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Defense News, a publication covering the global defense industry, reports on a previously unnoticed development regarding AFRICOM in an article entitled, Whelan: AFRICOM ‘Needs Brainpower, Not Hardware.' In September, government officials met with representatives from a number of African countries in an effort to facilitate discussion on the creation of AFRICOM.

In late September, Pentagon officials and American diplomats met with officials from nearly 40 African nations in a little-publicized weekend session aimed at easing concerns about Washington’s plan to establish a new U.S. military command there, defense sources said at the time.

Held at Airlie House in Warrenton, Va., about 50 miles west of Washington, the meeting featured panel discussions and presentations by officials from DoD, State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — as well as cocktail receptions and dinners.

“We had two good days there,” Whelan said, in which U.S. officials attempted to “put AFRICOM back into context” after several months of negative press reports and criticism from the continent. They also discussed civilian control of the military, AFRICOM’s nonmilitary tasks, and U.S. plans to provide training and other assistance.

The American delegation also spent a good deal of time “listening to where [African leaders] see the security challenges there.”

African officials view them differently, in many cases, depending on the region from which they hail, Whelan said. But “they do tend to agree that additional capacity is needed to deal with those challenges.”

Combined with General Ward’s recent trip to Addis Ababa , the occurrence of this meeting serves as good evidence that US policymakers are actively trying to assuage African fears regarding the more nefarious reasons proffered for AFRICOM’s creation. These efforts appear to be having an effect as:

Whelan said such efforts are beginning to thaw some of the skepticism about the new command. She cited recent, less ominous comments from officials in Nigeria and South Africa, countries that had been leading the opposition to AFRICOM.

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On Monday, Musa Yar’Adua and the Nigerian government said NO to the stationing of AFRICOM in their country or elsewhere in the West Africa sub-region RAMADJI.com learnt yesterday from sources in the Nigerian capital Abuja. “ It will work towards the establishment of an African Standby Force”.

“The decision was reached at the First Council of State meeting was organized by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration.” Says an APAnews report.
The final decision was the result of a meeting which gathered Nigerian former Presidents and heads of states and chief justices of the Nigerian federation.

Despite the negative note from Abuja, the Nigerian council of state “appraised the APRM ( African Peer Review Mechanism), which is an assessment mechanism set up by the NEPAD.

In any case, this Nigerian rejection shows that the General “Kip” Ward and his team have a tough job ahead. The US should not and must not give up the need to bring more good partners in this project. It’s worth it because the threats of Radical Islamism are real in Africa. But that need to bring in more partners must not push the U.S to go with whoever show up and says yes. Maybe it’s a good thing that people are being hesitant and want to know more about the project. Go with the good, democratic, less corrupt and credible regimes and good track records in terms of governance, democracy, freedom, human rights,…When I say good partners, I really mean it because when dictators like Lieutenant-General Idriss Deby Itno of Chad who was put in place in N’Djamena by Turabists and still has connections to the Turabi network of Radical Islamists is coming to the United States in the days ahead for the “expansion of bilateral relations with the U.S. through association with AFRICOM, purchase of transport planes from Lockheed Martin, etc", it gets scary. The chances for US weapons and technology to fall in the hands of the bad guys via the Justice and Equality Movement who are being back by Deby is obvious. And guess what? The leader of the JEM is a protégé and ally of Dr. Hassan Abdallah Al-Turabi who has been calling for an Islamic Sudan with Sha’ria as the law. Can someone connect the dots that lead to the AQN via Al-Turabi? People at the DoD, the IC, State Department and the TSCTP must really know who they are dealing with because they are about to sleep with the devil himself.

AFRICOM must be set up in Africa to help prevent the take over by Jihadis who are out trying to establish their Caliphate and convert those of us who are infidels and “crusaders” Christians and Jews. It’s no joke !