According to Rick Rozoff, James Jones is now the first career military officer to hold the post as head of the National Security Council since retired general Colin Powell did so in the second Reagan administration and is the first former NATO Supreme Allied Commander to do so. Jones was also Commander, United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) in the first Bush term and is part of the Obama administration’s foreign policy triumvirate – National Security Advisor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defence – inherited from the preceding administration.
Defense Secretary is Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State. While wearing the two hats of SACEUR and COMUSEUCOM, Jones was the major architect of what in October 2008 was officially launched as the first new US military command in over half-a-century, Africa Command (AFRICOM), whose chartered area of operation includes fifty three nations. In February 2006 Jones said the Pentagon sought to acquire access to two kinds of bases in Senegal, Ghana, Mali and Kenya and other African countries.
In January 2002 the African Oil Policy Initiative Group recommended that African oil be treated as a priority for the national security of the US after 9/11, that the US government declares the Gulf of Guinea an “area of vital interest” and that it set up a sub-command structure for US forces in the region. In September 2002, the then US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, put forward a proposal to establish a NATO Rapid Response Force (NRF) which was approved by the defence ministers of NATO in Brussels in June 2003 and inaugurated in October 2003.
As commander Jones was quoted by Agence France-Press of November 30, 2008 as having said that as commander of NATO, “I worried early in the mornings about how to protect energy facilities and supply chain routes as far away as Africa, the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea”. Jones has said he sees a potential role for the alliance in protecting key shipping lanes such as those around the Black Sea and oil supply routes from Africa to Europe. Before stepping down as both European Command and NATO commander, Jones, addressing US business leaders said: “Officials at US European Command spent between 65 to 70 percent of their time on African issues.
Jones said establishing such a group [military task force in West Africa] could also send a message to US companies ‘that investing in many African countries is a good idea’. This as you can see is done on behalf of multi-national corporations and in typical white supremacist fashion they don’t even think about the owners of that oil. Africans must defend their resources and stop selling drugs, boot-legging, gangsterism, pimping, committing fraud, and fighting stupid religious wars.
By Sam Ditshego