You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 04 03Article 639898

Opinions of Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Columnist: Askia Hanson

The Ghana-US Military Agreement is a future nightmare for Ghana

What have we done?

Let’s be honest, Ghana has had a long-standing relationship with the United States; whether it was the Atlantic slave trade that saw many Ghanaians enslaved by European slave traders, and forcibly shipped into the “New World” to slave in horrible conditions; whether it be with tens of thousands of Ghanaians coming to America on visas, and staying to build a life and, contribute to American society and prosperity throughout the US; with the US military training Ghanaian troops in modern day warfare and selling us some of their used military equipment; or secretly using Ghana for covert operations into other West African nations, and-so-on-and-so-on.

Ghana and the United States has had a long-standing history that can be traced back for centuries. I myself am a product of the long-standing Ghana-US connection; being half-black American, and half Ghanaian.

However, this does not underscore my disgust at the current Ghana-US military agreement that has been passed by parliament which has the potential great risk of sending Ghana a decade or two, and causing great threat to our national security; economic growth; sovereignty, and sociological implications.

So, it should be of no surprise to us, that secretly, our Ghanaian government (the Mahama administration) has been in secret talks with the US Government (the Obama administration) since 2015, to build and operate US Military bases and facilities on our sovereign land.

And if that wasn’t enough insult, with the 2016 election of Donald Trump (Liar-In-Chief), our Ghanaian government saw it necessary to seal-the-deal with a racist and highly dysfunctional Trump administration who calls Africa a “shithole”, and believes we do not belong in America.

I have had a chance to and examine the Ghana-US military document, and chale let me tell you; my blood boils. Throughout the document, it does not take a person with a degree to see Ghana has been duped like a tourist at the market.

In the Preamble section of said document; there is a lengthy description how this agreement is to bring enhanced security cooperation between Ghana, and the United States; therefore, helping each other bring about a “share commitment to peace, stability, and common approaches to addressing regional defense and security” (page 1). This section seems straight forward enough; who can disagree with working with other nations to create a secure, and stable world right, especially in Africa. Well from here, the rest of the agreement reads like a Stephen King novel.

In Article 1, located in the ‘Definition’ section; definitions of US military personnel, and US civilian employees are straight forward; Military personnel- means a member of the US Armed Forces, and, Civilian- is someone who is employed by the US Department of Defense (DoD).

However, definition number three is what truly alarms- “United States contractor” (or by their original name; Mercenaries) is specified as a person or entity that supplies goods (which can be toilet paper or food), or services (ranging anywhere from Verizon phone services to American newspapers).

US Contractors are under contract by the United States Armed Forces, or subcontracted by the DoD. This basically means, they provide extra help to US armed forces, that otherwise the US Government would have to fill themselves, but this would mean more man-power they do not have.

However, now this is very important to understand, many of these US “contractors” (Mercenaries or Guns-for-hire), are Private Military Company (PMC) which specializes in providing armed combat, security services, and counter-intelligence to private corporations, and governments. While commonly referred to as security contractors, or private military contractors; they also fall under the title US contractor as well.

In a 2013 article by Arjun Sethi of newspaper organization-The Guardian; Arjun opinion piece, “Military contracting: our new era of corporate mercenaries”, he talks about how private military contracting is heavily relied upon by the United States, and how PMC’s are not regulated by any government, and are free to commit crimes and not answer for them; such were the cases in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib prison atrocities, or the Nisour square massacre which killed 17 innocent civilians. No Us contractor has been prosecuted for any crime committed, and during this article in 2013, PMC’s made an upward of $100 Billion a year.

In another article in 2016 by Sean McFate of The Atlantic; in his article “America’s Addiction to Mercenaries”, the author explains that he himself, worked as a military contractor or mercenary. The author explains during his time Africa, he was responsible for many tasks; helping to stop a massacre in Burundi, raising an army in Liberia, having weapons shipped from eastern Europe to Africa, and involved in shaping various difficult environments based on assignments. Again, the author-Sean McFate, was not CIA, but a US private contractor; the same type of “contractors” the ‘Ghana-US Military Agreement’ wants to bring into Ghana.

While the United States military has been conducting covert, and joint operations in Africa for years; providing military training to African nations, especially Ghana, for decades without much garnered from Africans and the world. This Ghana-US agreement will bring a significant and noticeable presence of US Military forces, and Private Military contractors on our land, and disrupting our way of life.

Disrupting our way of life? How so? Well first off, let’s be real, America seems to attract terrorism-like flies to honey. And if they are allowed to create a more visible presence in Ghana; we will surely attract terrorism to our door step. While Ghana in no way is a utopia, it is still maybe one of the few stable African countries in the whole continent of Africa, and one of the few countries not experiencing drone strikes; terrorist attacks; government coups; collapsing economy; bloody civil war; or massive famine.

While we have our tribal, and occasionally religious difference, it will be nothing once the US Armed Forces and US Contractors are allowed to set up shop. In their “war on terrorism” (which any war America has; internally or externally, non-white people get the bad end of the stick: Iraq/Afghanistan, Somalia, War on Drugs, War on Poverty, War on Terror, War on Crime, etc.), they will undoubtedly create an unnecessary war on the Muslim population in Ghana.

They will create a great division and mistrust the Muslims and Christians (as well as other religious minorities) that will reverberate throughout Ghanaian society for years to come.

Mosques all around Ghana will be under constant surveillance by the US military and its contractors; Ghana Muslims will be met with constant suspicion by the DoD and its sub-contractors, which in turn will rub off on the Ghanaian police and military. Muslims coming in and out of Ghana will be under much scrutiny at the airport. And Allah forbid there is an explosion from a terrorist attack, or exploding gas tank; the US forces will be out on the streets, and at the mosques and neighborhoods, harassing Muslims on anything they deem “suspicious”.

Now I know our Ghana MPs, and past and current presidents may have only saw American dollar signs when signing this agreement, and most likely didn’t ask any serious questions. But the open, and armed presence of us military forces in Ghana will bring nothing but trouble, and national security risks to Ghana in the long run. The “American” way of doing things is very deceptive and destructive; the US military, and US contractors ‘Cowboy’ style of handling things has been a disastrous to just about every 2nd and 3rd world country they have stepped foot in.

They have brought destruction where there was peace; division where there was unity; terrorism where there wasn’t any. Ghana will be the loosing partner in this unequal relationship. We will be eventually pushed around by a much more well equipped, well informed, and agenda seeking partner that has its eye on its own interests (more political control, and access natural resources).

And all for what? $20 Million a year to supposedly build up our military? Huh, as reported by tradingeconomics.com, “Military Expenditure in Ghana decreased to 146.20 USD Million (United States Dollars) in 2016 from 190.50 USD Million in 2015. Military Expenditure in Ghana averaged 69.19 USD Million from 1958 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 241.60 USD Million in 2012 and a record low of 8.30 USD Million in 1983”.

So, we can agree that $20 Million (over 88 Million Cedi) isn’t enough for Ghana large military spending. Ghana has already received much military training with the United States over the decades, and training in counter-terrorism tactics doesn’t require or excuse a large military and mercenary presence in Ghana. And it definitely isn’t to boost our growing economy, because throughout the document, it states that US military and its US Contractors will not pay any type of taxes, and will use our airwaves for free! So please tell me, what is Ghana getting from this deal?

This article isn’t meant to express some type ‘Anti-American’ sentiment (although the FBI may still see it this way), because while I am an American (African-American to be exact) as well; who has had, and still have family and friends in the US armed forces. I am also a Ghanaian that is very protective, and concerned for the well-being of my beloved Ghana, first and foremost. And if I see something that is completely wrong, or that is not in the best interest of Ghana, and my people; then like all Ghanaians (whether home or abroad) it is by duty to stand up speak for Ghana when most of our leaders have failed to so.

Having the US Military and US Military contractors (American-guns-for-hire) will be a total, and complete nightmare for us. When the terrorists come knocking at our door, America will do what it does best; wreak havoc, and proceed to take out the enemy by nearly any means, even if it means collateral damage (death of innocent civilians, destroyed infrastructure, curtailing of freedom of speech and so forth), large scale terrorism will exist, where there wasn’t any before. US forces, and terrorists of all kind; will duke-it-out on a massive scale; catching innocent Ghanaians in the cross-fire.

And with the Trump administration behind the wheel of ‘American power’, they will not hesitate to level Ghana, just swat a fly. The peaceful, and stable nation of Ghana does not need this foreseeable nightmare. Ghanaians already have to contend with the Chinese in our country wanting suck up our natural resources, among other issues; now we will have America, run by a racist, doing the same thing-if not worse. Hasn’t Ghana had enough of COLONIZERS for one lifetime? Based on the actions of our government, it seems not.