When the neighbor kissed a bully
ZImbabwe has been branded by the United States as a threat to its foreign policy. Ironically, the United States visited neighboring Zimbabwe and pitched its military tents facing its territory.
The foreign policy of the United States is not ordinary, but a militarized policy which poses serious risks of security and instability throughout the world. Wherever the United States goes, instability ensues.
Thoughtfully, US-led interventions against Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein were dressed and marketed in the persuasive language of “freedom” and “democratization” that has been wholeheartedly supported by many. , but later condemned by all, including some US citizens.
America’s military footprint in the Horn of Africa and its central command’s military operations in the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and North Africa have exacerbated, not ameliorated, insecurity and instability.
Zimbabwe’s sovereign neighbor, Zambia, has brought to Zimbabwe’s doorstep a tyrant who has military instruments that threaten the security not only of the whole world, but also of southern Africa, which remains the peaceful, secure and steady from Africa.
Global power competition between China and the United States is one of the main issues that can help to understand Zambia’s decision to allow the US Africa Command to open an office of power cooperation. security in this southern African country. It is a global competition for power that extends in spatial terms.
The reaction of many politicians, local and regional, was thwarted by the decision of one of SADC’s frontline states. It also comes as the country transitioned from pro-East former president Edgar Lungu to current pro-Western leader last year.
Because the United States has a militarized foreign policy that has seen more innocent civilian deaths, its landing in Zambia means it would want to strengthen its global grip, particularly in the south where the majority of states seem to be sliding steadily towards the south. ‘Is and cement economic relations with China.
In international politics, everything nation states do is aimed at advancing their interests, even when they betray the conventions that guide the strategic culture of their regional blocs.
Clearly, at a time of rapidly changing international conditions and growing political uncertainty, African countries have wavered on the altar of opportunism to please the neo-colonialists.
For all developments, interpreters must be insightful and highlight issues for the benefit of ordinary citizens for the purposes of self-enlightenment and awareness.
Above all, remember that the United States came to Zambia at a time when they are angry with the small Solomon Islands for signing a security agreement with China!
Several dynamics require a holistic approach to understanding the geopolitical and strategic challenges posed by Zambia’s actions in both SADC and Zimbabwe.
Spit on Pan-Africanism
The modern contemporary African leader who has never experienced the injustices of colonial subjugation but who has modeled his philosophy on Western orientation will rarely advance Pan-Africanism.
Pan-Africanism emphasizes technical, political, social and economic integration between states, informed by their similar colonial history. It is a by-product of the demand for a new international or regional order which has divided the third world into poles such as Africa, Asia and Latin America.
To participate effectively in this new international order, SADC must come as a whole and not in parts. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With the way Zambia has moved the pawns on the strategic board, it is high time for other countries to step in to protect the king to avoid a checkmate.
While Sub-Saharan Africa preaches Pan-African unity and development, Zambia has proven that it is necessary to turn a blind eye to the aspects and principles of Pan-Africanism in order to embrace Western antidotes to struggling economies.
Zambia also shows that in the economic development of Africa, we need either the North or the West, and certainly not the East!
Footprint of Destruction
Professor of International Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Dr Lawrence Mhandara believes that the bilateral agreement between Zambia and the United States validates the long tradition of the American state whose cornerstone is a militarized foreign policy.
The US presence in SADC, according to Dr Mhandara, is the continued pursuit of US influence amid competition from other world powers in other ways.
“The United States is trying to regain influence in a region dominated by Chinese allies. But the choice of military instruments to arbitrate this competition can have cataclysmic results. A simple trend analysis shows that all areas in which the United States has established military bases and presence are “hot”.
“Countries like Zimbabwe that have been specifically, albeit gratuitously, accused of posing an ‘extraordinary threat to American interests’ – after the deracialization of the economy and the shift to emancipatory politics – can hardly conceive that the military presence American in his backyard is benign.
“The militarization of US foreign policy is the bedrock of its superpower status, but an agonizing and tragic reality with the potential to deliver complex security risks and instability in southern Africa. SADC, indeed Africa, is likely to be plagued by a host of security challenges as great power competition for influence and control intensifies,” Dr Mhandara said.
Target Zimbabwe, again!
If the use of sanctions fails, the United States is less reluctant to push its military into action to achieve its vital and fundamental interests.
While the threat from the US Africa Command office in Zambia cannot be directly linked to Zimbabwe, the same threat should not be dismissed as wishful thinking.
Sanctions have been synonymous to describe US-Zimbabwean relations for the past two decades. When the United States imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001, the next step was to invade Zimbabwe militarily, which was violently opposed and stopped by South Africa.
It is the culture of the United States to use sanctions first to weaken a country’s economy before it invades that sovereign. International influence can be achieved through economic, diplomatic, military and informational methods, and here military means are used.
In this case, the United States makes a rational decision to use its military capabilities to impose itself in southern Africa, targeting Zimbabwe in particular, while broadening its approach to international anchoring and security cooperation.
“US military operations have engineered and created new insecurities than existed before, both traditional and non-traditional threats. It is only a matter of ‘when’ and ‘if’ Southern Africa begins to experience a host of complicated insecurities that can range from proxy conflicts and hybrid threats that normally accompany great power rivalries,” added Dr Mhandara.
From a geopolitical structure of the current unipolar global system that is evolving towards multilateralism, the expansion of American politics and the military is turning into a sad reality following the current Russian special military operation in Ukraine, an ally the United States.
Whatever its posture, the military base of the United States in any region, in the south, in the east, in North Africa, in Asia or elsewhere, is not only intimidating, but creates anxiety among nations given the rich history of American interventionism and its intrusive policies.
It is peace, security and stability that SADC should now work hard to protect, as reconnaissance of the region by the United States while stationed in Zambia has already begun.
Checkmate of China?
It can be safely interpreted that Zambia’s invitation of American muscle is a general show of force posturing that the Hakainde Hichilema administration is planning in an attempt to outdo the Chinese investments made under President Lungu.
Some African countries have been caught up in the US-launched trade war with China, not based on facts, but on insensitivity to the Chinese economic model.
In this war, China has been portrayed as the aggressor, a narrative that some countries have also bought into. The United States is now surfing on China’s negativity to advance its militarized foreign policy in the SADC region.
What we are witnessing in Zambia is a continued pursuit of US influence amid competition from other world powers by other means. But history has indelible evidence showing a superpower propensity to implement foreign policy through coercive instruments in a sequenced fashion.
America’s move is likely to elicit in-kind responses from other world powers eager to counter unwanted influence.