10 senior French officials briefed Axios and two other US media outlets in mid-October about their declining neo-colonial hegemon’s information warfare operations against Russia in Africa, which despite obviously being aimed at raising awareness of what’s presented as their supposedly well-intended efforts, nevertheless inadvertently exposed the narrative manipulations connected to this pernicious campaign. According to Axios, Paris’ pushback against Moscow’s newfound influence across the continent takes the following five forms:
1. Blame Russia for every instance of anti-French sentiment;
2. Allege that all of it is being orchestrated by Wagner;
3. Smear that group as greedy war criminals;
4. Downplay France’s own military scandals;
5. And emphasize Paris’ investments in Africa instead.
Each aspect will predictably be advanced in the following ways:
1. Gaslight Africans into thinking that anti-imperialism is the product of so-called “Russian propaganda”;
2. Obsessively focus media attention on this private military company;
3. Spew fake news accusing it of neo-colonial economic exploitation and crimes against humanity;
4. Cover up France’s objectively existing and easily verifiable neo-colonial exploitation and war crimes;
5. And deflect from the above by pressuring local outlets to only produce positive stories about France.
All of this is manipulative and proves that Africa has indeed become a major proxy battleground in the New Cold War between the US-led West’s Golden Billion and the jointly BRICS– and SCO-led Global South over the future of the global systemic transition. The first want to influence these complex processes in the direction of strengthening their declining unipolar hegemony while the second are passionate about making International Relations more democratic, equal, and just. Furthermore, Russia announced over the summer that its goal is to help Africa fully complete its decolonization processes.
To that end, this newly restored world power is exporting bespoke “Democratic Security” solutions to its partners across the continent. This concept refers to the wide range of counter-Hybrid Warfare tactics and strategies that have already been successfully employed in the Central African Republic and Mali, with Burkina Faso being the latest country that many expect to request Russia’s relevant assistance. The grand strategic impact of these creative policy has been to gradually erode French influence in Paris’ self-proclaimed “sphere of influence” that it condescendingly refers to as “Françafrique”.
It’s little wonder then that Paris is panicking, so much so to the point that it’s now openly waging information warfare against the minds of millions of Africans in order to manipulate their perceptions about the positive role that Moscow’s “Democratic Security” solutions have had in stabilizing their Hybrid War-beleaguered societies. This was totally predictable though and was actually telegraphed by Macron in late August when he insulted their intelligence by claiming that they’re being manipulated by others, all while totally ignoring his country’s own manipulation of them that it just admitted to Axios.
The unmistakable trend is that French influence across its former African colonies is fast disappearing, with this process paradoxically accelerated by the inadvertent consequences of its desperate efforts to stop all of this. The more that Paris pushes back against multipolarity, the more that everything speeds up at the expense of that declining neo-colonial hegemon’s influence. Instead of simply accepting that it must inevitably treat its African partners as equals with the respect that they deserve, France continues aggressively imposing its will upon them, which is self-defeating and unwittingly facilitates multipolarity