We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, December 14, 2014

School of the Americas Morphs Into US Training Industrial Complex

Click here to access article by JP Sottile from TruthOut

I've just discovered this valuable study on the history of the infamous School of the Americas (SOA) and its evolution into its current globalized form. Because of the sordid history that included terrorism, assassinations, subversion, paramilitaries, torture, and drug-trafficking, our ruling class directorate decided to change its name to The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). Sottile then suggests that other manifestations of this school have turned up in other parts of the world, but only cites Africa as an example. 
Just as the Cold War often provided ideological cover for repression of reformers, activists and inconvenient obstacles to "development," so too have the wars on Drugs and Terror allowed the America's infrastructure of cooperation and training to pivot forces around the world - and particularly to the new frontier in Africa. 

 However the "school" in Africa appears to be administered by AFRICOM. It's rather difficult to unravel the chain of command, but it appears to me that the original SOA has been duplicated with schools in most other command areas. Thus, it is difficult to claim that those in other command areas are "satellite campuses". In any case, it's obvious that the directors of the US-led Empire have truly global aspirations as reflected in the Dept. of Defense command structure.

As a summary of the "school" programs in Africa, he makes a general observation about all such "schools":
The common thread through all of these initiatives is the use of training to establish "cooperative" or client relationships that place key military personnel in crucial positions in nations around the globe. To wit, Foreign Policy reported in 2012 that "the United States delivered bilateral security assistance to 134 countries - meaning that every country on Earth had about a 75 percent chance of receiving US military aid."

This "satellite campus" system of the "New" School of the America is expanding at the same time the traditional model is drawing tens of thousands of soldiers and police to "275 known military school and installations." Amnesty International estimates that the United States "trains at least 100,000 foreign soldiers and police from more than 150 countries each year at a cost of tens of millions of dollars" and thereby seems to have created a Training-Industrial Complex.