A Roadmap to Improve the Department of Defense's Africa Engagement Strategy
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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In an era of globalization where increased competition for limited resources and conflicts between nations and peoples are increasing, Africa and African stability have become more important than ever to the United States. In July 2009, President Obama reaffirmed Africas strategic importance to the United States during a speech in Ghana where he identified four priorities for the U.S. governments engagement efforts supporting strong and sustainable democracies and good governance fostering sustained economic growth and development increasing access to quality health and education helping to prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflict.1 In light of this Presidential mandate, this paper contends that ACSS and AFRICOM should be more unified in their efforts to support the United States national security objectives in Africa. Specifically, the Africa Center is not optimally structured to support AFRICOM due to lack of leadership and personnel diversity, an outdated business model, facilities constraints, and not The cornerstones of the US governments engagement efforts in Africa are the Department of States DoS Bureau of African Affairs, the United States Agency for International Development USAID, the Department of Defenses DoD Geographic Combatant Command GCC for Africa the United States Africa Command AFRICOM, and DoDs Regional Center RC for Security Studies for Africa the Africa Center for Strategic Studies ACSS. These last two are the focus of this work.