Saturday, March 19, 2011

Odyssey Dawn

The dawn of Homer’s Odyssey begins ten years after the Trojan War. Our campaigns continue. “Odyssey Dawn”: the coalition codename for the campaign into Libya. Enforcing the no-fly zone begins with poking out the eyes of Libyan air defense “installations”.

Sanitary language. Stand-off, missiles from afar, radar-seeking high tech burning spears, to blind the Cyclops. Vital international interests at stake, energy acquisition, despite the meager barrels per day in the great downstream scheme of things. There’s oil-a-plenty on this continent of Africa.

France participates while their lucrative nuclear energy facilities at home whirr and hum, stocks way up as they furnish power oil-free, clean as a whistle. Old but powerful empires begin their re-runned rush for Africa, second thoughts about all this disengaging back in the 1960s. The young US Unified Command, AFRICOM commands and controls with flatscreens in Kelly Barracks in Stuttgart Germany. Try later to access their web-page…it’s not up. But they are.

First blood for AFRICOM today…a new battle streamer at the embroidery shop.

It’s always a new world. In military institutions the latest buzz is Africa, this multi-faceted, complex continent; immense, the new unknown to get to know, Read up when you have an opportunity. Count the countries, follow the bouncing revolutionary ball and try not to get dizzy.

It’s the new old frontier we must secure very quickly along with the European players, and oh yes, China. Enter the Dragon. Actually the Dragon’s been there quite a while while we’ve been campaigning elsewhere. The Dragon appreciates our military intervention and stability operations, very very much.

And lest we forget there’s AFRICAP, our State Department’s Africa Peace Keeping Program, a lucrative cash cow for private military security companies. It’s not a huge chunk of change, but the race to establish footprints is fierce. Even France has a similar program with their new-ish private military contratctors, like SECOPEX (established in 2003 after French Law allowed PMCs), gainfully employed.

So, on this “first blood” day for AFRICOM, commanded by General Carter F. Ham, it’s appropriate to mark this day on the calendar as the dawn of a new Odyssey, the contemporary race to Africa, it’s violent opening chapter. This will be a very thick book, indeed. The Dragon is well-pleased.

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