The reason for the rise of a resurgent and powerful Boko Haram in Nigeria , tuareg rebels in Mali, AQUIM and al-Qaeda in the Sahel, ISIS in Libya, general break down of law and order in North Africa etc can all be traced to one singular dynamic, the French inspired NATO bombardment of Libya to destroy the Gaddafi regime. They basically had murdered Gadaffi, the central authority that basically held various sects of the country together. The African Union was totally powerless to stop this attack.
NATO watched as rebels looted Gaddafi’s vast armoury. The consequence nd ripple effect continues till this day. Never since the days of colonialism have Africa witnessed this level of carnage and anarchy. But there is a precedence.
In Iraq, the powers that be fabricated a lie, under the guise of WMD and invaded Iraq. They destroyed 20 years of development in two weeks, and like Libya, captured and killed Saddam Hussein, the strong man who held all of Iraq, Sunni and Shiite under a central authority. The ripple effect continues in the Middle East till this day. Never have the Middle East witnessed so much turmoil and loss of life. Unilateral and unauthorized military actions like this will not be taken lightly in Asia or South America, they will have to contend with China or North Korea or India.
In Africa’s case the largest and most powerful countries, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria were pretty much powerless to stop the violation of an African Union member country – Libya.
As China displaces the United States and Europe in trade and influence in Africa, the West is trying to contain China’s influence via military might. As China builds railwayd%systems, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, the United States and France are busy building drone bases, military bases and creating military organizations amongst AU member countries in the Sahel and West Africa. To justify $100 million drone bases in far away places most Americans have never heard of, they covertly fund and support destabilizing forces. The ensuing carnage then requires western intervention.
But what if Africa had the military wherewithal to directly challenge western military adventurism in an AU member states? It needn’t be from all 52 AU member states, but a unified military command drawn from the four regional powers in Africa : Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria and Ethiopia, with a joint operations center in Ethiopia or Egypt, similar to the Saudi inspired Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC).
This unified military alliance will be one of the worlds largest and most powerful military alliance, second only to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – NATO. But there will inevitably be challenges, chief of which will be how to deal with linguistic and cultural differences that span far and wide, but that is not unprecedented.
But a good army doesn’t need to be mono-cultural and mono-lingual. So let’s address the elephant in the room.
Egypt, together with Algeria and to a lesser extent South Africa, maintains the only blue water navy in Africa. An African Union army would logically end up relying a lot on these three countries for logistic, because they are the only one that’s already there. One thing that sets all three countries apart from the rest of the continent is that they all to perate submarines.
On land the African Union Army should require each member states to provide a number (depending on size) of fully formed and operational combat units, of which only the commanding officer would be required to speak fluent English.lMeanwhile, the rank and file should be composed of multicultural regiments, which would operate in a more rigid manner and have the nice side effect of fostering inter-member relationships in the Union.
On land Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia and South Africa would lead with a tier two of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan. The reason for this is simple, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt dominate Africa’s defence budget. Between the three nations, they spend as much as the rest of Africa combined. They also have much more military experience than other African nation states, which can be drawn upon for and used in training. Ethiopia, Algeria, Kenya and Uganda are the next largest spenders.
South Africa is also home to the largest defence contractor in Africa with Denel Systems. Nigeria also has a domestic arms industry in its infancy and already produces drones and patrol vessels. So, the leadership in R&D will be South Africa, Nigeria, perhaps Egypt too, as well as large proportions of the research and manufacturing being done there as well. But other countries will also play their part!
Nigeria will be excellent at carrying out maritime patrols in the Atlantic, as it already does. This is an area Nigeria can lead and its expertise would be shared across the rest of Africa. An African Union army will be a very formidable force, almost as formidable as the Britannia or France. A unified African Army would have a budget in excess of $60 billion USD. That’s more than the UK and France combined and close Russia’s.
This hypothetical army would be drawn from a total population in excess of 1.1 BILLION people, with 700,000 being active troops and 1.1 million being in reserve. This would make the Unified African Defence Force one of the largest militaries in the world, in terms of personnel.
Its ground forces would be numerous, with nearly 7,000 tanks, 38,000 AFV’s, over 2,300 self-propelled guns, nearly 3,500 towed artillery, and over 400 multiple launch rocket systems. With the tanks alone, we’d see a mix of the M1 Abram , T-72M, Vickers Mk 3 Eagle, T-55 and the AMX-30.