Romancing the Stone throwers

I am always amazed domestically as well as internationally at how much Afrikans believe militaries can accomplish. Certainly Afrika would do well to have a strong and vibrant continental armed force that can be strategically applied to defend its people and interests, but for most Afrikans (while the bloodshed is engineered perhaps by others) the actual occurrences are Afrikan people attacking themselves. In the face of that empirical reality, I think the case for militarism as a tool for or as evidence of collective development is overstated. Afrikan states, several of them, have decent militaries. Not rivaling the Chinese or the Western armies, but domestically competitive. Most of these armies are not arrayed or even constituted to fight Afrika’s external enemies, but to serve as armor bearers for these Afrikan leaders who maintain the neocolonial structures. So if you were to place say a US military in the middle of Afrika and you have not dealt with the mentality of the people towards themselves, you might unleash bloodshed on a scale unimaginable. That was true here. In the 1960s the rhetoric which sounded good was that Afrikan people needed more guns to attack white supremacy organizations and police brutality. Now we are heavily armed AND slaughtering each other. So while having a developed military force is symbolically useful as an extension of a stable governmental authority and rightfully a source of protection for the people, it can only be so if the superstructure is built. Afrikan states and so-called revolutionaries overemphasize militarism and vigilantism, when those are not real threats to the global system of Eurocentric control. The militaries often pointed to, the Chinese and the US, are known in the military literature to have some critical deficiencies so even romancing them is a bit of the neocolonial “gaze” Afrikans get into where we think simply having what others have is a kind of equality. It us truly having and claiming that which is ours and molding it for our cultural purposes that is victory. Resurrection, not emulation.

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