Obama announced on Wednesday the U.S. will deploy troops to the African nation of Cameroon.
Ron Paul filed a report on the deployment on Thursday:
300 soldiers will be sent to the West African nation to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in the region, according to the BBC.
Obama said the troops will deploy to Cameroon to help fight Boko Haram, the Islamic group aligned with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and will stay until “no longer needed.”
The effort will expand the mission of Africom, the Pentagon’s African Command, and would be “part of a broader regional effort to stop the spread of Boko Haram and other violent extremist organizations in West Africa,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
In 2012, Obama invoked the War Powers Resolution to increase the number of U.S. military personnel deployed to Nigeria. The incoming Commander of Africom at the time, Gen. David M. Rodriguez, said Boko Haram operations threatened Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Mali and Chad. Rodriguez said the U.S. has authority in Africa in response to the threat posed by al-Qaeda.
Support for Boko Haram: the Usual Suspects
Boko Haram’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which translated from the Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” The group is a Takfiri offshoot of the Salafi movement. Salafi-Takfiris attack other Muslims and Christians they consider apostates. Boko Haram has worked to impose sharia law in Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger. It has killed Christians, bombed churches, attacked schools, police stations, government installations, and has kidnapped western tourists.
In 2012, The Nigerian Tribune reported Boko Harm’s funding was traced to the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, specifically from the Al-Muntada Trust Fund. In 2005, The Center for Security Policy stated “Al-Muntada has, incidentally, been particularly active in promoting Wahhabi-style Islamism in Nigeria… Al-Muntada… pays for Nigerian clerics to be ‘brainwashed’ in Saudi universities and imposed on Nigerian Muslims through its well-funded network of mosques and schools.”
Similar schools, known as madrassas, were established in Pakistan during the CIA’s covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They were financed by Saudi Arabia and its network of charities. “Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen,” writes Phil Gasper. The Afghan mujahideen would ultimately produce al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
In addition to support by the Saudis, Boko Haram has received indirect assistance from NATO via Libya’s al-Qaeda mercenaries. “During an interview conducted by Al-Jazeera with Abu Mousab Abdel Wadoud, the AQIM leader states that Algeria-based organizations have provided arms to Nigeria’s Boko Haram movement ‘to defend Muslims in Nigeria and stop the advance of a minority of Crusaders.’ It remains highly documented that members of Al-Qaeda (AQIM) and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who fought among the Libyan rebels directly received arms and logistical support from NATO bloc countries during the Libyan conflict in 2011,” writes Nile Bowie.
AQIM and Boko Haram, however, pose less of a threat in Africa than China does. “The US and France plan to counter the threat along with Africa’s puppet government’s that will pose a challenge to China’s economic and diplomatic influence in the region,” writes Timothy Alexander Guzman.
Nigeria is the 13th largest oil producer in the world. The western Africa nation’s other natural resources include natural gas, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc and arable land.
“The US and French governments want to assure themselves that the new Chinese leadership will not continue its beneficial relationships with resource-rich African nations that have been a success in the past. Therefore, the ‘War on Terror’ will create instability and will disrupt China’s economic growth. AFRICOM mission is to create war in the name of fighting terrorism and that is what ‘US national security interests’ in Africa is really about.”