There may be questions about whether Russia is winning the war in Ukraine, but there is no doubt it is winning the global war against the West. And it’s starting in Africa, which is why Biden wants troops on a larger scale on the continent, starting with Morocco.
What could possibly go wrong?
Pundits have for months claimed that Ukraine has made great advances on the battlefield and taken back considerable swathes of territory that Russia held. While this claim is losing its validity in recent weeks there, most western analysts indulge themselves with their own blinded dogma and refuse to look at the bigger Ukraine war: commonly known as the ‘global south’ but in reality is actually just the ‘rest of the world’ beyond the boundaries of so-called western countries.
While most countries in Africa and Asia didn’t support Putin’s invasion, they were more vexed by the West’s ‘you’re either with us or against us’ narrative which quickly followed with a threat from the U.S.’s own UN ambassador who made it clear to Africa that countries which didn’t follow U.S. sanctions against Russia would be punished.
That hasn’t worked out too well though for America, despite the U.S. cleaning up on LPG contracts in Europe whose governments are happy to pay four times the price of Russian gas, as Washington still has a few problems with this new world war.
Africa is starting to bother Biden. In recent months it has become clear that the threat of sanctions has backfired and many nations are ready to go ‘non-aligned’ and take their chances or even to cross over to Russia for security reasons.
Mali, a former French colony which until just a few months ago had French troops fighting Islamic terror groups there, is now a fully-fledged Russian ally. Burkina Faso looks like it will follow. If it does, then a domino effect is sure to take place with Francophone countries who are tired of the paternalistic relationship they have with Paris and the nauseating tutelage that is spoon-fed to them from the Elysee. This is not only starting to worry Paris, but the EU is also beginning to see the dangers of losing these countries to Russia and China.
It’s also worrying Biden, who, unlike the EU or the Elysee, at least has the means and the initiative to act rather than just whimper like a puppy just kicked by its new owner.
Biden’s plan, like so many American presidents, is hardly an original one: send more troops and show a presence on the continent.
But it’s his choice of which country to send them to is both interesting and dangerous: Morocco.
Joe Biden instructed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to prepare an emergency plan to establish an American military-industrial base in Morocco, the New York Daily News has reported. Apparently the ruse was proposed during a high-level meeting at the end of December when Biden and Austin discussed America’s new global military strategy.
Biden has told Austin to push the Pentagon to facilitate the logistical and legal aspects of U.S. defence industry investments in Morocco. Details are sketchy, but it seems that Morocco is going to host U.S. defence companies, as well as possibly even be a recipient of U.S. military aid like Israel.
This would not only be a game-changer for Morocco to flex its muscles in the continent, but also put the country on a more even keel with Algeria’s whose defence budget dwarfs that or Morocco’s.
According to media sources in the U.S., before his meeting with Austin, Biden received a detailed report from CIA Director William Burns, who just recently visited Libya on the expansion of Russia’s influence in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Algeria and the Sahel and Sahara countries. It might well be that Biden feels that whilst it is inconceivable to fight with Putin in Ukraine, U.S. troops and their proxies could take the fight to them in Africa.
For Morocco though there is certainly a dark side. Are we to assume that with this new plan for more troops on the ground and more kit, that this will defuse the threat from Algeria which Russia has a formidable friendship with? Or, more likely, will this only raise the stakes higher and create a war-like scenario, entirely manufactured by the Biden administration, which ultimately the Moroccans will be left to tackle on their own? Remarkably, the format of ‘hit-n-run’ which Biden started in Ukraine in 2014, which led to the war there, along with a similar strategy in Taiwan, is being cultivated in Morocco to antagonise and threaten Algeria both along its long border but more probably in Western Sahara in the South. We can only presume that reports a few weeks ago in state-friendly media of nuclear power plant deals being agreed between Morocco and Russia is also part of Biden’s move in Morocco. He may well see it as a double-whammy but like almost everything the American president touches on the geomilitary circuit, he f***s up, in Obama’s own words. Rabat may well have used the deal with Russia as a card to play, gambling on taking the whole pot if the U.S. boosts their military budget beyond the miniscule 1.5bn dollars presently. But like Rabat’s recent bungling of the bribery scandal in Brussels, which is more about the elite’s dismal media skills, it is likely that the U.S. game is going to make them the loser as they are the chosen crash test dummies that Biden wants in his latest geopolitical experiment. Pray for the Moroccans. They are good people who will pay a high price for being both gullible and insecure.
The author is an award winning journalist based in Morocco, working for a number of international titles. He can be followed on twitter at @MartinRJay This article was originally published in the Strategic Culture Foundation