Small Wars Journal

AFRICOM Nominee: Russia, China Making Major Strategic Inroads in Africa

AFRICOM Nominee: Russia, China Making Major Strategic Inroads in Africa by John Grady – USNI News

As Russia and China are increasing their economic and political influence on Africa’s economic and political development the expense of United States interests, the general tapped to head African Command told senators Tuesday.


Violent terrorists are the most substantial immediate threat, but Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said, “Africa will be shaped by the increased presence of foreign actors … Russia and China.”


In his estimation, Beijing’s telecommunications infrastructure work on the continent is the most significant long-term security threat — through its technological strength in telecommunications. Russia, meanwhile, is pushing military might into Sub-Sahariaj.


Beijing’s and Moscow’s “goals [in Africa from military aid to infrastructure investment] are to our detriment,” he said.


Citing Huawei, the giant Chinese telecommunications firm promising to deliver 5G networks the length and breadth of the continent, Townsend said it was “imperative” for any regional commander to “protect our networks,” a task made increasingly difficult if a foreign power can control the flow of information…

Read on.


Bill C.

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 12:19pm

What we must come to understand, today I believe, it that this (allowing Russia and China to make great inroads throughout the world); this is not inconsistent with President Trump's plans -- and his overall political objective and associated foreign policy -- which would seem to be directed towards, shall we say:

a.  "Sharing the world" with Russia and China.  And, thus, to: 

b.  Share both the world's problems and -- and indeed its human, natural and other resources and associated benefits -- with Russia and China also.

In this regard, President Trump seems to see Russia and China (correctly?) today -- NOT as being our "mortal enemies," for example, as in Old Cold War days.  But, rather, as simply being our "rivals and competitors;" this, in these:

a.  More "business-like" times,

b.  Of the post-Cold War,

c.  Which demand (in Trump's mind at least) a new tripolar world order?

This, of course, begs the question of whether the U.S. is either willing or able -- and, indeed, even wants to -- "compete" with Russia and China; this, for example, on the grounds of Russia and China being an "existential threat" to the U.S.? (The answer to this question -- given my explanation above -- would seem to be a resounding "NO.") 

Given this such construct -- of President Trump (et al.) believing that Russia and China present no existential threat to the U.S. today -- and, thus, that we must share both world's problems and its benefits with our "business partners/our competitors" Russia and China -- given this such construct of Trump's envisioned "tripolar new world order," are we now better able to comprehend both:

a.  The general "non-competitive"/"reduce our foot print" approach that President Trump has adopted throughout much of the world; for example, in the Greater Middle East and Africa?  And, likewise:

b.  President Trump's embrace of such things as political, economic, social and value "diversity" and "sovereignty" -- and "spheres of influence" as a legitimate extension of such "sovereignty?  

(Concepts that, immediately after the Old Cold War and until President Trump, we had formally rejected.  This, given that these such concepts stood directly in the way of our "before-Trump" post-Cold War political objective -- and related foreign policies -- which were directed more toward transforming the outlying states and societies of the world more along modern western lines?)