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July 13, 2004
US Command Wants to Deal With Each AU State Separately

United States European Command Deputy Commander, General Charles Wald returned to Africa to call for closer security ties between the command and constituent states of the AU on security issues. His decision to approach each state singly, and avoid the Assembly, African Parliament or AU Commission is intended to have each state deal separately with the US.

Wald is in the African Union to meet with government and military officials, state by state. He has been describing each individual state as an important nation and strategic partner of the US command. Wald said he looked forward to partnering with certain AU states on areas of supposed common interest to work out peace keeping efforts around the world in addition to fighting terrorism.

The US has been manufacturing explanations for involvement in the African Union. Some of his claims about military intervention on the account of HIV and environmental protection are absurd.

Wald claims his interest is in the strategic importance of Africa in fighting terrorism, countering the proliferation of HIV/AIDS, promoting security organisations and the protection of natural resources in the region.

The US European Command purpoterdly covers Western Europe and the Balkans. However, as part of the NATO command, the target of its USECOM has been Africa since 1959. Walt claims his command now has as its area of responsibility Africa, Europe and parts of the Middle East.

In June, United States Ambassador, John Campbell attempted to dispel reports in the Nigerian press about the deployment of American troops to the Gulf of Guinea, austensibly to protect oil interests in the area.

Campbell said that the US Air Force exercises would come nowhere near Nigerian territorial waters and would make no stops anywhere near the West African coast, adding that it was just a military exercise carried out by the US navy and did not have a specific West African purpose.