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AFRICOM: Can America's Newest Combatant Command Stabilize Africa Using a Strategy of "Sunshine and Love"?

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Research paper

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United States Africa Command AFRICOM promises to be a different kind of command that will take a nontraditional approach to solving African problems and achieving U.S. objectives on the continent. This unique mission includes a multi-agency and multi-organization approach. AFRICOM has incorporated within its ranks representatives from other U.S. government agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations NGOs. And, as it sets out to achieve its goals of security and stability, AFRICOM will attempt to use nonkinetic means. It will focus on security, stability, and conflict prevention. To achieve these objectives AFRICOM plans to utilize security cooperation, crisis response, humanitarian assistance, and civil-military affairs projects as its weapons of choice. In essence, this sunshine and love policy is an extension of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa CJTF-HOA model, but is it an effective strategy for AFRICOM to us throughout the continent CJTF-HOA was established to combat terrorism by promoting regional cooperation, good governance, stability, and development. This nontraditional military mission was intended to counter extremism and militant Islam by preventing safe havens for terrorists and promoting U.S. goodwill through civil-military affairs projects. To assess the CJTF-HOA model as a strategy for AFRICOM, this paper examines U.S. military intervention in humanitarian affairs and information operations in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, and the promotion of good governance and stability in Ethiopia and Somalia. While this strategy is capable of tackling many of the problems AFRICOM seeks to solve, the CJTF-HOA model is not an effective model for AFRICOM for two main reasons the model is unable to address the issues of failed or failing states and authoritarian governments and it requires security and stability before it can be implemented, which makes it unable to address many of the most significant problems facing Africa.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

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