The ongoing debate about the ratification of the Ghana-US defence agreement by Parliament, to seal a military deal between the two countries for their mutual benefits cannot pass without our comment.

The agreement put before Parliament, has generated a huge debate because of its ramifications and the facts that it is an agreement between two countries of unequal stature.

And rightly so, since the pact was put into the public domain, there has been hue and cry from Ghanaians about the real motive behind the deal with a World superpower in an era of Ghana Beyond Aid.

Both the government and the minority have stated their positions clearly and we are of the firm conviction that the variant positions mean good to the country.

The government states that the deal, will among other things, make Ghanaian military facilities available to the US Army for training programmes for the mutual benefit of both countries.

We are told that the other benefit of the programme is that in the event of emergency of a large magnitude, Ghana can rely on the expertise of the US Army for rescue operations.

The Minority on the other side have expressed some misgivings about the pact contending that the deal is shrouded in secrecy and that allowing unfettered access of Ghana’s territorial integrity to a foreign force whose intention may not be very clear, would infringe on the sovereignty of the Republic of Ghana.

They are also of the view that the tax incentive and relief under the pact is a sell-out because it will result in loss of revenue to Ghana.

This is another agreement that has sharply divided the government and the minority without any middle ground. We believe this is not healthy for our development and appears to engender fear in the citizenry, given the sensitive nature of the pact.

Others have expressed the fear that giving the US Army a base in the country could expose Ghana to attacks by terrorists.

Bilateral cooperation is common in international relations. It is the means by which countries tap on the expertise of others in various areas of endeavour for accelerated development. For instance we have agreement with the UK government for military exchange programme for building capacities for the maintenance of global peace and security, facilitated by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre.

The Ghanaian Times funds the debate so far as unhealthy given the sharp difference and we appeal that both government and the Minority should  find a common ground to agree on to move the country forward.

The fear is that the more the debate drags on along partisan lines, the more we turn to obscure the benefits of consensus-building to arrive at a decision that is of national interest.

As a sovereign state we are capable of taking a decision that would inure to our collective benefit, we, therefore, call for good reasoning and sound judgement in arriving at a decision on this very sensitive and critical pact. Ghana must prevail!



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