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Opinions of Thursday, 22 March 2018

Columnist: Nii-Kwashie

Ghana-US military agreement

I am gravely concerned about the judgment of the Minister of Defense of Ghana and the cabinet of the current Ghana government for negotiating, if there was one, accepting and proposing the said Ghana-US Military Partnership agreement to Ghana's parliament for ratification. What is further disconcerting is that the Defense Minister is quoted as saying that Ghana can not get out the agreement. I can't say I know Ghana's constitution thoroughly but just like the US, an agreement is taken to Parliament/Congress for ratification/approval before it becomes binding on the nation/country.

Until now I thought this administration was one of the smartest Ghana has come up with; under the leadership of the trio: A. Addo, Bawumia, and K. Ofori Atta. There are also some quality and sincere current and ex-military officers on the team I greatly respect. Is the administration under some threat from the US government? Based on statements I have read on Ghanaweb in defense of this agreement, I'm not sure the Ministers of Defense and Interior know their stuff, listened to experts or are just being deceitful. I don't mean to be insulting or condescending.

I was an officer in the Ghana Armed Forces, currently working in the US for the US Federal Government, and daring to comment on this issue. Whatever they want to call it doesn't matter but giving another country free and unfettered access to one's country, facilities, resources and air spectrum, free to boot, is tantamount to giving up part of a country's independence. It is a bigger insult to say that Ghana gets $20M for surrendering certain parts of its land and its authority to another country. Will the US allow another country such latitude and free reign? The US has permanent interests. It has no permanent friends... America First! There's nothing wrong with that. That is what every government should do for its people. Is that the case in this agreement? Aren't there competent international lawyers and diplomats in Ghana? I know there are. Has Ghana got a foreign policy agenda that transcends political parties?

Ghana should evaluate the implications and consequences, long-term, of getting into such arrangements/agreements. Ghana can contribute constructively to the fight against terror without hardcoding/alignment to one power. What if Chinese or the Russians come next door to seek the same arrangements/agreement? Is Ghana preparing the region/grounds for proxy wars?

I wish to advise the current government and future ones not to make this fatal mistake.