Sunday, July 08, 2007


There's quite a bit being written about AFRICOM, including a few previous posts we've done (also here and here).

- The US Department of State website has a briefing by Ryan Heny, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The transcript gives a good preamble to the raison d'etre of AFRICOM. ''When it comes to the security or the defense part of this, AFRICOM is not meant to fight wars. It is one that is based on building partnership capability and in the areas of security cooperation. The missions that AFRICOM will emphasize are those of humanitarian assistance, civic action, the professionalism of militaries, assistance in border security and maritime security, and again the area of security cooperation and response to natural disasters.' The proposed comand structure is presetned as being a sort of non-linear/de-centralized HQ with 'nodes' spread across Africa.

- The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) has an exhaustive overview of AFRICOM- 'Questioning AFRICOM's intentions'. The piece explains:
'The Pentagon reportedly plans to establish another dozen bases in the region; in Algeria, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia.

But for now, AFRICOM remains an orphan without an African home, with Algeria and Libya rejecting the idea outright, and Morocco being distinctly cool.

The Transition Team will be housed temporarily at the US Army's Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart-Mohringen, Germany until the issue can be resolved. AFRICOM initially will be a sub-unified command, subordinate to EUCOM, also based in Stuttgart, with a projected Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by October 2007. As the Defense Department continues to search for a suitable African host country, high among its concerns is providing for the safety and security of an estimated 500 American personnel and their families who will staff the command.'

- Commentary on a recent WSJ article by UFPPC.

- Also, keep an eye out in September for an upcoming book entitled, 'Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know About Africa and Why it Matters'. The book will be a compilatoin of recent work by the Council on Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs.