what they considered their rightful place as America’s equals. Not surprisingly, destroying such a system and replacing it with a tripolar one has been their strategic objective since the late 1990s—and now an American president has zealously embraced that disruptive project as his own. 



a.  While a U.S. General may be concerned.

b.  Trump, it would seem, most definitely is not? 

(Herein, and as noted above, for Trump, Putin and Xi, everything is moving along nicely and, this, re: their -- joint -- "share the world"/"tripolar world order" plan?)