US Trained Mali Rebels, Commander Visited US

General Ham, AFRICOM
General Ham, AFRICOM

General Ham, New AFRICOM Commander Cites Mali Failure


By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor


This week, General Ham admitted US complicity in training the rebel groups in Mali.  He also suggested changes which would improve America’s policy making skills and institute prohibitions on wild military adventurism.  He didn’t call it that but this is what he meant.

There are several African Studies centers in the US.  One at Michigan State University, where I was an active participant for some years, and the other at Howard University.

I traveled to the region last year for security consultations and have exchanged views with leaders of several nations within the region along with private embedded “capabilities” and “atmospherics.”

Though Ham represents a serious upgrade in talent and analysis, he also shows signs of being chained to Bush era rhetoric and will find it a challenge to separate himself completely from the egregious sins of the past.

The mission of both is to assure that American efforts in Africa are centered on broad understandings of political and social reality, not simple greed for resources or short term political goals.

During the Bush administration, all rationality was abandoned in US policy toward Africa.

While at the Ralph Bunche Center, General Ham stated:

“We have had a US training effort with the Malian armed forces for some years. Some of that has occurred in Mali and some of that was Malian officers coming to the US for training including Captain Amadou Sanogo, who led the military coup which overthrew the constitutionally-elected government.

This is worrisome for us. So we looked at that and we asked ourselves: first, did we miss the signs this was happening? And was there anything we did in our training that could have been done differently and have caused a different outcome?”

We probably didn’t spend the requisite time focusing on values, ethics and military ethos.

When you put on the uniform of your nation, then you accept the responsibility to defend and protect that nation, to abide by the legitimate civilian authority that has been established.”

Ham’s follow up statements, however, support the wider US involvement in the region, particularly those that have led to the establishment of drone bases in Niger.

What is not addressed is the lack of human intelligence resources within Africa, within the range of America’s drones, that would prevent the large scale “collateral damage” nightmares that have been evidence in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

Though the US has improved intelligence resources “on the ground” throughout the region, little is being done as far as policy analysis, trading the broad War on Terror fiasco for the current “feeding frenzy” several nations are engaging in, a war for Africa’s natural resources.

Ham goes further, sticking to “policy” but missing some real lessons:

“First is the restoration of the constitutional government in Bamako as a necessary precondition for a satisfactory solution. Second is addressing the concerns of a largely disaffected population in the northern portion of the country. Third is the existence in northern Mali, now of al-Qaeda and other terrorist and extremist organizations that undermine the rule of law. They have eliminated the rule of law – that has to be dealt with.”

 Territorial integrity of Mali is non-negotiable. There can be no discussion of a separatist state or something similar. Realistically, we would all like to see the elimination of al-Qaeda and other terrorist and insurgent groups from northern Mali. Probably the best you can get is containment and disruption, so that al-Qaeda is no longer able to control territory there as they do today.

We see this clearly from the US government side, in fact and in perception, as an African-led endeavor done at the request of the Malian government and I think that’s well under way now.”

In the end, US policy in this region has been one of reaction after the fact, far too subject to our dependence on French resources.  With the factions within the French government and military either influenced by commercial or expansionist political goals, an American policy in support, even with African Union troops “on the ground,” is still unlikely to bring about an outcome General Ham favors.

Viewing Mali as a “domino” in a widespread and systematic destabilization effort aimed to create a generation of warfare is more realistic.




  1. when a commanding officer orders you to commit atrocities/war crimes the proper response is to point your rifles at him and say, ” sir, you’re under arrest..”

  2. Great article Mr. Duff,
    However… a slight correction would be nice..{The mission of both is to assure that American efforts in Africa} Few is ANY American’s want any action is Africa or in the world in general. It would had been better to say.. [ The mission of both is to assure that U.S. Government’s efforts in Africa ] These are Banking Wars!

    As more countries like Germany demand access to their Stolen Gold from France and the Non-Federal [Federal Reserve] we’ll all see more Resource War’s done on behalf of the Bank’s who continue with zero prosecution and zero indictment’s too. Isn’t it just odd that Mali is Africa’s 3rd largest producer of GOLD of which France and US Fed told Germany that it may take 7 years to return Germany’s Gold and that is the time frame that France gave at first to wrap up it’s operations in Mali.

    This is of course no different the Israel demanding Red Lines of American Soldiers Blood while their IDF forces sit safely at home in Israel. I have yet to see where in Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan where even [ONE] Israeli’ soldier was killed side by side with the thousands of American boys that have gave it their all.

    Like Libya, the first one into Libya was the… IMF World Bank. Of course to secure the 300 Billion in new Contracts made with the puppet regime. If one looks at all that was bombed by NATO and US Missiles you’ll not that hardly a thing has been rebuilt. Universities, Water (GMR) TV-Radio stations and so on. Same in Iraq. Where Sewage still runs down the streets.

    Yet we can find where Halliburton and others raked Billions and also their cost+ programs. What did a Humvee cost? $250,000. Bankers cause wars. Saddam went to the Euro and DEAD! Gaddafi was going to Gold Dinar and DEAD! and what happened to Libya’s 144 Tons of GOLD? Yet France and America can’t find Germany’s Gold? It is all a Hoax. A Banking Hoax.

    • “Isn’t it just odd that Mali is Africa’s 3rd largest producer of GOLD of which France and US Fed told Germany that it may take 7 years to return Germany’s Gold and that is the time frame that France gave at first to wrap up it’s operations in Mali.”

      Thank you for this information.

    • Agree 100% A war is always the cover story for a resource, narcotics, power reconfiguration, trafficking, whatever, in this case gold. I am so sick and tired of these criminally insane degenerates telling us all what to do.

      They live on some kind of nonstop buzz or high. They never work, never have to account for anything, never give straight answers, believe their own lies, can’t produce verifiable personal records, and don’t see why they should, never pay fines, never do time, just give the order and get what they want from us even though we know they live on a different plane of reality. As in off the wall. They’re like monkeys on crack pounding on the control boards and hitting all the switches and pulling all the levers.

      I really don’t understand how this can continue much longer. Something will give sooner or later.

    • I said in ’01 that it would be better in the long run if Bush’s foreign policy failed…and eventually it did..It would be better if Russia and China, Brazil, Venezuala, Iran and Syria and the other NAM countries just began to put their collective foot down..and soon.

    • Include Pakistan in that “axis of resistance” to the Anglo/”American”/Zionist axis…I just hope we’re around after WW III..

    • You can google back and see that in 2001, The Taliban had all but eradicated the Opium fields of Afghanistan. They (Taliban) were burning these left and right.

      Then the YouTube videos of after the US invasion of Afghanistan where Powell refused to give the White Paper to the Taliban showing Bin Laden’s connection. Remember Powell’s illustration of how long that LIST was.. Yet it wasn’t released. Bush bombed the hell out of them instead.

      Note: Opium production today is at its highest ever. This is way the Pak/Highway was so important. Imagine the US apologizing for something to get the Pak/Highway open? Today the modern version of the (British Heroin Wars) is ON! Russian’s are Hooked to the US Product where US Soldiers not only supply Seed and Fertilizer but Security and Grow it too.

      There are many documentary’s of the Afghan’ people who lay in a coma tweaked out on this US product. They only know a War is going on when the US bombs their children while they collect firewood. Of which the CIA (Cocaine Import Agency) has admitted that from 5,000 ft. it is impossible to get a real ID on who they target. Like Obama said too, “If they are killed it is probably because they are up to no good.”

      However like Iraq where US Soldiers REFUSED to kill boys just because they were of Military Ages… It is now OFFICIALLY a U.S. Policy to not only bomb all Males but also…. CHILDREN too. Yes, a Small 7-8 year old (may have) been enlisted by the Taliban to plant IED’s in the Dirt.

      You may recall the many videos of insurgents blowing themselves up while trying to plant an IED. How a 7-8 year old can achieve that is beyond reasoning from any demolitions schooling that Children may take?

      Videos from Russia show a society in collapse. Which is what the US want’s. This is why Russia has KICKED OUT firms like USaid and other Spy Agencies. They who promote Western Democracy in Russia. Has that Democracy worked in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan etc. etc. etc.?? Those countries are far worse off then they were when 1 Man held the fort down. At least Saddam and Gaddafi never ran around in Blast Proof vehicles like OUR “DEAR LEADERS” do. Actually it was funny to see Gaddafi drive around Libya standing in a vehicle as he past Petro Station’s with $0.38 Cent’s a Gallon on the sign.

      Like Used Condom’s, The US has USED all these foreign leaders and then when the climax came, they were discarded and the people of those countries had to leave the “TIP” on the nightstands.

      One nice thing about Ham Radio is you form close friendships with people all over the world. Radio’s know no boundary. You quickly learn what the US is saying is a LIE. US Politics has killed ham radio today. We Operator’s were in many ways “Ambassadors” for our Country. Spreading International Good Will. Today few engage in QSO’s as they are called because we are hit with a stream of horrid questions such as, “Why does Obama bomb Emergency Aid workers and Funeral’s too?” A violation on the Geneva Rules of War. (A Soldier/Combatant is considered (Out of the Conflict when Wounded) TOTAL KILL is the new NORM. So, THEY the alleged enemy should be likewise able to bomb Air-Ambulances and M*A*S*H units too under the US premise of Total War?

      Or as Obama said, “Israel has the right to defend their Security when Missiles are fired at them” He should has said HOME MADE ROCKET’S. But this would mean that Afghan’s and Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and others should also defend themselves from US Hellfire Missiles fired at them too?

      But like the Clinton era, When Rwanda needed help (Like Palestine today) Clinton did nothing. Has there been OIL under Rwanda then the US Calvary would have came to the rescue and 800,000 would still be alive.

      Gold or no Gold, It was announced that the US would be deployed in 35 countries of Africa in 2013. With China doing so much business in Africa it is clear that Resource Wars are in full bloom. Why also the US stands behind Japan over a small set of Islands between Japan and China. WWIII will be a War for Resources. Not Terrorism. As the Only Terrorist is.. The USA. American’s will understand this more as the proposed 30,000 Drones fill our skies and the People (WE) will understand that at any time a missile may home in on Our Cellular GPS signal’s and kill an American or Family. Neighbor’s will in turn be called Collateral Damage. Much like recent events in Indiana.

      If Johnny Carson was alive I am sure he’d have a joke about that.

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