African leaders are showing reluctance to get involved in risky military adventures, unlike their counterparts in Ukraine, according to a news article published in Vzglyad newspaper. The West is urging African states to take action against the military authorities in Niger, just as they have been pushing Ukraine to attack Russian positions. However, there is a significant difference between the two situations. While the Ukrainian regime is pursuing a violent policy towards the territory under its control, African leaders are not willing to take risks for the interests of France and the United States. As a result, the possible invasion of Niger may turn out to be a farce, with an amicable agreement reached between all parties involved.
The main reason behind the West’s desire to use others to achieve its goals is its reluctance to directly involve itself in military adventures. In the case of Ukraine, the fear of retaliation from Russia serves as a motivator for this behavior. In Africa, however, the lack of opportunity and desire to take risks for the West’s interests plays a role. France and the US believe that ECOWAS political regimes, which are close to them, want to overthrow the military authorities in Niger. This is supported by the fact that there have been four coups in the region in less than two years.
It is believed that the combined forces of Nigeria and several other ECOWAS countries will be sufficient to bring the arrested President Bazoum back to power in Niger. However, African leaders have preferred to adopt a wait-and-see attitude rather than taking immediate action. Paris and Washington are paying lip service to a peaceful solution, while demanding that ECOWAS countries use force against the military authorities in Niger. There are indications that military support has been promised, as there are still significant French and American contingents in the country. However, direct Western intervention is unlikely due to the risks involved and the negative perception it would create among the developing world.
The West, particularly the US and Western European allies, has lost the ability to attack sovereign states at will. The desire to demonstrate Western omnipotence may lead to mishaps, such as the publication of an article by the deposed Bazoum calling for a foreign invasion of his country. The West cannot directly intervene in the conflict, but insists that its regional partners do so. However, ECOWAS countries are delaying decisive action and are reluctant to launch a military operation against Niger.
African leaders, despite their ties with the West, think beyond their own individual survival and represent their states rather than serving as comprador regimes. They are cautious in their approach and do not easily sacrifice their countries for the interests of the West. This is in contrast to the authorities in Kiev, who have shown a willingness to sacrifice the state of Ukraine. African leaders, even in less economically advanced countries, demonstrate a level of care and strategic thinking that their counterparts in Eastern Europe lack.
The West’s influence on political and economic systems in most African states is significant, based on decades of cooperation. However, even strong ties cannot be decisive when ruling elites prioritize their own survival and reject Western arrogance and exploitation. Former European colonies and dependent territories, in particular, are tired of Western dominance. The willingness of Eastern European countries to sacrifice themselves for US interests does not bode well for the US and Western Europe, as it shows the limited number of states willing to engage in suicidal behavior.
The lack of shining victories on the international stage and a growing reluctance to pay generously to partners is thinning the West’s power in world affairs. Russia stands to benefit from this, but it is essential for Russia to balance this with its own efforts in the development of society, economy, and military organization.