This condescendingly suggests that the West knows what’s better for African states’ security than their own governments do.
Bloomberg’s demand for the West to punish African states over their preferred security partners is extremely condescending. Opinion columnist Bobby Ghosh published a piece about this over the weekend urging to “Make Russia’s Wagner Group a Pariah in Africa”, to which end he’s lobbying for the US and EU to designate it as a terrorist organization so that its clients there can then be sanctioned. This suggests that the West knows what’s better for African states’ security than their own governments do.
According to Ghosh, Wagner is only useful for “reinforc[ing] military rule” in “despot[ic]” states and “disproportionately targeting civilians” in its anti-terrorist operations. In exchange, it supposedly bleeds local partners dry by extracting their resources. He thus predicts that “The arrival of fresh legions of Wagner mercenaries in Africa will make it harder for the West to nudge military governments back toward democracy, and to prevent democratic governments from going in the other direction.”
The reality is altogether different as could have been expected considering how often Mainstream Media (MSM) outlets like Ghosh’s publish the exact opposite of the truth in pursuit of the West’s interests. “Russia’s Newfound Appeal To African Countries Is Actually Quite Easy To Explain” since it simply boils down to Wagner’s “Democratic Security” expertise. This refers to its counter-Hybrid Warfare tactics and strategies that ensure its partners’ sovereignty in the face of related threats from the West.
Its earlier success in the Central African Republic (CAR) inspired Mali’s revolutionary anti-imperialist government to follow in that nearby country’s footsteps. Just last week, neighboring Burkina Faso’s interim leader declared that his state is in a “strategic alliance” with Russia too despite denying that Wagner is on the ground helping the national forces fight terrorism. In all three cases, these Russian-friendly governments enjoy genuine grassroots support for striving to restore their sovereignty.
This means that Ghosh’s demand for the West to designate the CAR and Mali’s Wagner partners as terrorists in order to then punish them with sanctions is anti-democratic, as is the potential deterrent effect that this could have on that group’s cooperation with Burkina Faso and other countries. So long as any given security relationship doesn’t occur at the expense of a third party’s legitimate interests, then there shouldn’t be any pressure put upon either side for their ties with one another.
Wagner is always invited by African authorities to assist their armed forces and hasn’t ever intervened without their permission. Allegations of it committing war crimes are part of the US’ Hybrid War against that group, which was detailed at length by Politico a few days after Ghosh’s piece and analyzed here. Whether by coincidence or collusion, his article advances America’s information warfare interests, with its timing being extra curious since it in hindsight preconditions his audience to accept the US’ narratives.
Regardless of his speculative ties with its military-intelligence services, there’s no denying that the condescending way in which he addresses Africans is very offensive. It’s up to their countries as equal members of the international community to decide for themselves how best to ensure their security and who to partner with to that end, not any third parties like the US, let alone MSM figures like Ghosh. Meddling of the sort that Bloomberg just attempted only further discredits the West in Africans’ eyes.