Week 6: The United States in Africa: From Aids to Anti-Terror

This week’s readings focus on the terrorism and anti-terrorism policies within Africa specifically involving the United States. The article, Trojan Horses? USAID, counter-terrorism and Africa’s police talks about the impact policy shifts in the United States foreign assistance has, specifically after the September 11 attacks. USAID’s strategy for Kenya provides the ability to higher Kenyan security forces, with particular focus on counter-terrorism. Bush’s administration allocated $100 million to the East Africa Counter – Terrorism. USAID has increased focus in Sub-Saharan areas but not everyone including Kenya has taken to USAID’s shift. Some found parts of program useful but would purposely ignore others which is evidently detrimental to the program. The Bush administration has obviously again brought problems such as the inadequate policing, and under-development into Africa. An ongoing issue that arises from any outsider intervention is the lack of resources that places such as Africa poses. It is difficult to implement an anti-terrorism program in a country that lacks simple necessities such as infrastructure.

In the article, Kenya the United States and Counterterrorism, Prestholdt discusses the U.S. counterterrorism strategy as well and how the strategy ultimately puts more diplomatic pressure and aid-related incentives through the growing Muslim communities in Kenya. Presthodlt argues that the evidence from Kenya suggests that unless United States policymakers and their African allies address the social tensions that the anti-terrorism programme has created, security aid may produce few results and could ultimately create an alienation of Muslim communities. Prestholdt uses many examples where the counterterrorism has provided persecutions and convictions but he then goes on to show that this is not necessarily a good a thing. He believes that the global war on terrorism in Kenya will not prove maximum results and that for Kenyans who do not directly relate with counterterrorism, it is useless.

The third article, The Banana Theory of Terroism: Alternative Truths and the Collapse of the ‘Second’ Front in the War on Terror examines the truth, lies and disinformation about the US war on terror across the Sahara-Sahel region of Africa. The author talks about the United States in Algeria specifically and the motive behind them while attempting to separate the disinformation from the truth. Similar to both articles, the US policy in Africa along with USAID is not exactly accepted at local or governmental levels. Each article had a varying thesis but the background behind it all is the same. Though, something left out is maybe the other side of this. Again, these three articles are scholarly articles completely against the United States administration but they are not doing all badly. As of 2012, the US Foreign Aid reported that despite the 17, 222.00 millions USAID spent on Total Economic and Military Assistance, 6405 million of that was spent on Global Health and Child Survival. Out of the 19 categories USAID spends, this was the highest amount. Security support was 5306.90 million. For a country that prides themselves on essentially the ‘best’ many are quick to jump to conclusion involving foreign aid and assistance. Yes, the US does not always have the most purist forms of intentions, but what would Africa really be without their help?

  • All three articles illustrated that the implementation of this programme is not greatly accepted. Do you think if money was no longer spent on counterterrorism and security control there would be a significant difference?
  • Is the United States programme getting backlash just because it is the United States or would this programme be greater accepted through another channel

J. Flood 110271250


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