Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Africom

We often criticize the Pentagon and its leadership. But we must give credit where it is due. The Pentagon is going to open a new command to cover Africa . This is long overdue and much needed. Africa is important on several fronts: Oil, terrorism, health. We have been active in Africa for a while with bases in several places on the continent and intelligence ties in many states, especially in North Africa.

NPR is reporting that this command will be different in that its deputy commander will come from the State Department. It is going to be a well-rounded interagency mix that will include intelligence, humanitarian assistance, health aid and military training. If this works, it may well be a model for other commands. This isn’t a new idea. It has been around since the Clinton Administration. Rumsfeld started to get serious about it and Gates is set to have Africom in place by Sept. 2008.

Strategically, I think it is a smart move. With increased competition from China and India for resources, and the growth of Islamic terrorism in the region, Africa is going to be a key playing field for global power building and security. It will also rationalize our global military organization. This will free up resources at Eurocom and Centcom. Finally a good idea from the Pentagon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Chinese have had a long head start in Africa. The French have been mucking around in that part of the world too - with decidely mixed results.

The Chinese have been taking the "see no evil" approach to giving development aid to some pretty nasty regimes. They say it's part of their non-intervention policy but giving the aid is an intervention in itself.

Of course, to the extent that the Chinese aid programs actually improve the economies in Africa, they'll have long term good effects on the politics there too. But then in the long run, we're all dead so...

The French have a nasty reputation to placing extremely self serving conditions on their aid in Africa - things like, "if you vote against us in the UN, we'll cut your aid." Now, you might say the US does this too but statistical analyses of IMF and World Bank votes and challenges have shown the French to be much worse than the Americans.

It is good that we are getting more organized to deal with crises in that region.

RBR