It’s pretty clear that George Clooney has a very full understanding of all the moving pieces behind Sudan: the international politics, the humanitarian crisis, the economic incentives (oil) etc. We wrote about George Clooney’s protest on Friday at the Sudan embassy; he is trying to help raise awareness for Sudan in the wake of the KONY2012 Ugandalove internet movement. Historically – when starving African children were dying or murdered from brutal dictators … America was not involved. We simply viewed it as not our problem.
Exploiting Africa’s resources But helping the people within various parts of Africa is something that we’re capable of doing; we just need the American people to support such a cause. Today – you have a coalescing of interests – humanitarian, economic and geo-political – that makes America’s Africa strategy important to the future of America. On October 12, 2011 – President Obama wrote a letter to Congress in which he said:
On October 12, the initial team of U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda. During the next month, additional forces will deploy, including a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications, and logistics personnel. The total number of U.S. military personnel deploying for this mission is approximately 100. These forces will act as advisors to partner forces that have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA.
Our forces will provide information, advice, and assistance to select partner nation forces. Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
#1 – Humanitarian. You might have had some assistance and support for humanitarian aid for poor, exploited Africans, but there would never be enough on the merits of humanitarian relief alone to have support of any real substance from Congress. You really can’t have sustained humanitarian success without a secure political infrastructure. America has successfully helped spin off Southern Sudan in its bid to become it’s own country; now it needs to help keep the peace to ensure the more armed, Chinese supported Northern Sudan armies aren’t continuing to kill people. George Clooney partnered with the Enough Project to highlight some of the war crimes being perpetrated against the South Sudanese people in the Nuba Mountains. Some of the video is graphic.
#2 – Economic. There is oil in Southern Sudan; plenty of oil. North and South Sudan currently produces 490,000 barrels of oil a day which would rank this small country as 30th in terms of oil production in the world. 75% of all of the oil between the two countries comes from Southern Sudan. Combined with the 1.5 – 2 billion barrels of oil supply that has recently been discovered in Uganda and you have a need for political stability before the major oil companies like Exxon/Mobil and Chevron/Texaco get in the mix. These corporations which stand to make billions off of these resources will make sure that politicians support the poor and exploited people of Uganda and Sudan. In addition – there are other minerals, rare earths etc that America is likely to gain benefit from.
Source: Climate Adaptation
#3 – Geo-political. There is a resource war in Africa between China in Africa. We wrote an article Sudan: America’s Resource Proxy War With China where we covered various aspects of the Chinese/American tug of war relative to African resources. As the Boston Globe wrote:
Driven by its oil interests, China is caught in the middle of the dispute, despite efforts to build ties to the new government in South Sudan while maintaining long-standing relations with Sudan. China buys about two-thirds of the countries’ oil. The split that separated South Sudan from Sudan in July also divided their China-invested oil industry, leaving the fields mostly in South Sudan but the two pipelines out of them running through Sudan.
South Sudan cut flows to the pipelines last month when Sudan, after months of inconclusive bargaining, said it would divert some of the oil as an in kind transit fee. Nearly 30 Chinese engineering contractors were abducted in Sudan in January.
This month, South Sudan expelled the Chinese head of the largest foreign oil company — Petrodar Operating Company, which is part-owned by China National Petroleum — accusing him of abetting Sudan’s diversion of oil.
If anything – during the George W. Bush presidency … focusing on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global “war on terror” – America really left a vacuum in Africa having neglected relationships and geo-political interests while China quietly built agreements with various African governments obtaining commitments with resources – energy, metal and other misc. Professor Michael Klare explains the growing American/Chinese resource war in 2009:
SI: Is the strategic competition between the United States and China over resources contributing to the perpetuation of armed conflicts around the world? Do you see a similarity between the current U.S.-China strategic relationship and the pre-WWII relationship between Japan and the United States? Might other ascendant powers (such as India) contribute to further resource competition and conflict?
Klare: Yes, the U.S.-China competition is contributing to the perpetuation of armed conflict in the world because both powers often seek to cement their ties with potential resource suppliers in the developing world by providing them with arms and other forms of military assistance, which often then find use in internal conflicts. Thus China, in pursuit of Sudanese oil, has cemented its ties with the northern government in Khartoum by supplying a wide range of arms, which reportedly have been used in the government’s “scorched earth” campaign against SPLA rebels in the South.
Likewise, the United States has assisted the Nigerian government in its crackdown against tribal militants in the Niger Delta region, the main center of Nigerian oil production. Both the United States and China are also providing arms and military aid to the various regimes in Central Asia, and this, too, I fear, will strengthen the tendency of these regimes to rely on force and repression to rule, rather than to allow greater democratic participation.
Like us on Facebook?