U.S. Africa Command: An Opportunity for Effective Interagency Cooperation
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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This paper begins with a synopsis of the strategic importance of Africa and a brief history of U.S. power projection on the continent prior to the formation of U.S. Africa Command AFRICOM. It then describes the impetus behind AFRICOMs formation and its innovative interagency collaboration design, and includes a snapshot of the planned headquarters organization. It describes how AFRICOMs future success or failure will have major strategic, operational, and tactical impacts on the United States ability to project power. The thesis suggests that EUCOMs AFRICOM Transition Team has taken the wrong approach in its organizational command and control C2 design, essentially disaggregating interagency collaboration at the highest levels of command. Three organizational solutions are presented to ensure effective theater-strategic and operational interagency cooperation 1 a single Deputy Combatant Commander in the form of a senior State Department ambassador-level administrator 2 a revolutionary adaptation and transformation of the Joint Interagency Coordination Group JIACG as the foundation of the C2 organization and 3 establishment of two semi-permanent Joint Task Forces JTFs at the operational level that are geographically aligned to the current U.S. State Departments regional divisions of Africa. Due to the primarily supporting and coordinating role of AFRICOMs mission, in relation to other agencies within the continent, regionalized JTFs allow for a natural economy of force through existing host nation and country team support, greater cultural understanding and expertise gained through interaction with a regional population, and maximization of centralized direction and decentralized execution.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations