Why Ghana?


Accra, Ghana:

Thousands of protesters marched in the streets of Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday to protest a deal between the Trump administration and Ghana’s government that would expand military cooperation.

What deal?

The deal would have the U.S. invest $20 million into Ghana’s military and greatly expand U.S. soldiers’ authority on Ghanaian soil.

U.S. troops would be given access to the country’s radio frequencies and one airport runway, as well as have immunity and receive tax exemptions for military equipment imports, according to the Times.

Some of the provisions, like legal immunity, would be reciprocal for Ghanaian troops attending military training abroad in the U.S., embassy officials told the Times.

The price tag is the least offensive part of this, from an American perspective. Compared to the size of the slow-moving train wreck that is the federal budget, $20 million is a rounding error.

The array of legal privileges is a problem. I know the rule of law is a joke, but I’ve been steeped in its propaganda for enough years to know what principles it’s supposed to embody, and seeing those principles violated in the name of inter-governmental deal-making offends me.

The deal’s mere existence offends me more, though, because I can’t think of a single legitimate reason for the US to be ramping up its military presence in Ghana.

“But Ray,” someone might point out, “Ghana has oil! And it’s embarrassing for the U.S. Africa Command to be based in Germany!” Well, I can live with AFRICOM’s embarrassment indefinitely, and I said “legitimate reason,” which doesn’t include garrisoning every oil-producing country on Earth.

Why are “we” there, again?

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