The drone came, it saw, it killed. The appearance of the drone has introduced a new dynamics into the nature of warfare and the norms of global politics. We will introduce a new operative concept, namely the development of drones, their deployments in bases, its ramifications for economics, geopolitics and warfare, we will call this concept Dronomics.
Dronomics has introduced a new element in the architecture of global power relations. It has also thrown into play constitutional and legal arguments about extrajudicial killings and the associated questions about war crimes.
We will limit ourselves to the analysis of dronomics in the context of African geopolitics and its effect on the emergence of a sovereign Africa.
The end of the cold war marked by the collapse of the Soviet Union gave the United States unparalleled global dominance for two decades. The age of the US total dominance ended with the events in the Ukraine and the accession of the Crimea to Russia capped by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s speech to the assembled Russian elite on March 18’th where he denounced unilateral US actions in the two decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Those two decades marked the rapid but quiet rise of China to the ranks of global power. A rising China began a process of engagement with Africa culminating in Africa- China trade rising from 1 billion dollars in 1980 to over 200 billion dollars in 2013.
The importance of Africa to China is primarily as a source of strategic raw materials and a market to fuel its rising economy and to keep it in the ranks of leading world powers. This quantum jump in Africa-China trade has alarmed the West and its leading power the US.
Africa has been and remains a strategic store of natural resources for the West to remain economically viable. The events in the Ukraine have brought to the fore, the dependence of the West on Russian gas. In a quest to diversify their dependence on Russian natural resources, the EU will be turning to sources in other places and more importantly in Africa.
The reemergence of Russia and the emergence of China on the geopolitical stage, the China-Africa trade turnover surpassing Africa-West trade turnover will make Africa a geopolitical battle ground in the 21’st century.
The strategy of the West to keep Africa in its cold austere embrace will be increasingly dominated by dronomics. The deployment of drones by the US in eight African countries has allowed the West to gain air power superiority in the heart of the continent.
The drone bases operating are acting as an air power Trojan horse which allows the West to project and maintain air power superiority in Africa. This air power superiority will allow the US and its western satrapies to influence and dominate the political and economic situation in Africa.
The eight countries, Burkina Faso, Niger, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti and Seychelles are currently the geopolitical underbelly of Africa.
The drone bases in Burkina Faso and Niger gives the US a wide spectrum of possibilities to shape geopolitical and economic events in the North and the West of Africa. The drone base in Uganda allows it to influence the discourse in central Africa.
The drone bases in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti allows it to shape the events in Eastern, Northeastern and Southeastern Africa. This collective geopolitical underbelly of Africa has allowed the US to achieve air power superiority from within Africa instead of from without the continent.
The first map above shows the currently known US military bases in Africa including the eight countries hosting the drone bases.
The recent announcement by NATO that it will station permanent military bases in the Baltic countries and possibly in Poland indicates a strategy of containment of Russia from exercising her national interests in its traditional sphere of influence.
The US also announced that it was increasing its missile destroyers from five to seven in Japan to shore up its military commitment to Japan against China. The new US strategy of containment of Russia and the pivot to Asia is a signal of an expansion of the strategy of dronomics in Africa.
Under the guise of humanitarian missions and of fighting terrorism, the expansion of US drone bases in Africa will give it total air superiority over African skies. The logical deduction from that, will mean the total economic and political domination of Africa.
We all understand the importance of air power in the grand scheme of things. An Africa suppliant in such a state will allow the US to use Africa as a resource valve whereby she can constrict or expand China’s access to African natural resources and market.
The drone bases will be used as a background extortion tool to keep the African elite in a state of terror and African political and Economic aims wedded to the US and its western satrapies.
The African political elite should understand the geopolitical significance of the policy of dronomics on the African continent and should aim for the removal of all foreign drone bases on the continent.
If African States fail to do this, the next junction of the trail of tears starting from slavery, colonialism, neocolonialism and neoliberalism will be dronomics.