Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The US Military Presence in Africa

The Empire is everywhere, involved in everyone's business.

(via FT)

1 comment:

  1. Tony Blair Has Used His Connections To Change the World, and to Get Rich

    Tony Blair was pitching himself as a former leader who knew the challenges of government, and he was saying that he could help,” said David Himbara, an economist who at the time was a close aide to Mr. Kagame.

    In the years since, Mr. Blair has tried to fashion a second act as a globe-trotting do-gooder in Rwanda and a half-dozen other African nations, focusing on poverty and infrastructure though his Africa Governance Initiative, one of the four charities he or his wife, Cherie, have founded. He has also taken on a major diplomatic role in the Middle East as the representative of the so-called quartet — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
    But at home, enthusiasm for such endeavors has been tempered by criticism of his equally ambitious business enterprises, through a private consultancy called Tony Blair Associates, whose clients have included controversial monarchs and autocrats like Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev.The British press, which still bristles over Mr. Blair’s support of the United States in the Iraq war, is taking aim at his newfound riches from consulting, raising questions over whether he is cashing in on his connections.

    In many ways, Mr. Blair faces a perception problem. Years into his postpolitical makeover, confusion lingers about what particular hat he wears at any given time.

    From the beginning, his consulting work raised questions in the media about conflicts of interest. In 2008, Mr. Blair, in his role as a quartet diplomat, persuaded the Israeli government to allow a Qatari-owned mobile phone company, which was then called Wataniya Telecom, to operate in the West Bank. Wataniya’s parent company was a client of JPMorgan Chase, which employs Mr. Blair as an adviser. Another deal he pushed in his quartet role involved the development of an oil field operated by British Gas, another JPMorgan client, off the coast of Gaza.

    Mr. Blair would not comment specifically on his personal finances or on some details of his consulting relationships, but his staff was adamant that the deals were solely diplomatic priorities and Mr. Blair had not been aware of the JPMorgan links
    He has received a warmer response from the American government, which has awarded one of his charities grants of more than $7 million over several years. The relationship has been helped by high-level friends, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state.

    But he is not middle class, either. He is paid a total of $5 million to $7 million a year by three firms: JPMorgan, Khosla Ventures and the Zurich Insurance Group. He gives about a dozen speeches a year; one 2009 speech in the Philippines earned him more than $300,000, but an aide said that was unusually high.