AFRICOM: The New U.S. Military Command for Africa
Some people believe that we are establishing Africom solely to fight terrorism, or to secure oil resources, or to discourage China. This is not true. Violent extremism is cause for concern, and needs to be addressed, but this is not Africom’s singular mission. Natural resources represent Africa’s current and future wealth, but in a fair market environment, many benefit. Ironically, the U.S., China and other countries share a common interest—that of a secure environment. Africom is about helping Africans build greater capacity to assure their own security.
DoD recognizes and applauds the leadership role that individual African countries and multi-lateral African organizations are taking in the promotion of peace, security and stability on the continent. For example, Africom can provide effective training, advisory and technical support to the development of the African Standby Force. This is exactly the type of initiative and leadership needed to address the diverse and unpredictable global security challenges the world currently faces. The purpose of Africom is to encourage and support such African leadership and initiative, not to compete with it or discourage it. U.S. security is enhanced when African nations themselves endeavor to successfully address and resolve emergent security issues before they become so serious that they require considerable international resources and intervention to resolve.