Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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    U.S. military presence in Liberia?

    In 1847, the U.S’s short-lived and only attempt at African colonization came to end when the Republic of Liberia declared its independence.
    Now, after years of diplomatic neglect and insufficient assistance, the U.S is returning to Liberia. President Obama’s announcement to deploy troops, in an effort to elevate the Ebola crisis that has been ravaging West Africa, will see nearly 4,000 troops sent out.
    But, given the tense history and problematic colonial overtones, is the decision to send a military presence overseas really the right choice?
    The scars of Western imperialism are still very fresh, and the damage caused by centuries of colonialism have left many African nations struggling to meet the demands of the modern world.
    Indeed, many of the third world problems we see in these countries are the result such unchecked occupations.
    In many ways this history, and the U.S in turn, is responsible for the inability of Liberian medical services to keep up with the widening scale of the Ebola outbreak.
    The situation is dire, and the U.S owes it to the people of Liberia to provide support, by why send troops?
    While the military can provide certain humanitarian services and work to strengthen infrastructure, their presence is an ultimately problematic one.
    The number of U.S troops across Africa is growing steadily, and many are questioning the reasoning behind such deployments.
    The neo-colonial effect of an increasing foreign presence can cripple the development of these nations, many of which are just beginning to recover from the occupations of generations past.
    Medical aid and education, especially if provided through non-government organizations like Doctors Without Borders, can help Liberia and other affected countries take control of the outbreak on their own terms.
    On the other hand, a military presence in such a situation opens the door for dependency on outside governments to provide, regulate, and distribute resources, just as during a colonial occupation.
    There is also the possibility that pre-existing civil unrest in Liberia will justify a more prolonged U.S presence, furthering the risk of Liberia’s establishing a strong reliance on foreign governments.
    Stability and economic growth cannot come to West Africa until nations like Liberia are trusted to oversee their own resources.
    To meet a purely humanitarian crisis with military assistance may cure the Ebola epidemic, but it will surely prolong the lingering symptoms of imperialism still infecting the continent.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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