Role Model: African Standby Force

Go Lean Commentary

Are “we” embarking on World War III?

According to Pope Francis, the Head of the Catholic Church and its 2 Billion members: “Yes, we are.”

CU Blog - Role Model - African Standby Force - Photo 5

He is not the only one with that subjective assessment. Consider:

Editorial Commentary: Wake up! It’s already World War III

By: Linda Stasi, Columnist, New York Daily News

What if they started WWIII and nobody noticed?

News flash: We’re in it and we all better start caring. No? Despite the fact that we have a worldwide terror alert, armed conflicts, religious wars that harken back to the Dark Ages, escalating international terrorism – only one world leader, Pope Francis, has dared to call it what it is: World War Three.

Don’t believe it? Believe this then: estimates that right now in the world there are 30 ongoing wars and 22 conflicts. That’s 52 countries at war or in conflict. The U.S. alone has ground troops in 134 countries.

On Tuesday [November 24], Turkey downed a Russian warplane upping the ante of an official start to WWIII to: Very Scary. Yet what did Britain’s Secretary of State Philip Hammond call it? “Potentially serious.” Seriously? puts the number of wars being waged right now even higher. Factoring in militias, guerrillas, and terrorist organizations, they estimate the number of countries currently at war at 65. Meantime, only 61 countries were involved in WWII. That’s why Pope Francis calls our current state, the “piecemeal third world war.” And he’s right – with the “piecemeal” being the worst part of the evaluation.

Difference is that during the first two world wars we knew who the enemies were and what countries they called home. Now we don’t. How is that two of the world’s top three superpowers – the U.S. and Russia – whose incredible intelligence fueled the Cold War, have been surprise-attacked by terrorist groups whose threats they underestimated, didn’t understand and didn’t appreciate until it was too late?

The U.S.’s oxymoronic intelligence left our ineffectual president seemingly clueless about who the hell we’re even battling – or should be – from day-to-day. ISIS? Al Qaeda? Boko Haram? The Salafi-Jihadists? What about the homegrown terrorist next door? Russia? China? Iraq? Iran? Syria? Who?

What has the $635.9 billion we spent on intelligence since 2001 bought us? Oh right, 70% of it was spent on independent outside contractors who got rich even as terrorist attacks like Benghazi were being planned. Now like cockroaches, terrorist groups backed by oil money and rich sheiks who shake our hands while stabbing us in the back, are multiplying out of control. And like cockroaches, each time we think we can bomb the latest terrorist organization out of existence, they evolve and multiply into something bigger, different and more elusive, popping up where we don’t expect them with more weaponry at their disposal.

As Lawrence Kolb, VP of the Council on Foreign Relations and assistant Defense Secretary under Reagan recently told Frontline, the enemy of the U.S. and of the world is instability. The president still doesn’t get that.

Interesting factoid to think about as we enter the holidays – in the midst of all this war, who negotiated the release of 98 Assyrian hostages held by ISIS? No, not the ambassadors, but the head of the AssyrianChurch of the East in Syria.


The pope has declared that this year, Christmas is “all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war.”

He should be known as Pope Francis the Truthful since he’s the first pope to say what’s on his mind instead of what’s on the mind of the Vatican establishment since the Medicis.

Francis also said that folks who sell guns and weapons are hypocrites if they call themselves Christians. What? He doesn’t like those happy Christmas ads for assault weapons? What next? Will he disapprove of kicking off the White Christmas season with Black Friday sales and riots? Positively un-Christian!

Read the full article at:; published November 30, 2015; retrieved December 17, 2015

With this foregoing news commentary and these following events, there is no doubt that there is a global war on terror:

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Even if “one” concludes that it is not World War III, it is undisputed that there is a cause for alarm.

Despite not being directly in a theater of war, the Caribbean region is not spared. We have a lot at stake; we have risks and threats; we have to be on guard for the Sum of all our Fears.

What now? It’s time to get real!

From the Caribbean perspective, we have some scary propositions:

Undeniable threats … deniable response.

We are not the first region with this status, and will probably not be the last; samples, examples and role models abound. This commentary considers the role model of the African Standby Force (ASF); see their functions in the Appendix below. That region has a history of undeniable threats, and a shameful history of failing responses. Now, the continent attempts to reform and transform. There is a lot for the Caribbean to learn in considering this African role model:

News Title: Africa puts security hopes in foreign-funded, home-grown strike force
By: Wendell Roelf

Soldiers from 22 African nations join exercises as part of the African Union's African Standby Force (ASF) at the South Africa National Defence Force's Lohatla training areaLOHATLA COMBAT TRAINING BASE, South Africa – Backed by tanks, armoured vehicles and plenty of EU cash, thousands of African soldiers took on an imaginary enemy in the arid heart of South Africa this week, the last joint exercises before a homegrown continental strike force goes live.

Standing on far-away hilltops, commanders peered through night vision goggles and issued orders through helmet-mounted radios to the 5,400 troops simulating a dawn assault on rebels in the fictitious city of Kalasi marked out in the bush.

The orderly manoeuvres and high-tech kit elicited purrs of approval from military chiefs who tout the rapid-reaction battalion – a key part of a long-awaited African Standby Force (ASF) – as the antidote to insurrections spiralling into civil war or even genocide.

“This is an important milestone in our endeavour to create a tool that will be at our disposal should we require to intervene to quell violence,” South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said at an opening parade.

But analysts say the ASF, which attains “full operational capability” in December, still faces two major challenges: funding, and forging the political agreement among 54 countries to send in troops – if need be without being invited.

“The big elephant in the room here is political will – the will to deploy without national consent, for instance,” said Thomas Mandrup, an expert in African security and governance at the RoyalDanishDefenceCollege.

CU Blog - Role Model - African Standby Force - Photo 4Under original African Union (AU) plans, each of the continent’s five regions – north, south, east, west and central – are meant to provide a brigade of 5,000 troops to the force.

But in a sign of potential divisions, North Africa sent only staff officers to this month’s exercises, not troops, a reflection of the domestic political turmoil in the region.

Without the likes of Egypt and Algeria, the ASF will lack much of the air-lift capability crucial to any rapid deployment.

Instead, ASF operations are likely to become a “coalition of the willing”, Mandrup said, much as South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya have done in United Nations-backed peacekeeping and intervention missions across Africa.

Recent security crises in Africa include coups in Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Burkina Faso, offensives by Islamist militant groups in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia, and conflict between rebels in eastern Congo and Central African Republic.

The polished nature of this week’s war games stood in contrast to decades of underinvestment that has left African armies poorly equipped and trained, blunting the AU’s ability to launch speedy responses to political or humanitarian crises.

Nowhere was this more evident than Mali in 2013 when former colonial power France, rather than the AU, rushed in troops and planes to block the advance of Islamist jihadists sweeping south from the Sahara.

Since 2004, the European Union has committed more than 1.3 billion euros to African peace operations, including 225 million euros in 2014 for missions to Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali.

In all, more than 90 percent of AU peace and security efforts are funded by the likes of the EU and United States, although AU member states have pledged to provide a quarter of the funding for operations by 2020.

However, the concern remains that if Africa does control the purse-strings of the military force, it cannot control the outcomes.

Underlining the problem, the EU is even bankrolling this month’s exercises, casting a shadow over the “African solutions for African problems” mantra espoused by politicians in national capitals and the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“The external support for defence spending in Africa is, in my view, a major foreign policy handicap,” said David Anderson, professor of African history at Britain’s University of Warwick.

“African states will truly own their defence and security when they pay for it themselves,” he added. “There is no greater marker of sovereignty and independence than security and defence.”

(Additional reporting by Aaron Maasho in Addis Ababa; Editing by Ed Cropley and Raissa Kasolowsky)
Reuters News Service – Posted October 29, 2015; retrieved December 17, 2015


VIDEO – AU Africa Standby Force To Be Combat Ready In December –

In addition to Africa, there is also the need to reform and transform the Caribbean homeland, the security, governing and economic engines. The assertion in the book Go Lean … Caribbean (Page 23) is that with the emergence of new economic engines, “bad actors” will also emerge thereafter to exploit the opportunities, with good, bad and evil intent. This point is pronounced early in the book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) that claims:

x.   Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU would be established by treaty among the 30 member-states to empower the region, including a Defense Pact for the region’s security interest and more. In all, the Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy and create new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and the Caribbean homeland.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Caribbean needs to appoint “new guards”, or a security pact to ensure public safety for the Caribbean region.  This will include many strategies, tactics and implementations considered “best-practices” around the world. According to the foregoing news article, these “best-practices” are obvious in the plan for the African Standby Force. This allows a constant vigil against “bad actors”, present and future. The term “constant vigil” connotes pro-activity in monitoring, mitigating and managing risks. Thusly, the Go Lean roadmap describes an organization structure with Intelligence Gathering and Analysis, a robust Emergency Management functionality, plus the Unified Command and Control for Disaster Response, anti-crime and military preparedness.

The model of the African Standby Force is instructive for the Caribbean effort. The ASF is an extension of the African Union (AU), the multilateral government pact consisting of 54 countries in Africa. The only African state that is not a member is Morocco, although Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic have had their memberships suspended due to the recent coup d’état and ongoing civil war respectively. The AU was established on 26 May 2001 with the Secretariat – the African Union Commission – based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ASF is enabled by a Constitutive Act in the AU treaty; this establishes the legal right to intervene in a member-state in grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. As per Article 13 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the ASF is based on standby arrangements with Africa’s five sub-regions.  – (Source:

In parallel, the CU/Go Lean security organization structure is enabled with a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) embedded in the treaty to create the CU Trade Federation. This requirement for the SOFA is “Step One, Day One” in the Go Lean roadmap. The Go Lean book details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to provide the proactive and reactive public safety/security in the Caribbean region:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Privacy –vs- Public Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – Intelligence Gathering Page 23
Community Ethos – Whistleblower Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating a non-sovereign permanent union Page 45
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Coast Guard & Naval Authorities Page 75
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Ground Militia Forces Page 75
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Emergency Management Agency Page 76
Tactical – Separation of Powers – CariPol: Marshals & Investigations Page 75
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Start-up Foreign Policy Initiatives Page 102
Implementation – Start-up Security Initiatives Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – #3: Consolidated Homeland Security Pact Page 130
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – Escalation Role Page 134
Planning – Lessons from the American West – Needed Law & Order Page 142
Planning – Lessons from Egypt – Law & Order for Tourism Page 143
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy – Quick Disaster Recovery Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice – Policing the Police Page 177
Advocacy – Ways to Reduce Crime – Regional Security Intelligence Page 178
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Mitigate Terrorism Page 181
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Intelligence Gathering & Analysis Page 182
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Emergency Management Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights – Watchful World Page 220

Other subjects related to security and governing empowerments for the region’s defense have been blogged in other Go Lean…Caribbean commentaries, as sampled here: A Lesson in History – During the Civil War: Principle over Principal Sum of All Fears – ‘On Guard’ Against Deadly Threats A Lesson in History – Cinco De Mayo and Mexico’s Security Lapses Managing a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ Americans arrest 2 would-be terrorists – a Clear and Present Danger Dreading the ‘Caribbean  Basin Security Initiative’ Intelligence Agencies to Up Cyber Security Cooperation America’s Navy – 100 Percent – Model for Caribbean Status of Forces Agreement = Security Pact A Lesson in History: 100 Years Ago – Root Causes of World War I Trinidad Muslims travel to Venezuela for Jihadist training Muslim officials condemn abductions of Nigerian girls Remembering and learning from Boston 10 Things We Want from the US – #4: Pax Americana

The continent of Africa is very exotic. The natural beauty and abundance of natural resources is legendary. So too is the lack of peace and security.

There is good, bad and ugly in Africa.

An effort to provide a better security solution should be welcomed there. But, Africa is out-of-scope for the promoters of Go Lean … Caribbean. Our focus is the Caribbean only, to make this homeland a better place to live, work and play.

The Caribbean is arguably the best address of the planet; there are few similar arguments towards Africa. There are also economic realities for the Caribbean: tourism is the primary source for the generation of foreign currency in the region. This is not true of the African region. So security here in our homeland must take on a different priority. Tourists do not visit “hot-spots” with civil war, genocides, active terrorism and rampant crime.

No one wants World War III, waged in their neighborhood; people want to keep the peace. A safe, secure homeland is important for how we live, how we work, and how we and others play here in the Caribbean. So addressing this issue – public safety and security threats – and modeling best practices for mitigation and remediation is a matter of serious concern; our “bread-and-butter” is at stake.

Everyone in the Caribbean – citizens, institutions and governments – are hereby urged to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap to make the region a better, safer homeland to live, work and play.


Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – ASF Functions

The range of functions assigned to the ASF includes:

1. Observation and monitoring missions;
2. Other types of peace support operations;
3. Intervention in a member state in respect of grave circumstances or at the request of a member state to restore peace and security, in accordance with Article 4(h) and 4(J) of the AU Constitutive act;
4. Preventive deployment to prevent a dispute or a conflict from escalating, an ongoing violent conflict from spreading to neighboring areas or states and the resurgence of violence after parties to conflict have reached an agreement;
5. Peace building, including post conflict disarmament and demobilization;
6. Humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of civilian population in conflict areas and support efforts to address major natural disasters;
7. Any further functions as may be mandated by the Peace and Security Council or the Assembly of Heads of State.

– See more at:

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