Role of the U.S. Military in Countering China's Growing Influence in Sub-Saharan Africa
MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND QUANTICO VA
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The United States military is the least effective component in countering the growing influence of China in Sub-Saharan Africa and should be a supporting effort to enhance the more important applications of economic, diplomatic and informational power. Discussion While U.S. foreign policy has focused on the Global War on Terror, China has embarked on a mission to extend its influence in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to secure access to natural resources. Current U.S. economic ties with the region surpass those of China but the gap is rapidly shrinking. Left unabated it will swing in favor of China in the coming years. China employs a soft approach to achieve its interests that focuses on economic and diplomatic efforts which are supported by informational and military activities. It is successful in Africa and its influence is growing not because of its military presence, but rather its coordinated application of all the elements of national power. Historic U.S. interests have not been focused on the African continent and in light of increased importance placed in the region, U.S. Africa Command was formed. Though it might be an efficient response, it is not the most appropriate. The U.S. must refocus its efforts on developing African partnerships in order to further establish itself as a valued international partner. Africa Command is ill-suited to achieve this and a more diplomatic approach is required.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics