Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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On February 6, 2007, the Bush Administration announced the creation of a new unified combatant command, U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM, to promote U.S. national security objectives in Africa and its surrounding waters. Prior to AFRICOMs establishment, U.S. military involvement on the continent was divided among three commands U.S. European Command EUCOM, U.S. Central Command CENTCOM, and U.S. Pacific Command PACOM. The new commands area of responsibility AOR includes all African countries except Egypt. AFRICOM was officially launched as a sub-unified command under EUCOM on October 1, 2007, and became a stand-alone command on October 1, 2008. In recent years, analysts and U.S. policymakers have noted Africas growing strategic importance to U.S. interests. Among those interests are the increasing importance of Africas natural resources, particularly energy resources, and mounting concern over violent extremist activities and other potential threats posed by uncontrolled spaces, such as piracy and illicit trafficking. In addition, there is ongoing concern for Africas many humanitarian crises, armed conflicts, and more general challenges, such as the devastating effect of HIVAIDS. In 2006, Congress authorized a feasibility study on the creation of a new command for Africa to consolidate current operations and activities on the continent under one commander. Congress has closely monitored the command since its establishment.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics