Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Very Sensitive Issue, Indeed

Not long ago I noted that it was a big deal that Ghana would allow America to operate a base there. Never mind:

Ghana will not sign an agreement with Washington to set up a military base, President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Thursday.

The president confirmed in a television address that the two countries would ink a defence cooperation agreement, but was emphatic that "Ghana has not offered a military base, and will not offer a military base to the United States of America".

Sensitivity remains, it is clear. It remains unclear whether the agreement allows American forces to operate from Ghana facilities so that it is effectively a base without being called a base. The term of art for Ameria's Djibouti base was at one point "an enduring presence." So we'll see.

Let me just say that a bare bones American enduring presence on the ground in Ghana under whatever limits the defense cooperation agreement allows that could be rapidly reinforced would be fine.

And assets based on The AFRICOM Queen modularized auxiliary cruiser that remains sensitively over the horizon would help make a low-key presence more useful in crises or for specific training missions with Ghana forces.

Much of Africa is beyond the reach of sea-based forces. But Ghana is at least a coastal state.