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History Of The Democratic Republic Of Congo

1334 words - 6 pages

Prior to 1960, Belgium and their King, Leopold ruled the Congo region. They held great interests in the rubber industry and created harsh labor camps that exploited the people. That is why after gaining independence in 1960, the nation then known as Zaire plunged into chaos. Military unrest coupled with oppressive warlord throughout the region made it a very unstable state, ready to collapse. Nowadays, U.N. peacekeeping forces hold posts in the nation to maintain its stability. The United States has had foreign relations with the country from 1960 and has signed many treaties to help promote growth in the region. One such document is the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework that exists between the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as 10 other African nations. I believe that The Peace, Security and Cooperation framework definitely helps to promote the United States best interest in the DRC due to access to oil, prevention of military destabilization in the region as well as benefits from African businesses.
It is clear that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the Middle East has a monopoly over the drilling and distribution of oil in today’s world. To break this monopoly, the United States must look elsewhere to find the oh so valuable resource. One such source is in the heart of the African continent, the DRC or Democratic Republic of the Congo. The nation still produces more oil than it consumes and the DRC is also the second largest producer of natural gas in sub-Saharan Africa. Both nations have signed a bilateral investment treaty and this export is not a one sided exploitation. The U.S. provides the DRC with pharmaceutical products, wheat and many more resources. Furthermore it has been proven that economic stability is a strong driving force for national stability and security, even stronger than military intervention. As retired U.S. military general said to economists at the National Association for Business Economics in San Francisco, “I’ve learned in Africa, security and stability in many ways depends a lot more on economic growth and opportunity than it does on military strength”(Portlock WSJ). That is another reason why U.S. economic involvement in the DRC is seen as very important, because it produces stability in the region, leading into the next point.
As stated at the end of the last paragraph, the U.S. must prevent more military destabilization in the region through both military and economic means. The early mission statement of the United States Africa Command states that “the West’s long-term strategic interests in Africa are clear: we must thwart the growth of terrorism and transnational crime; we must prevent destabilizing mass migrations; and we must maintain secure trade links.” Through military invention and economic aid, both the DRC and other nations in Africa as well as the United States will benefit with increased national security. “In 2001, the UN blamed the...

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