Week 6

Mary Crawford

This week’s articles focused in on the relationship between Africa and the United States of America and the fight to end terrorism. In the article by Alice Hills “Trojan Horses? USAID, counter-terrorism and Africa’s police”, presents the issue with the way aid is changing and becoming a method of control rather than a way to help those in need. The author points out that the United States seems to have become very interested in the terrorist activity in Kenya and is using its humanitarian efforts in order to enforce new anti-terror prevention. She points out that USAID’s strategy is flawed and improving Africa’s police will not diffuse any terrorist activity in Kenya. It is disheartening to see a humanitarian organization so controlled and unable to help in ways that is beneficial for the African people rather than improving the United States national security. This demonstrates how the United States perceives the African people and believes that it is just a continent filled with malnourished, diseases filled, poverty stricken population that somehow put them at risk. This patronizing position will not help and leaves one to asking whether this type of aid is even worth it? It seems as if this is just one more way the United States is becoming the world police, gaining more and more control over countries. Continuing to blame everyone else for their problems and pumping fear into their people when they are one of the most powerful forces in the world. (Seriously, who would pick a fight with the US?) Pointing fingers at a country with more than their share of problems seems unfair and in the end will only hurt their foreign support since people will be less willing to give now that they have been identified as “dangerous” or “terrorists”. This article however would have benefited from discussing the issue with neutrality within a humanitarian organization and how aid is supposed to be for everyone with no underlying goals from the donor country. This new strategy by USAID openly breaks that rule and make their support accessible if those in need agree to play by their rules. This runs parallel to the article by Prestholdt and the pressure the United States’ government is placing on Arab Kenyans in their counter terrorism efforts. These articles created an image of a big bully beating up the scrawny little kid in the playground than telling the teacher that the scrawny kid was threatening him and picking on him.

Discussion Question:

– Should the United States be allowed to enforce this new counter-terrorism strategy despite that the fact that it breaks the USAID moral of neutrality?


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