(FEDERALJACK) After years of conflict and isolation, Somalia found itself in turmoil in 2006. During a period of intense drought and subsequent flooding, much of the country was under the control of the Union of Islamic courts, who imposed Sharia law and a new conflict with Ethiopia.
“The gun is the authority here – The AK47”, says a displaced Somalian. Yet after 15 years of clan-based fighting, an organisation emerged to exercise law from the country’s capital. In 2006, the Union of Islamic courts beat factional fighting out of Mogadishu. Suddenly, foreign food aid began to circulate into and out of the city. A new type of order and security was established. The aims of the Islamic group were far reaching, aiming “beyond peace”, and looking to a future of social services that meet the requirements of the thousands of starving and displaced Somalians. But with the country in a critical state after a catastrophic drought and famine, the impending conflict declared with Ethiopia is an ill omen for a wounded population. Whatever the outcome for the fledgling court instigating Sharia law and Jihad, UN humanitarian official Philippe Lazzarini hopes for continued aid: “We really hope if [war] is the case, to allow these people to get necessary assistance, protection, and their human dignity to be respected.”
(KURT NIMMO) Blue helmets will take military action against militias in the war-torn Congo, the Washington Times reported late last week. They will no longer simply stand on the sidelines, but will take an active role in the warfare between rival tribal groups.
“To be a peacekeeper doesn’t mean you need to be passive,” Gen. Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz told the newspaper. “To be a peacekeeper, you need to take action. The way to protect the civilians is to take action. If you see the history of atrocities here, it justifies action.”
Formerly, the globalist organization did its best to present a neutral presence as favored governments and handpicked proxies engaged in military action. Stakes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, are high. It is a mineral rich area where much of the world’s coltan is mined.
Coltan, short for columbite–tantalite and known industrially as tantalite, is used to manufacture tantalum capacitors used in electronics, especially cell phones.
The CIA has worked behind the scenes for decades in the Congo. It began with the assassination of the country’s first prime minister after independence from Belgium, the socialist Patrice Lumumba. The United Nations worked hand-in-glove with the United States and the CIA to destabilize the Congo and set it up for the bloody conflict that continues there today. Since the establishment of Africom, the U.S. Africa Command, and the importation of al-Qaeda and other CIA-created terror groups in northern Africa, a renewed emphasis has been placed on stepped-up balkanization and pacification of the continent.
Congolese “minerals are vital to maintaining U.S. military dominance, economic prosperity, and consumer satisfaction,” write Dena Montague and Frida Berrigan. “Because the United States does not have a domestic supply of many essential minerals, the U.S. government identifies sources of strategic minerals, particularly in Third World countries, then encourages U.S. corporations to invest in and facilitate production of the needed materials.”
In fact, the U.S. government is owned and operated by the global elite and their transnational corporations and bankster institutions, not other way around. As should be readily apparent, a once affluent American middle class, thanks to decades of prosperity, financed the expansion of the U.S. military and its proxies into resource rich areas. The U.S. has consistently acted as an enforcer for the global financial and corporate elite.
Montague and Berrigan continue:
Tantalum, also referred to as coltan, is a particularly valuable resource – used to make mobile phones, night vision goggles, fiber optics, and capacitors (the component that maintains the electrical charge in computer chips). In fact, a global shortage of coltan caused a wave of parental panic in the United States last Christmas (2000) when it resulted in the scarcity of the popular PlayStation 2. The DRC holds 80% of the world’s coltan reserves, more than 60% of the world’s cobalt, and the world’s largest supply of high-grade copper.
A ramped up UN military posture not only threatens the sovereignty of Africans, but other people who might resist the geopolitical machinations of the elite. The U.S. military, while still a potent force on the world stage, has weakened considerably in the wake of more than a decade of military adventure, primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. A fresh infusion of “peacekeepers” will be needed to enforce the next phase of globalist domination as China makes serious moves on the continent and the western global elite move to counter it.
(IranContraScumDid911) KAMPALA, UGANDA – UGANDAN PRIME MINISTER, AMAMA MBABAZI:
“The presentation that is in that video gives a picture that is not complete. When you look at it and you listen to what they are saying, it is as if Kony is still in Uganda, as if Uganda is still at conflict and yet of course we all know this is not true. This is an account of a historical fact but that is not coming out. It gives impression that Uganda is still at war, people are still displaced, those many children are still out sleeping on the streets in Gulu and of course this not true.”
June 2009: Uganda’s Oil Reserves Rival Saudi Arabia’s, Says U.S. Expert …. Uganda’s oil reserves could be as much as that of the Gulf countries, a senior official at the US Department of Energy has said. Based on the test flow results encountered at the wells so far drilled and other oil numbers, Ms. Sally Kornfeld, a senior analyst in the office of fossil energy went ahead to talk about Uganda’s oil reservoirs in the same sentence as Saudi Arabia!!!!
Also June 2009: As President Barack Obama announces plans to withdraw US troops from Iraq, thousands of young Ugandans are increasingly desperate to be sent to the war-torn country. Already, the Ugandan government says there are more than 10,000 men and women from this poverty-stricken East African nation working as private security guards in Iraq. Hired out to multibillion-dollar companies for hundreds of dollars a month, they risk their lives seeking fortunes protecting US Army bases, airports, and oil firms.
The war in Iraq is the most privatized conflict in history. Since the invasion in 2003, the US Department of Defense has doled out contracts worth an estimated $100 billion to private firms. Covering a vast range of services from catering to dry cleaning to security, one in every five dollars the US spends in Iraq ends up in the pockets of the contractors, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. Increasingly these jobs have been outsourced to developing countries.
It is clear why the US contractors came to Uganda. As an impoverished former British colony, the country is awash with unemployed and English-speaking potential recruits. Its pliant government was an early member of President Bush’s “coalition of the willing,” and with a lingering 20-year insurgency, it also has a glut of experienced army veterans, who made up the initial contingent of Ugandans in Iraq.
(MIKE VAIL) More than 20 soldiers of the 345th Psychological Operations Company started pre-deployment training, March 26, 2012 at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Lewisville, Texas. The training is in preparation for their upcoming deployment to the Horn of Africa. The unit will go to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., early this summer for ten days of additional theater-required training and PSYOP collective exercises, then will deploy to the Horn of Africa for roughly nine months.
“Our team is triple the size of the PSYOP team we are replacing,” said Maj. Matt Perritte, the detachment’s commander and an Austin, Texas police officer who deployed with the 344th PSYOP Company to Afghanistan in 2011. “Our mission will expand and morph once we get there, but we’ll conduct atmospherics, analysis of local attitudes – pulse of the people, so to speak – and assist in communicating as appropriate with the local population.”
Perritte explained that because of the increased size of the team and the fact that the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa hasn’t had large PSYOP assets in the past, the mission will have to grow to allow for fully functional tactical PSYOP teams. “We may have to take comfort in knowing that we are setting up the next group for success,” he quipped.
In the past, much of the 345th’s deployment training would have taken place at a Regional Training Center away from home. But now most of the training will be conducted home station training at the Reserve center just prior to deployment. By conducting the training at a unit’s “home” location, the Army saves costs as well as allows soldiers to spend more time with their Families and preparing to be away from home. This is the new deployment training model now that regional training centers have been closed.
Like any deployment, there will be periods of downtime.
“Keeping everyone busy and focused is the key,” said Staff Sgt. Reginald Pinkney, the detachment’s tactical PSYOP detachment non-commissioned officer in charge. Pinkney, who deployed with the unit to Afghanistan a couple of years ago, is a former Active and Reserve Marine who transitioned to the Army Reserve to take advantage of greater opportunities to expand into new career fields. “The Army Reserve had a lot more MOS [military occupation specialties],” he said, “And I chose PSYOP because of the unique mission.
“Our mission in HOA is unique in that everyone is really working under the State Department,” noted Pinkney. “So, how do we integrate PSYOP? It will be a challenge and at times we may have to find stuff to keep our soldiers busy.”
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lankford, product development detachment non-commissioned officer in charge agreed, “We’ll have to continue to train, study the area, do physical training maybe twice a day, brainstorm projects, and do schoolwork.”
In the meantime, the detachment’s soldiers are taking full advantage of the training being offered close to home. On March 29th, the agenda included tips and tricks for maintaining the Psychological Operations Print System– Light – the workhorse of the PSYOP product detachment – and how to properly setup, operate, and store the Product Distribution System – a satellite communications system used by PSYOP teams to transmit and receive communications products.
This training was aided by ‘exceptional’ support from both the 4th Military Information Support Group and the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)’s 10th PSYOP Battalion, according to Lt. Col. Robert Sentell, the commander of 17th PSYOP Battalion – the higher headquarters of 345th PSYOP Company.
“We don’t have organic maintenance support for our PSYOP specific equipment,” explained Sentell. “Since these are the same ones [systems] we deploy with it was imperative that we not break them during train-up.”
Sentell explained that two maintenance specialists from the 4th MISG and two soldiers from 10th PSYOP Bn. with experience fixing POPS-L were essential. “Having them there was a safety net for us,” he said. “We could train on them and learn to repair them. But if we did break them, they could fix them before the detachment deployed.”
“These guys have worked with these systems more than us,” said Perritte. “There was nobody here, really, who could teach us the ins-and-outs. We’ve always fallen in on these systems and they were maintained and repaired by someone else. Ours will be the first into HOA and there isn’t a maintenance contract or technicians there. So, we’ll have to know how to fix them.”
Cpl. Jaime Bailey, a newly trained psychological operations specialist, agreed that the hands-on training was key.
“I want to make sure I know what I’m doing,” she said. “The tips and tricks they showed us will be really helpful. I just don’t want to mess up.”
With six more weeks of training ahead, the soldiers of the 345th PSYOP Company are sure to learn a few more tricks to keep their equipment running.
(Damien McElroy) The Red Sea dictatorship has drawn the wrath of America by backing extremist Islamic groups in Somalia as part of a proxy war with Ethiopia, its former ruler.
It champions al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked group that American intelligence believes has trained a dozen of its own citizens to carry out attacks in the US.
President Obama’s January inauguration was hit by FBI warnings about a potential suicide threat from 12 American citizens that had left Africa to infiltrate the US and disappeared.
Subsequently Washington quietly warned Eritrea, a former Italian colony which was occupied by Britain during the Second World War, it could suffer the same fate as Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks, if the plot was carried out.
“Eritrea has chosen the wrong path,” said a source. “There are consequences for working with al-Shabaab when President Obama cannot afford to look weak on terrorism by not retaliating if there is an attack on the homeland.”
(MILITARY TIMES) KATI, Mali — A U.S. Special Forces instructor leans toward a steering wheel, showing some 50 Malian soldiers gathered around an army pickup how a passenger should take control of a car if the driver is killed in an ambush.
The elite Malian troops look on, perplexed.
“But what can we do if we don’t know how to drive?” asks Sgt. Amadou, echoing the concern of many of his colleagues.
There are a few laughs, but the Malians are not joking; most of their unit does not know how. The lack of ability to perform such a basic task illustrates part of the huge knowledge gap the U.S. military is seeking to bridge in Africa as it trains local armies to better face the region’s mounting threats.
The exercises Monday in Kita, a shooting range in the savanna near Mali’s capital, Bamako, are but one leg of an ambitious program led by the Pentagon’s Africa Command, or AfriCom, to provide top-tier training in six African countries during three weeks this month. Over 200 of the Army’s Green Berets and members of the Marines Corps Forces Special Operations Command have deployed in Mali, Mauritania and other countries that line the Sahara Desert’s southern rims.
The yearly exercise, known as “Flintlock,” is being beefed-up to face traffickers and al-Qaida-linked terrorists mounting increasingly brazen operations in this vast region of porous borders and lawless tribes.
Western intelligence officers estimate about 400 heavily armed Islamist militants have made northern Mali their rear-base. A kidnapped French tourist is being held somewhere in the desert, and half-a-dozen were held hostage last year.
More worrying still for authorities, the militants, known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, are now thought to be cooperating with traffickers who increasingly use the desert routes to carry large quantities of South American cocaine to Europe. This brings more weapons and more cash to the region, increasing the militants’ potency.
Small forces from several European countries and about 500 African troops are taking part in this year’s exercise, including countries that don’t directly touch the desert, like Senegal.
“The point is, we’ve got to start getting ready for al-Qaida if they come our way,” said Maj. Cheikhna Dieng, who headed 30 Senegalese soldiers taking part in Monday’s exercises. “They recruit from Islamists, and that’s a threat we’re taking seriously,” because over 90 percent of Senegal’s population is Muslim, he said. Armies in the impoverished countries that militants and traffickers cross are usually no match for the outlaws’ heavily armed columns, and vast swathes of eastern Mauritania, northern Mali and Niger, and southern Algeria are now considered no-go zones.
But Mali’s army plans to reclaim its part of the area in the coming months, said Capt. Ongoiba Alou, the commander of the embryonic Malian Special Forces. “The whole purpose of the exercise is for our troops to be able to fight the terrorists,” he said.
That most of his unit training Monday can’t drive is a sign of Mali’s lack of funds, Alou says.
“These are our elite troops,” he said, stating they’d proven their worth in combat during clashes with a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg nomads that ended a few years ago in the volatile north.
Most of the Malian Special Forces, formed at the American’s prodding, come from paratrooper units. But they lack training, and one paratrooper died last week during a Flintlock parachuting exercise. An investigation is still under way, but Malian and U.S. officers said it seemed the trooper had somehow knocked his head against the plane as he was jumping.
Shooting in live fire exercises and jumping from planes can be challenging for poorly trained and poorly equipped armies in a patchwork of uniforms like Mali’s, but U.S. soldiers say they find the troops very motivated.
“Training with them is also an outstanding opportunity to build contact,” said Capt. Shane West, the U.S. Special Forces team leader who headed the exercise.
Malian and American authorities have given orders for the U.S. Special Forces to only conduct training, and none will launch real operations during Flintlock, West said.
“We’re essentially here to help our host nation handle whatever situation it needs to,” he said. “And we’re taking it step by step.”
(NEWSMAX) The Pentagon is considering dispatching surveillance drones and other limited military support for a Somali government offensive against al-Qaida-linked insurgents, U.S. officials said, part of a cautious move to increase U.S. assistance to the anarchic African nation.
U.S. diplomats are pressing Somali leaders to detail the goals of the looming assault, in order to figure out the most appropriate ways the U.S. can help.
Determined to avoid a visible American footprint on the ground or fingerprints on Somalia’s shaky government, U.S. officials are struggling to find the right balance between seizing the opportunity to take out al-Qaida insurgents there and avoiding the appearance of a U.S. occupation.
Any U.S. moves in Somalia are haunted by the disastrous 1993 U.S. military assault into the Somali capital — made famous in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.” The strike left 18 U.S. soldiers dead.
American diplomats have been meeting in Kenya with leaders of Somalia’s embattled government, urging them to think beyond military objectives and focus more on improving their governing.
U.S. officials want the Somali government to determine how to provide services to its people once the fighting is over, and work to gain support among more moderate groups.
While American diplomats are huddling with the Somalis in the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Pentagon leaders are preparing a range of options to help boost Somalia’s weak security forces.
One proposal would move surveillance drones to the Horn of Africa from an island in the Seychelles, where several unarmed Reaper systems were sent last fall for counter-piracy operations in the western Indian Ocean. The move would represent a more enduring U.S. commitment, which also would be largely invisible to the population.
Armed versions of the pilotless aircraft have been used to tail and fire missiles at militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the U.S. has also used them in Yemen to monitor insurgents from the air.
U.S. defense and Western diplomatic officials spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity because final decisions have not been made.
While administration officials said that sending U.S. troops into the embattled country is not seen as a viable option, they say they are not ruling out the use of small numbers of U.S. commandos when necessary for specific operations — much as they have done in the past.
Right now, however, there are no American military advisers in Somalia assisting the government there, and the U.S. is not managing or planning any of the military operations. Officials said the Somali government has not yet made any specific request for military aid.
“This is not an American conflict,” Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson told reporters in a recent briefing. “It will be up to the Somalis to ultimately resolve this conflict. The U.S., along with others in the international community, can contribute in a supporting role, which we do and acknowledge, but not to become directly engaged in any of the conflict on the ground there.”
Officials are concerned that any taint of U.S. interference or direct military support will only fuel the Somali insurgency. Over the past year or two, al-Shabab has grown from a clan-based collection of militants to a terror organization more closely aligned with al-Qaida.
U.S. officials have become increasingly concerned that battle-hardened al-Qaida insurgents are moving out of havens along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border into Somalia, where vast ungoverned spaces allow them to train and mobilize recruits without interference. Officials also warn that militants frequently cross the Gulf of Aden, moving between Yemen and Somalia.
At the same time, young Somalis have traveled from the United States back to Somalia to fight with the insurgents, stoking fears that they could return to plot attacks in the U.S.
The bulk of U.S. aid that has recently been sent to Somalia has been delivered to Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti. Several African nations have pledged forces to the African Union’s peacekeeping force in Somalia, known as AMISOM, and there are now more than 5,000 troops stationed in the country.
But in several previous operations the U.S. has provided intelligence and surveillance information, and — as recently as last September — delivered a surgical strike against a convoy that reportedly killed powerful insurgent Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.
The Somalis have been saying for months that government troops will soon launch an offensive against al-Shabab in an effort to expand the government’s area of control. But widespread problems, including corrupt officials and a lack of supplies, have delayed the launch.
Urged on by Osama bin Laden, al-Shabab is trying to topple Somalia’s government and install a strict form of Islam.