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Thread: Africom Stands Up 2006-2017

  1. #181
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Marc - we expect a very detailed anthropological analysis on this - from the subliminal pieces of development - to the effects of wearing it in public Rob
    All I can say is the must have got their inspiration from here .
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  2. #182
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Maybe its just in line with a whole of government approach - got to love the homonyms Best, Rob

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    "30 Days to Cairo"

    Unofficial motto of the SDF Armored Korps...so legend has it...
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

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    Council Member Vic Bout's Avatar
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  5. #185
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Report: AFRICOM Criticized by Refugees International

    Got this e-mail today. There is a teleconference with the author on Thursday and I requested a spot.

    Dear Dave,

    In a post about AFRICOM last year, you wrote: “Regardless of where you might stand on the value of establishing this new command, it is happening and we need to get it right.” Refugees International is releasing a report this Thursday, July 17 that lays out recommendations for the US to get AFRICOM right, and much of it has to do with the interagency collaboration you proposed.

    The report also analyzes the ways in which US foreign aid in Africa—and the world over—is becoming increasingly militarized, in some cases to the detriment of long-term security and humanitarian and development investment. On Thursday, July 17 at 12pm ET, there will be a phone briefing on the report with the report’s author, Mark Malan, and Ken Bacon, President of Refugees International.

    In the report, Mark Malan (Peace Building Program Manager for Refugees International and former head of research for Kofi Annan’s International Peacekeeping Centre in Ghana) asserts that AFRICOM is enabling the Department of Defense to take over funds that were previously managed by the State Department and USAID. For example, the percentage of Official Development Assistance that the Pentagon controls has skyrocketed from 3.5% to nearly 22% in the past decade, while the percentage controlled by USAID has shrunk from 65% to 40%.

    The report argues Pentagon programs in Africa fund immediate, short-term security programs rather than the broader U.S. commitment to aid the growth of prosperous, stable countries. For example, more than half of the FY09 requested budget for Foreign Military Financing in Africa is for just two countries – Djibouti and Ethiopia – that are considered key partners in the continental War on Terror. As a result, 17 African Union member states have refused to host AFRICOM operations on their soil, viewing the US agency as an occupying force rather than a solution to long-term stability and security needs.

    In spite of AFRICOM’s drawbacks, however, Refugees International contends that AFRICOM could have an extremely positive impact on the region. A meaningful collaboration among the State Department, USAID and the Defense Department could kill three birds with one stone: help the US and African nations to fight terrorism, assist African countries with sustainable economic development, and build goodwill on the ground among humanitarian agencies, African legislators and civilians.

    The report will be available for download at 12 am, July 17 at www.refugeesinternational.org.

  6. #186
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Got this e-mail today. There is a teleconference with the author on Thursday and I requested a spot.
    The hearing today was rather interesting as well as somewhat painful. Looks like we might just get that discussion happening on what the military is expected to do and what it isn't/shouldn't and what civilian counterparts need in order to do their parts. That would be a good thing me thinks

    Not said in so many words but definitely comes out in what seems to be the reasoning behind some of the questions
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  7. #187
    Council Member Featherock's Avatar
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    "For example, the percentage of Official Development Assistance that the Pentagon controls has skyrocketed from 3.5% to nearly 22% in the past decade, while the percentage controlled by USAID has shrunk from 65% to 40%."

    This is key. Can't wait for the report.

  8. #188
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    GAO, 15 Jul 08: Preliminary Observations on the Progress and Challenges Associated with Establishing the U.S. Africa Command
    ....The initial concept for AFRICOM, designed and developed by DOD, met resistance from within the U.S. government and African countries and contributed to several implementation challenges. First, DOD has had difficulties integrating interagency personnel in the command, which is critical to synchronizing DOD efforts with other U. S. government agencies. DOD continues to lower its estimate of the ultimate level of interagency participation in the command. According to DOD, other agencies have limited resources and personnel systems which have not easily accommodated DOD’s intent to place interagency personnel in the command. Second, DOD has encountered concerns from civilian agencies and other stakeholders over the command’s mission and goals. For example, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development officials have expressed concerns that AFRICOM will become the lead for all U.S. efforts in Africa, rather than just DOD activities. If not addressed, these concerns could limit the command’s ability to develop key partnerships. Third, DOD has not yet reached agreement with the State Department and potential host nations on the structure and location of the command’s presence in Africa. Uncertainties related to AFRICOM’s presence hinder DOD’s ability to estimate future funding requirements for AFRICOM and raises questions about whether DOD’s concept for developing enduring relationships on the continent can be achieved....

  9. #189
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    There's a lot behind and in-between these numbers. Depending on how you slice it, assistance is up or down. A better and more in-depth analysis can be found at http://www.cgdev.org/files/15423_fil...to_Africa5.pdf and other locations.

    Certainly, Africa has received a lot of funds for Malaria control and HIV/AIDS (PEPFAR and PMI) that are not necessarily "controlled" by the State Department or USAID. The Millenium Challenge Account funds are not controlled by USAID, but USAID sometimes manages the assistance.

    I'd like to see if RI analyzes this properly and puts it all into context. They should also address, up front, their own biases and agendas.

  10. #190
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    SECDEF's speech on SWJ is very interesting in this connection.

  11. #191
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    Good point Beez. I'm going to check out your link.

    And yes, SecDef's recent speech is consistent with some of the criticisms raised by RI in that report. I'm liking this trend, though, of getting people to re-think the erosion of DoS vs. the DoD in the foreign policy realm.

  12. #192
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    I skimmed the report and pulled out this quote (below). I think the problem is that a ton of funding has gone into Africa but what the public sees is what appears to be a lack of results - more wars, more refugees, more problems.

    The major contention, I think, is that the GWOT may have shorter-term goals of eliminating the threat of terrorism which may undermine long-term development efforts at capacity building, democratization, poverty reduction, etc. The point and frankly, the question remains, is whether long-term development goals, if funded sufficiently and implemented effectively will address the fundamental questions of security and terrorism. I think the DOD has answered, in part, that the efforts, largely on their own, have not produced results and that's why we have the problems we do now (and that's why efforts need to be coordinated)

    Are short-term stability and counter-terrorism efforts counter-productive to long-term stability and development? Can we do both? I think we can , we have to and we are already doing it. Companies and organizations like RI need to figure out how THEY can get on board, not how the everyone else needs to. I didn't see much evidence of that.


    The resultant militarization of aid in an effort to prevail in the war against terrorism and in pursuit of national security objectives is unlikely to enhance either national security or the ability of the U.S. to achieve its foreign policy goals. The history of counter-insurgency, as well as development theory and practice, points rather towards long-term failure.

  13. #193
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default USA arms war-torn Africa under the guise of humanitarian aid

    Russia's Pravda: The USA has started to expand its military presence in African countries through humanitarian channels, which can only aggravate the tense situation in the continent.

    The US aid contributes to the militarization of the region. Therefore, it is not ruled out that it will never be possible to establish peaceful communities in post-conflict African states.

    The USA will soon set up a new organization, Africa Command (Africom), which will try to reach balance between US financial efforts in Africa, the interests of the Department of State, USAID and the Pentagon. Most likely, Africom will follow Pentagon’s instructions only.
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  14. #194
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Yes, as if the Russians have a leg to stand on this issue...they do like to point out perceived, exagerrated, or otherwise invented US weaknesses and issues.

  15. #195
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Did Dave get a spot on the conference call? I'd be interested in hearing what some of RI's people had to say about this, as well as other interested parties. . .

    Regards,

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  16. #196
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    JFQ, 4th Qtr 08, Special Feature:

    U.S. Africa Command and the Principle of Active Security
    ....Active Security is a persistent and sustained level of effort focused on security assistance programs that prevent conflict in order to contribute to an enhanced level of dialogue and development. The goal of Active Security is to enable our partners to marginalize the enemies of peace; minimize the potential for conflict; foster the growth of strong, just governments and legitimate institutions; and support the development of civil societies.....
    The Road to a New Unified Command
    .....It is exhilarating to create a new command in order to reflect the growing importance of our African partners, but turning it into a reality requires incredible amounts of detailed work, dedication, and energy. We appreciate the efforts of all who contributed to our establishment—from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, other participating U.S. Government agencies, Country Teams in Africa, and fellow unified commands (especially U.S. European Command). We also thank those who participated in the Implementation Planning Team and transition team, and ultimately the Servicemembers, civilians, and contractors of U.S. Africa Command. Achieving full unified command status is a major accomplishment, one that leads to greater security and stability on the continent of Africa and its island nations.
    USAFRICOM: The Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy?
    The U.S. Government is in a unique position to leverage a momentous and historic shift in military focus: that it is now possible to mitigate the conditions that lead to conflict by working with allies and partners to shape the international environment and thus promote stability and security.1 U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) is the embodiment of this opportunity. Though American efforts to date represent steps in the right direction, they are nonetheless overly reliant on the Armed Forces and, as such, do little to alleviate the perception of the militarization of U.S. foreign policy. But the Government can mitigate and reverse this perception by implementing an integrated 3D (diplomacy, development, and defense) security engagement policy.....
    Legal Impediments to USAFRICOM Operationalization
    .....When one considers the broad mandate of U.S. Africa Command, one recognizes that the Department of Defense has made a serious departure from the historic role of the geographic combatant commander. The creation of this command is more than the paper transfer of areas of responsibility from the rosters of other commands; it marks a major shift in military function away from kinetic operations and toward capability-building via strategic engagement. Yet while the command sprints toward full operationalization, the realities of the operating environment appear overlooked. One finds a fragmented international agreement framework that, although satisfactory for the previous combatant commands, undermines the flexibility in engagement that is the raison d’ ętre of U.S. Africa Command. The limited existing framework lacks parity among sovereign states. Clearly, a concerted effort by Defense, with State approval, to negotiate and conclude comprehensive Status of Forces and Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreements will facilitate long-term USAFRICOM strategic objectives. Additionally, while the command hopes to fully engage its African partners, its fiscal hands are tied. A statutory regime that strictly limits the U.S. military contribution to stability, security, health, and welfare is unworkable. Authority for these efforts must be vested in the commander, using specifically appropriated funding. Accordingly, legislation that validates the nontraditional role of USAFRICOM should be favorably considered by Congress......

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    SSI, 27 Aug 08: U.S. Counterterrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding Costs, Cultures, and Conflicts
    What is the most effective long-term approach to U.S. counterterrorism in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)? The purpose of this paper is to lay the framework for answering this central question. The current struggle of the United States and its allies against terrorist groups and individuals motivated by Islamic extremism consumes U.S. military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. Never a centerpiece of U.S. foreign and defense policy, SSA is now a front in the conflict to counter global Islamic extremism. As in the past, however, SSA remains largely misunderstood and misperceived in the United States. Yet, the U.S. Government is now embarked on reform of U.S. policy toward the African continent with uncertain consequences.....
    Complete 81-page paper at the link.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-07-2013 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Merged into this thread

  18. #198
    Council Member Michael F's Avatar
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    Default Africom low on budget

    As an update on AFRICOM

    AFRICOM to work with Congress on budget request
    By Steve Mraz, Stars and Stripes
    Mideast edition, Wednesday, September 17, 2008



    U.S. Africa Command will work through the Defense Department to explain its budget request for the coming fiscal year to Congress, said a top AFRICOM officer on Monday.

    The command, which is set to become fully operational on Oct. 1, is at risk of receiving 80 percent less funding than what was formally requested.

    "If something bad were to happen, that would be bad," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Snodgrass, AFRICOM chief of staff. "That’s a hypothetical. There’s no reason to even discuss hypotheticals. We’ll wait until we get a final budget amount. We’ll do an analysis on that budget amount, and we’ll have to determine what the way ahead is after that."

    Last week, the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense recommended providing only $80.6 million in funding for fiscal year 2009. President Bush had requested $389 million for AFRICOM.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the 2009 defense bill, but the full report has not been available.

    "We’re still in discussion stages, and we’re working with Congress on what the funding amounts are in the president’s budget that we put forward and what those are going to do for this command," Snodgrass said Monday after an AFRICOM town hall meeting. "I anticipate those discussions are going to continue, and we’re looking forward to our participation in that discussion."

    Last week, the command went through an exercise that basically served as its "graduation event" as it prepares to become a full-fledged unified command, Navy Vice Adm. Robert Moeller, AFRICOM’s deputy to the commander for military operations, said.

    By the end of the month, AFRICOM will have a staff of more than 1,000 — the majority of whom arrived in the past four-and-a-half months, Snodgrass said. Another approximately 300 positions will be filled during the next year, Moeller said.

    For the coming fiscal year, AFRICOM’s main focus is to consolidate and manage the programs in Africa that it inherited from the three U.S. military commands that had responsibility for different parts of the continent, said Vince Crawley, AFRICOM spokesman.

    "We feel confident that we’ll have the tools we need from our government, including the U.S. Congress, to accomplish our mission," Crawley said.

    As far as what would happen if the funding was not worked out by Oct. 1, Crawley said typically when the government shuts down, the Defense Department does not.

  19. #199
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Got this e-mail today. There is a teleconference with the author on Thursday and I requested a spot.
    You know I don't know Mr Bacon, President of Refugees International, or Mr. Malan, this reports author, I do know Mr. Rosenblatt who is listed as President Emeritus from my Goma days.

    Much of this criticism and advice for AFRICOM is agenda-driven and that agenda is making sure said NGOs get their slice of the pie. So while some of the concerns are valid and should be considered, the weight given those concerns and their very selection is influenced by agendas that have little to do with assistance to Africa.

    Tom

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    You know I don't know Mr Bacon, President of Refugees International, or Mr. Malan, this reports author, I do know Mr. Rosenblatt who is listed as President Emeritus from my Goma days.

    Much of this criticism and advice for AFRICOM is agenda-driven and that agenda is making sure said NGOs get their slice of the pie. So while some of the concerns are valid and should be considered, the weight given those concerns and their very selection is influenced by agendas that have little to do with assistance to Africa.

    Tom
    And, to echo Tom's wisdom herein, the very people that literally sabotaged EUCOM's programs. This current acronym NGO has now pestered me for 2 decades.

    Honestly, I'm sick of folks like these with wheezy agendas along the beltway, and freaks in the field... without a clue.

    They have an (contractual) obligation and job to do, and the acronym NGO should not include political rhetoric (and, they should not be bothering the US Military trying to accomplish something on a shoestring budget in the friggin bush).

    OK, I'm done For now!
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