Week 6: The United Statesin Africa: from Aid to Anti-Terror

The articles for this week all focus on Terrorism in Africa and the way that America has intruded on the practices and ideas of terrorism in Africa. The articles all in some way shape the idea that America has a neo-colonial control over Africa and the dealings with Terrorists there. The article Trojan Horses? USAID, counter-terrorism and Africa’s police by Alice Hills explains that the US foriegn aid is used as to change the policing tactics in Africa, to a more American style. That the agency for international development has become more of a security consultant and their methods are being brought into Africa, creating flawed methods in Africa. In the article The Banana Theory of Terrorism: Alternative Truths and the Collapse of the ‘Second’ (Saharan) Front in the War on Terror, Keenan explains some realities of the Saharan war on terror, the harsh realities of the US’s involvement. Also how the US has created misinformed stories and results from this war. The last article by Jeremy Prestholdt, Kenya, the United States, and Counterterrorism, explains the effects on the people of Kenya by this US aid and counterterrorism measures. Mostly critiquing the use of US ideas and the human rights abuses that follow, creating an alienation between majorities and minorities. These three articles have the same common theme that is pressure and demands from outside forces, mainly the US. This is created with a neocolonialist power held due to foreign aid. Aid comes with stipulations that must be met and allow for power over African governments.
Internationally there are far more resources for the fight against terrorism, though the United States may have the most invested into this fight. Will an international body or institution have to be controlled on some level by the USA in order for all resources to become available. Every way that this fight against terrorism is seen internationally there will be some sort of control by the US. USA wants to have the power in the global fight on terrorism and therefore will only help in other countries if it is done their way. So it leaves the dilemma that if a state wants to deal with the threat themselves they may have less resources. If they want the international help, controlled by the United States then they lose control, but have more resources. Its a toss up, and morally ambiguous, they state will take the blame if no justice is served, but also will take the blame if the wrong justice is served. Either way the state is the face of the fight against national terrorism, but the brain is controlled by the US or international bodies.

Should all terrorist threats be dealt with internally, or should all threats be dealt with on a global scale by international institutions (UN, etc.)? Who or what should be central to the problems of terrorism globally? Is the War on Terror a war fought internationally or not, what kind of organizational system should be held in place?

Thomas Knoops

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