Article written

  • on 26.09.2014
  • at 12:30 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Demilitarizing epidemic diseases in Africa 0

President Obama has responded to the Ebola crisis in Africa by sending 3,000 military personnel to the affected region. The real beneficiary of this militarised messianism is, in fact, the military-industrial complex back in the US.

The international system has long become inured to the relentless hiccup of African insecurity malaise. Major clichés and few strong allegories conjure up the spasms of this ongoing malaise to the point of oversimplifying the field of African security. A cascade of crises encapsulated by patterns of sociopolitical ‘fragility’, ‘failure’, and ‘vulnerabilities’ has been plying the continent’s security environment with regards to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the Ebola outbreak in West and Central Africa, as well as the hydra of terrorism and bout of violent conflicts. To be sure, the continent as a surrogate ideological battleground between Western democracies and a soviet-centric security dilemma has been put to rest. Noticeably today, a post 9-11 terror-centric security messianism has been perking up on Washington’s foreign policy chariot wheels in Africa. This security messianism is characterized by an insulated minimalist engagement riding on a missionary rhetorical commitment to African security.

Not surprisingly, the continent is broadly painted under a missionary diplomatic utopia that promises to terminate the ills of Africa. Putting aside some headier geopolitical matters, President Bush in July 2005, with an evangelical tone, made the confession that the U.S. ‘seek[s] progress in Africa because conscience demands it.’ Binding tightly moral imperatives with security concerns, Bush exited the White House cementing his signature legacy as the AIDS president. He left behind a strong savoury trademark of his long-standing gig to defeating the tides of malaria and AIDS on the continent. By the time he left the world stage, President Bush had increased aid to the continent by more than 640 percent. In humanitarian aid, the continent was the beneficiary of more than $5 billion a year. The $46 billion President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was instrumental for at least 2 million people who received antiretroviral drugs.

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By Narcisse Jean Alcide NanaPambazuka News

Photo credit: Flickr/US Army Africa

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