donderdag 14 november 2013

Flintlock 2013

wheellock mechanism, predecessor of flintlock
Flintlock is an annual contraterrorism operation and exercise  in Northwest Africa with Dutch participation. This blog serves as a collection of media reports writing about Flintlock. (The name comes from a firearm-ignition mechanism). GlobalSecurity on the history of Flintlock.

Special Operations Forces Field Training Exercises in Africa, November 6, 2013


African Journalists Interview Top U.S. Officials
m October 24, 2013 

MS. JENSEN: Great. Niger is on the forefront of counterterrorism primarily because of its strategic location. In February, Niger will host Flintlock 2014. How we can we ensure that this exercise is a success and supports the role of Nigerians leading the effort? 

GENERAL RODRIGUEZ: Well, as you said, the Nigerians are at a strategic location and are part of the partnership and the solution to the challenges of what is happening in Libya and the movement of the arms, ammunition, explosives, and personnel across Northwest Africa. So we are working with our partner nation, and the best thing that we can do, I think, is during the Flintlock exercise or anything else is help them where they need it most. So we are listening to the leaders to ensure that what we help provide them, and the exercise and the training we provide them, is what they most need to help support their security on that northern region.


Africom Go Home!
, June 6, 2013, Pambazuka

The African continent has been thoroughly decimated by over three decades of structural adjustment, which has downsized the state and resulted in technocrats running our governments. It has also created a fictitious sense of democracy, which has depoliticized our populations and left our countries victims of a particularly vicious virus of dependency. In military terms, Africa remains fragmented and vulnerable in the face of fundamental challenges, such as the foreign occupation of the Congo, the Ivory Coast, Libya and Mali. At the same time, the possibility of playing the instability card looms menacingly over the Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and the Central African Republic as well as Algeria.

Here the UN is instrumentalized, paving the way for the intervention of NATO forces. The apparent unity of militarized African countries in these peacekeeping missions is a reflection of imperialism. For example, thirty-six countries on the continent sent their 'next generation of leaders in the security sector' (ACSS) to receive training in Washington DC. Those high-ranking officers who did so were included under the umbrella of operational and military capacity building within AFRICOM's Theater Security Cooperation Programs (TSCP). The Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program rounds out these infantry training projects and has made inroads into the delivery of multilateral training to UN peacekeepers. Over the last decade, a growing number of African armies have participated in the annual FLINTLOCK antiterrorist maneuvers held in North and West Africa. Then there is the AFRICA ENDEAVOR, which bills itself as an opportunity to develop skills in the area of intelligence communication. CUTLASS EXPRESS refers to a series of maritime strategies designed to control the flow of all traffic around East Africa and the Indian Ocean.


What Mali Says About U.S. Strategy, January 17, 2013 NYT

The U.S. has conducted a counterterrorism and security forces training regimen through the Pan Sahel Initiative, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership and Operation Flintlock with Mali for the past 10 years and despite that effort, intelligence and special forces officials were taken by surprise in July 2012 when officers it had trained unseated a democratically elected president.