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General African Defense discussion

This is a discussion on General African Defense discussion within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Yes but what about the Economy of a completely barren landscape like Somalia and Liberia etc. ? Places like those ...


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Old June 25th, 2012   #31
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Yes but what about the Economy of a completely barren landscape like Somalia and Liberia etc. ?

Places like those have no mineral deposits or natural resources, and whatever land isn't already devastated by warfare and landmines is consumed by famine and draught. How would you go about building the economy of a place with no economic potential whatsoever ?

And more importantly, what reason would any developed nation have to spend millions of dollars and resources and manpower to stabilize a zone like this if there is absolutely no benefit to be had for the nation in the long run ?

And speaking of Liberia :

Charles Taylor sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes | World news | The Guardian

It's about time justice was served. Taylor and Foday Sankoh were responsible for some of the biggest atrocities since the Rwandan Genocide.

Edit : I don't think anyone has ever tried to calculate what the cost of an extensive de-mining operation in Africa will be. Those landmines themselves are a large enough deterrent to any sort of progress in the continent IMHO.
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Old June 25th, 2012   #32
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Liberia is far from "barren" and in fact it's mineral wealth has been a motivator for much of it's trouble. Have you ever heard of "blood diamonds"? The term was first used in reference to Liberia.

However - since the Johnson-Sirleaf administration the country's economy is on a turnaround and doing well under the circumstances.
Take a look at the Economy section of https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/li.html

One of the biggest image problems African countries have is the outdated stereotypes the rest of world has about them. Only a handful of countries are really still "basket cases".
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Old September 17th, 2012   #33
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Africa Aerospace and Defence 2012 (Waterkloof AFB, Pretoria, South Africa) looks like it's going to be a good one, although a bit "light" on the civil aviation and airline side.
The list of exhibitors is fairly impressive for a relatively minor event - http://www.aadexpo.co.za/documents/A...itors_List.pdf

The move to Waterkloof AFB in Pretoria, a much larger venue than Ysterplaat in Cape Town seems to be largely positive, although the inland location severely limits maritime exhibits.
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Old September 18th, 2012   #34
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Originally Posted by Eeshaan View Post
Yes but what about the Economy of a completely barren landscape like Somalia and Liberia etc. ?

Places like those have no mineral deposits or natural resources, and whatever land isn't already devastated by warfare and landmines is consumed by famine and draught. How would you go about building the economy of a place with no economic potential whatsoever ?

And more importantly, what reason would any developed nation have to spend millions of dollars and resources and manpower to stabilize a zone like this if there is absolutely no benefit to be had for the nation in the long run ?...

Edit : I don't think anyone has ever tried to calculate what the cost of an extensive de-mining operation in Africa will be. Those landmines themselves are a large enough deterrent to any sort of progress in the continent IMHO.
Please don't flaunt ignorance.

Africa is a whole continent. Somalia is no more like Liberia (except in recent political instability) than Afghanistan is like Taiwan. Mines are a problem in some parts of a few countries, not everywhere in every country - and aren't the end of the world, in any case: Libya got rich in the 1960s & 1970s despite still being littered with millions of WW2 mines.

Why do you think so many people are willing to fight for patches of Liberia, Congo, et al? Minerals! "Blood diamonds" have already been mentioned, but they're a very small part of Africa's mineral wealth. Why do you think China is now so interested in Africa, & Chinese corporations are trying to buy up vast areas? Oil, copper, diamonds, chromium, nickel, platinum, gold, titanium, zinc, germanium, bauxite, iron, lead, coal, uranium . . . . and huge agricultural potential. Drought? Vast areas of Africa are no more prone to drought than, e.g., Japan is.
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Old September 18th, 2012   #35
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Please don't flaunt ignorance.

Africa is a whole continent. Somalia is no more like Liberia (except in recent political instability) than Afghanistan is like Taiwan. Mines are a problem in some parts of a few countries, not everywhere in every country - and aren't the end of the world, in any case: Libya got rich in the 1960s & 1970s despite still being littered with millions of WW2 mines.

Why do you think so many people are willing to fight for patches of Liberia, Congo, et al? Minerals! "Blood diamonds" have already been mentioned, but they're a very small part of Africa's mineral wealth. Why do you think China is now so interested in Africa, & Chinese corporations are trying to buy up vast areas? Oil, copper, diamonds, chromium, nickel, platinum, gold, titanium, zinc, germanium, bauxite, iron, lead, coal, uranium . . . . and huge agricultural potential. Drought? Vast areas of Africa are no more prone to drought than, e.g., Japan is.
My apologies, sir. I stand corrected on that issue. I had no intent of bad-mouthing Africa or it's people in any way .

And I was talking about specific places like Liberia and Somalia. I know Africa has vast deposits of mineral wealth.
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Old September 18th, 2012   #36
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Well, you're probably right about Somalia. It's not only arid but has very modest mineral wealth.

Liberia, on the other hand, has fertile soil, abundant water (it still has the world's largest rubber plantation), & lots of minerals. A few decades ago it was relatively prosperous, exporting large quantities of iron ore, rubber, timber (high value tropical hardwoods) & some lesser cash crops. It was ruined by warfare, & is now slowly rebuilding on the back of its natural wealth, with mines being re-opened & plantations revived.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #37
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To be one of the only ones to sing the praises of Somalia, there is a lot of thought now (and some hard evidence) that there's oil in Somalia. A lot of oil-a UPI article entitled "Somali war linked to brewing oil dispute" from 3August2012 (sorry, can't link yet) quotes Abdillahi Mohamud, director of the East African Energy Forum, as saying that impoverished Somalia has offshore and onshore oil reserves of 80 billion-100 billion barrels.

"This small nation of 10 million stands to have the fifth largest petroleum reserves in the world, eclipsing heavyweights like the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Nigeria," Mohamud noted.

Having access to that much in your EEZ doesn't mean you have the capability to exploit and capitalize on it, of course. But it's something...
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Old September 21st, 2012   #38
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It remains to be seen if the newly elected Somali government is able to take effective control of the country or will the warlords and pirate captains continue "business as usual". If they get the assistance they need I believe they might just have a chance of becoming a normal country again. Kenya has committed a large chunk of resources (their largest foreign deployment ever?) to help but I'm not sure of the rest of the neigbours.

Last edited by Dodger67; September 21st, 2012 at 04:08 AM. Reason: typo
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Old September 21st, 2012   #39
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Nobody will be tempted by that oil until there is some semblance of a central government that can guarantee safety. Everyone, even the Chinese, has learned that you cannot develop resources where a functional government does not exist.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #40
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Just to lift up the mood here, a bit of light news from AAD 2012:

The Blue Angels have Fat Albert - now the Silver Falcons have the Gooney Bird... Gooney Bird - Silver Falcons - YouTube
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Old September 21st, 2012   #41
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Second Draft of the South African Defence Review released

Following up my post about the first draft several moths ago...

The Second Draft was released recently.

defence review publications

It's the first set of links on the page, unfortunately they don't offer a single pdf file of the whole thing, you have to download each chapter, index, intro, etc, separately.

The previous draft and other related documents are listed further down the page.

Last edited by Dodger67; September 21st, 2012 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Copyedit - the quote was pretty meaningless
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Old September 30th, 2012   #42
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China is in somalia via proxies, Kenya's haul of assets, land based and airborne are mostly from china, there is a lot of "FDI" chinese style, plus Kenya being the gateway into the eastern african has a new port under development in Lamu, an uncomfortably close distance to somalia may be one reason, It is by all scales a large project given that its the artery that South Sudan, Ugandan and Ethiopian commerce will flow, including oil to china....

KDF is already in Kismayu,
(cant post youtube link, search youtube for link titled "KDF says al-Shabaab under pressure", ) or someone with more permissions can share the link...
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Old October 12th, 2012   #43
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An interesting article by one of the principal leaders of the current South African Defence Review process.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.ph...d=74&Itemid=30

Now you don't need to read a 200+ page 2nd Draft of the Review, this 12-page paper summarises the action so far very well.
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Old October 13th, 2012   #44
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The largest problem in Africa is corruption. Almost every country has problems with corruption, but the scale of the problem in Africa cannot be matched. Most countries in Africa have the resources to become very powerfull on an international scale even.

Take for instance South Africa, it did surprisingly well economically during the time of apartheid under all the sanctions etc. The technoogy is available, the right people are available, but the willingness by the people on top is lacking. They seek only to make a quick buck instead of looking at the future possibilities of a greatly run country. If the governments can only grasp the possibilities, they will be able to develop great nations.

I can only hope that at least a view people start seeing the light and start to turn the SANDF into a proper defence force.
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Old October 13th, 2012   #45
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Indeed, Heitman's article says that the political will needs to be established first.

However one must not simplistically blame only the Africans for corruption, the willingness of international contractors to pay bribes and subvert due process is half the problem. IIRC it was either BAE or Thales who said that the payment of bribes is a normal part of doing business - no different from paying VAT.

Step one to cleaning up the system: kill all the "consultants" and "agents".
In SA the tenderpreneurs' days are already numbered - the public's tollerance for the blatant enrichment of the politically connected at the expense of the common masses has pretty much run out.

Last edited by Dodger67; October 13th, 2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Copyedit
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