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Russia Is Building Its Military Influence In Africa, Challenging U.S. And French Dominance

In addition to promoting regional cooperation and exploring relations with external powers, Russia’s neighbors should use their ties to NATO, the EU, and the mechanisms of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to at least draw attention to disturbing changes in Russian policy. Russia continues to assert its right to take and adopt positions different from those of the United States. It is further developing its military relations with Iran and others. One of the most difficult questions is the extent to which the United States should take the lead in defining and promoting new concepts of order, including a commitment to its economic and military power to support the norms of the international system and the development of trends that we identified as predominant at the beginning of the twenty-first century and that are emerging today and coexist with the old structures and agendas of nation states and national governments.

With the support of African countries, the largest voting bloc at the United Nations, Russia cultivates allies with whom it can challenge the current security order dominated by the United States and the Euro-Atlantic. Whether Russia succeeds in Africa, whatever it wants, will depend on the response of Africa’s traditional allies, particularly the United States, to its deepening interests on the continent.

Russia is challenging the status quo in Africa and using uncertainty and diplomatic disputes with Western powers as a mechanism to expand its presence on the continent. The Director of the International Crisis Group Africa program, Comfort Ero, said the US military’s creeping buildup on the continent has been accompanied by mixed messages accusing US and African governments of lack of transparency. It is simplistic to make his Russian-organized cat jamboree look like a fashionable trend to organise and institutionalize Africa summits of countries like Japan, China, India, Japan, France, and the United States.

The United States is likely to gradually disband its direct military presence in trouble areas of uncertainty but will continue to seek SOFA agreements in countries of strategic importance, said Pangea, adding that it would be reluctant to withdraw due to the Chinese and Russian presence. Russia has supplied strategic weapons and potential defenses against Egyptian attacks in Germany and has supported government forces in Tigray.

Less than a month later, Russia signed an agreement with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to supply military equipment, training and technology to the Nigerian armed forces. Russia has become Africa’s largest arms supplier in recent years, accounting for 35% of all arms exports to the continent, followed by China (17%), the United States (9.6%) and France (6.9%). Of particular importance to the Putin government is the military record of the country and its numerous conquests.

These elements of the tried-and-tested foreign-policy toolkit were forgotten in the post-Soviet era, when Russia was grappling with a series of domestic crises, but they are now back in the toolbox, taking over the country’s foreign policy and national-security establishment, while Moscow returns to the world stage as a more assertive player. At first glance, Russia’s attempt to create a network of relationships and influence projects in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and other parts of the world seems to be a relatively new element of Russia’s foreign policy. It took World War II to generate enough political forces to usher in a revolutionary new approach to intergovernmental relations.

The Congress of Vienna redrew Europe’s borders and ushered in a period of relative peace. Despite these differences, Europe’s second great war in a generation has led to a profound shift in political thinking about how states should conduct their relations, at least in Western Europe.

The Great War (1914-18) destroyed empires, created numerous new nation states, averted independence movements in European colonies, forced the United States to become a global power and led to Soviet communism and the rise of Hitler. These wars had profound consequences for the history of the world including the spread of nationalism and liberalism, the rise of Great Britain as a world economic power and naval power, the emergence of independence movements throughout Latin America, the subsequent decline of Spanish and Portuguese empires, the fundamental reclassification of German and Italian territories into large states and the introduction of new methods of warfare and civil law. There were also real wars, sometimes called “proxy wars,” because they were fought between Soviet allies and the USSR itself, competition for influence in the Third World and an arms race between superpowers.

The United States government began a hunger aid program in the early 1920s with the Soviet Union. American businessmen developed trade relations during the New Economic Policy Period (1921-29), but the two countries did not establish diplomatic relations until 1933. New tensions remained between them, but the dramatic democratic changes of 1989-1991 that led to the collapse of the communist system in recent years paved the way for an unprecedented new friendship between the United States and other new nations in the USSR.

According to Primakov, Russia is no longer following the lead of Western powers such as the United States, but is positioning itself as an independent power center on the world stage, contributing to the development of a multipolar world as an alternative to the US-led unipolar order. The United States entered the First World War late in 1917, but emerged stronger than most other nations because it did not suffer from the bloodletting and wasted industrial efforts of the great European nations. But the American government was hostile to the Soviet leaders who took over Russia after World War I and resisted state-backed communism.

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