Week 6 discussion

The articles for this week focused on the United States and Africa together and how aid and anti-terror has been present in both the US and Africa. The article by Alice Hills argues that USAID (US Agency for International Development) tries to improve terrorist protection in Africa, however the idea that Africa is modelling its security objectives after that of the US’s is a flawed idea of what security should look like and this model needs to be changed. Hills’ article demonstrates how the Bush administration looks down on Africa as only a poverty stricken continent” ‘disease, war and poverty in Africa threaten US core values and the Bush administrations’ strategic priority of ‘combating global terrorism’ (Hills, 631). This quote later goes on to explain that Africa is such a weakened state that it needs the help of the US and ‘European allies’ in order to ‘strengthen Africa’s fragile states’, and that strengthening African laws will deny terrorists a haven. First, the idea of Africa having a more US-like security system would more likely promote terrorists to target Africa than back away from it, as many terrorists will see a security system similar to the US’s a threat. Secondly, the US should not be giving Africa a security system that is the same as theirs, they should focus on implementing a security system in which would be fully African based and geared towards the need of the continent instead of simply implementing another countries security system there. The Keenan article focused on alternative truths of The Saharan War on Terror and the ‘official’ truth versus the ‘alternative’ truth. A case in the article looked at The Saharan War on Terror and how 32 German tourists in Algeria were kidnapped or reported ‘missing’. The article shows how there is a constructed official and alternative truth which can be constructed by those who view or are outside the situation. This article was useful in that sense, as it illustrated how different stories are produced over the same conflict for various reasons. I found this interesting because in global issues there will always be the side dominated by the western forces and then usually an opposing story which is dominated by the opposite side. The article by Prestholdt looked at Kenya and its relationship with the United States and counterterrorism. The article looked at how Kenya responded to American pressure to intensify counter-terrorism acts (Prestholdt). The article states that since attacks in 2002, the Us has presumed terrorism in Kenya to be a ‘home-grown’ problem. This however, is not the case and this was a point in the article which I largely contested. The fact that the US, one of the worlds most weapons possessing countries, tries to put the blame on Kenya for terrorism coming from within their country outward was appealing to me. This point was important to me in the article because the other articles also focus on how the US often puts blame for wars and conflict onto other countries, and this article specifically does the same. I found this context interesting as all articles were written from this viewpoint and had similar views and arguments, where an article with an opposing view from a non dominant western perspective also would have been interesting.

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