A critical analysis of the United States of America’s military policy to Africa: The case of Nigeria (2000-2015)
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This study analyses the controversy and decidedly mixed views surrounding the US military policy to Africa. The US military policy to Africa has developed immensely over the years. Africa gained in strategic importance to the US in the post 2000 era as the US projected a massive oil output in the continent by 2025; coupled with political instability in the Middle Eastern states the US has sort to diversify its oil supplies and Africa proved to be that viable alternative. In-order to unravel the US military activities in Africa paying particular attention to Nigeria, qualitative methodology was used to solicit data in this research. Primary and secondary data collection methods were used to solicit data, in particular documentary search and in-depth interviews. This research made use of purposive sampling method to select the sample; as the information sort could not be easily obtained from the general public. Thematic analysis was then used to analyze the data obtained. The findings showed that the US military policy to Nigeria was essential in solving certain problems like terrorism and human rights violations. Moreover, the US military policy is critical in strengthening African militaries through military to military training programs for them to be able to respond and deal with crisis situations on their own. However, the study also revealed how the ongoing militarization of Nigeria and Africa as whole could have destabilizing effects in the long run and it excavated how the US’ selectivity in the application of international norms was central to the controversy surrounding its military policy. Due to such undertakings African states are generally skeptical of this US military policy such that Africa has not welcomed AFRICOM to be headquartered on African soils. After a critical analysis of the data obtained, this research proposed that US military aid should come on African terms and not vise versa. Moreover, the US needs to be objective in-order to eliminate selectivity if its activities are to be seriously considered and accepted as the panacea to African peace and security. Therefore, the study concludes that the US needs to increase transparency in its activities in-order to make its military policy to Africa effective.