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Thread: Africom Stands Up 2006-2017

  1. #41
    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Default Location

    Two obvious options spring to mind, if the new Command were to be located outside CONUS (and I do not think that is a 'given').

    1. If force protection etc were to drive considerations (especially if the posting was to be with dependants), RSA. Disadvantage is the relative removal from much of the 'action'. Advantage is the most developed economy and being in sub-saharan Africa' s 'superpower'.

    2. Co-location with the OAU - in Addis.

    Personally, I would be betting that the permanent Command base is in CONUS.

    Regards,

    Mark

  2. #42
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default

    I would convert the current SETAF HQ which is already in place in Vicenza, Italy. We already have a good SOFA with the Italian Government. The biggest problem with that option is limited space available for additional folks. In that area you do not build outward, you build on top of current structures.





    In Search of a Unified Command for Africa by Eugene Yim Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

    http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA425916

    The missions, responsibilities, and force structure of a combatant command must adapt to changing
    strategic environment. As Africa undergoes intense transition, promise and opportunity exist
    side by side with the perils of civil war, transnational threats, infectious disease, and
    desperate poverty, which can significantly affect the U.S. national interests in the region.
    However, the current UCP arrangement—division of responsibility for Africa among three commands
    (USEUCOM, USCENTCOM, and USPACOM) and lacking a dedicated headquarters for Africa—does not
    provide the ideal framework to effectively support the U.S. strategy and meet the current and
    future challenges in Africa. The U.S. should give a higher priority to Africa by transferring
    USCENTCOM and USPACOM’s African Areas of Responsibility to USEUCOM and establishing a sub-unified
    command for Africa under USEUCOM. Such a dedicated sub-unified command will allow more effective
    command structure to proactively shape the security environment in Africa and more effectively
    handle any threats to U.S. national interests in the region.
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 02-07-2007 at 02:32 PM.

  3. #43
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default More from Reuters...

    No Extra Troops to be Based in Africa, says Pentagon - Reuters.

    No extra U.S. combat troops will be stationed in Africa as a result of plans to create a U.S. military command for the continent, U.S. defense officials said on Wednesday.

    The new headquarters will have a strong focus on helping African nations train their security forces and will include more U.S. government civilians than other regional command centers, the officials told reporters at the Pentagon.

    President George W. Bush announced on Tuesday he had given approval for the new command, AFRICOM, which will be based initially in Stuttgart, Germany, but later move to an African location yet to be determined.

    The creation of the new headquarters reflects increasing U.S. strategic interest in Africa. Washington is concerned that African nations with weak governments offer a haven for Islamist militants and is attracted by the continent's natural resources...

  4. #44
    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Default Location

    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Ok, based on that, delete my last regarding CONUS, my money is now on Addis.

  5. #45
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Default

    Hmmm... do you suppose they'd be interested in an IMA Transporation O-5 Reservist????

  6. #46
    Registered User hendrikwitbooi's Avatar
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    Default Africom Hq

    . . . my money is now on Addis.
    There certainly are advantages to being at the administrative heart of the African Union (AU). Of course, the US has been active in the Horn of Africa for decades, but I wonder if this doesn't hurt us in some ways. Black Hawk Down issues aside, the legacy of having supported one side then the other in the Ogaden conflict must surely be viewed with considerable cynicism in the area (then again, perhaps Somalian views no longer count). Also, might not the presence of AFRICOM in (nominally Christian) Ethiopia further the "us vs. them" sentiment on the Muslim street.

    What about simply expanding our existing presence and accommodating AFRICOM in Djibouti? Recent US development aid has already gone a long way toward putting a benevolent face on the American presence there. It would be more politically neutral than locating in Ethiopia. And since we're already in Djibouti, it would be cheaper than creating a new command in landlocked Ethiopia. Thoughts?

  7. #47
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Large airbase needs user

    How about the huge US-built and funded air base in Botswana? Built before South Africa's apartheid ended. Flew over on a Johannesburg to Windhoek flight - huge. Just why the USA built it was lost on the locals. Botswana is generally pro-western, is a democracy and has other facilities - plus South Africa is next door (not that SAfrica would relish a US base so close). Plus it is in the middle of nowhere. Biggest snag? Distance from the sea, requires overflying permission and hot (not that Djibouti is cool).

    Or we could rent even more of Ascension Island to you!

    Davidbfpo

  8. #48
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default 21st Century Marines In Africa

    21st Century Marines In Africa
    published by the USMC Combat Developments Command
    For
    Commanding General,
    Marine Corps Combat Development Command


    https://www.mccdc.usmc.mil/featureto...esinAfrica.pdf


    Because Africa’s daunting economic, demographic, environmental, and political challenges appear to defy resolution, the issues of that continent will continue to pose potential threats to international stability and the interests of the United States. The sheer size and environmental complexity of Africa pose humanitarian needs and requirements for effective governance seemingly beyond the capacity of either individual governments or regional organizations to address. Ethnic and religious divisions produce frequent and severe incidents of disorder. Transnational entities seeking sanctuary for their terrorism or to exploit political weakness and foment discontent exacerbate existing instability. This paper provides a continental perspective, seeks to explore the nature of African challenges, and provides recommendations for the Marine Corps to better posture itself to meet those challenges.

  9. #49
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default 21st Century Marines In Africa

    Hello SGM !

    Overall, I think it's very thorough, but a tad too general.
    Some of the information is a bit dated. Areas such as FMF and IMET and worse, HIV/AIDs.

    Congo (then Zaire) for example, where we annually sent upwards of 70 people to the States under IMET, only produced a few bright stars. FMF related equipment was truely sad if the equipment stayed around long enough.

    The paper lists Congo's HIV/AIDs Prevalence Rate at the 5 to 15% range. CDC's studies in the late 80's indicated 35%. I suppose it could have declined, but I'm not sure how.

    Regards, Stan
    Last edited by Stan; 02-09-2007 at 04:38 PM.

  10. #50
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Initial Look

    Stan

    you are correct on the AIDs rate; it is higher. Also spot on assessment of IMET and other security assistance; it has to be done by country, otherwise it is not only useless, it is dangerously misleading.

    I did note that the report did discuss Attache and FAO slots and that is a good thing.

    more later when I get to read it in detail

    best all

    Tom

  11. #51
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Initial Looks

    Tom,
    As always, dead on the money. How the Hotel do we classify the entire continent as one ?
    My trips to Chad would open my eyes. Holes in every building. Hell it looked like an impact zone for M1s.

    What did LTC Babbit say in one of his profound reports on the Congo civil war ? Wait for it !

    I got it, "A solid shot tank round was found in a residencial area."

    How hard did we laugh ? I had cramps for weeks They are now considered UXO

    OK, I'm done (for now).
    have a safe trip !

    Regards, Stan

  12. #52
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Still Waiting....

    What did LTC Babbit say in one of his profound reports on the Congo civil war ? Wait for it !
    Yep!

    Also I remember the "nixon" routine when he flew back in from Bukavu--"I was not spying"--as we steered him onto the plane out of Goma.

    Then again he ended up advising VP Al Gore on Africa

    After I was over in Rwanda and went back to the States for a couple of weeks with VP Kagame's visit to see the SecDef, I ran into one of my classmates from French in 1983, Gus Lorenz He was working OSD-ISA-Africa and we of course worked on Kagame's visit as ISA was the action office. Gus had gone to ZAMISH (for the uninitiated that was the US security assistance offcice in Zaire); you probably knew him.

    Anyway he was somewhat upset because I had over the past year--as you know--hammered the point that the FAZ (Zairian military) was broken. He felt that I was too harsh; I suspect because he wrongly felt it reflected on ZAMISH personnel. Of course, my replacement in Zaire did her best to rebuild the FAZ's reputation in the next 2 years; 1996 thru 1998 proved just how correct we were and how wrong they were.

    But again on Brazza, I often wondered as they were our escape hatch and we were their escape hatch, what would have happened had the two Congo's gotten their rhythm of discontent in synch. I guess we could have hijacked the ferry and hid in the middle of the river.


    Best

    Tom

  13. #53
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Ferry Hijacking in the Congo's

    Tom,

    You recall, that ferry nearly sank leaving her passengers in the prop wash as the ship's Captain gunned the motors in a feeble attempt at escaping the onslaught of passengers. I had the APO mail from Brazza and decided to fly that morning.

    Yes, I know Gus. He was there when things were smokin' to the tune of 7 million. We even had our very own English language teacher under contract from CONUS. Gus was optimistic, even when our boss, an AF O-6 was not ! We would settle disagreements with a weekend party Sam, the English teacher would get drunk, cry and, consistent with his *African-American spirit would sing "Swing low, Sweet Chariot, Coming for to carry me home" and I would fall over from laughing as the Army Admin Officer (a huge Ranger) would perform bodily gestures as if we were all deaf.

    Also I remember the "nixon" routine when he flew back in from Bukavu--"I was not spying"--as we steered him onto the plane out of Goma.
    This reminds me of the current thread RE DIA and her personnel. We did our job, got slammed and he moves on to create the acronym UXO with Gore and party. Truely, a sad state of affairs.

    Regards, Stan

  14. #54
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default Cross threading

    In the thread on Ph.D. advisors in Iraq, I have advocated for a regional form of the old Country Team, one that includes a lot more than just DOS and DOD membership. Take a read of the following links for words similar to my proposal. However, consider the source—the DOD public web site. We can only hope . . .


    http://www.defenselink.mil/News/News...e.aspx?id=2965

    http://www.defenselink.mil/News/News...e.aspx?ID=2946

    http://www.defenselink.mil/News/News...e.aspx?id=2940

    http://www.defenselink.mil/home/pdf/...ef02022007.pdf


    I worry that the transition team will locate itself in “EUCOM land” at Kelley Barracks. I would prefer to establish it on some neutral site away from EUCOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM direct influence.

    Does anyone out there have insights about RADM Moeller, the exec director of the transition team?

  15. #55
    Registered User hendrikwitbooi's Avatar
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    Or we could rent even more of Ascension Island to you!
    Do you have any oil there, David?

    Southern Africa (ZA, Namibia, Botswana) might be a good place for the new command, but, as someone already mentioned, it's some distance away from the action. I think the Americans are mostly worried about the Sahara and the Sahel, and want a dedicated training command on the continent to oversee programs such as the Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI). I wonder how Gaddafi would feel about having AFRICOM in Libya?

    Africa, which represents 35 percent of the world’s land mass and 25 percent of the population, is growing in significance, and . . . (from one of the defenselink.mil links)
    Stuff like this just annoys the crap out of me, especially when you can google the correct information in five minutes. Whatever happened to attention to detail in the military?

  16. #56
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrikwitbooi View Post
    I wonder how Gaddafi would feel about having AFRICOM in Libya?
    I actually thought that Benghazi would make an interesting and relevant site for the AFRICOM HQ--good port, sizable population--relatively close to the current trouble spots in the Horn and Sudan--not too far from what I beleive may well will be the next locus of African troubles in the Niger/Mali/Burkina Faso/South Algeria region. Down side is the distance from southern Africa--we might need a forward command post in Botswana too.

    If Qaddafi is really interested in rejoining the "civilized" world, he might be more amenable than we think.

  17. #57
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    Default Alignment

    I've been reading this thread for a while and, although I don't believe that organizational change is really the answer to anything, it can facilitate the resolution of some problems. For this reason, if for no other, I welcome the creation of Africa Command. Among the things wit will accomplish are:

    1. Put DoD and DoS on the same regional sheet of music. It aligns the regional unified commands with with State's regional bureaus - at long last (and with the partial exception of NORTHCOM/SOUTHCOM - WHA.
    2. It will make it easier to coordinate among OSD, the Joint Staff, AFRICOM, Africa Bureau, AID. CIA, and others.
    3. It will make life much, much easier for DoD's Africa Center for Security Studies and give it a single unified command master.

    AFRICOM certainly provides a new opportunity to focus more and coordinate policy more effectively on an important region.

  18. #58
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default Africom?

    The last post here was 2 weeks ago any news on the status?

    Further a quick google of African sites popped up this article. It provides a different perspective.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200702140349.html

    Here is a quote:

    "The African Union and the Peace and Security Council were established to entrench democracy, create economic development and monitor and secure peace but have not been allowed to develop and mature enough to deal with the continent's problems. Africa does not need another US base aimed at "promoting" peace and development. Africom would destabilise an already fragile continent and region, which would be forced to engage with US interests on military terms."
    Business Day (Johannesburg) OPINION, February 14, 2007, Posted to the web February 14, 2007, Michele Ruiters, Johannesburg SA.

    The author's focus seems a bit off as he is more concerned about a physical base and the troops he believes would be stationed there. He is concerned about the cultural effects of a large footprint set up, not about a C2 organization that facilitates and coordinates effort. But it is an indication that prior to setting up USAFRICOM a lot of PR work needs to be done. That is unless I'm missing something, the intent of the new command seems very beneficial from my understanding:

    The Boston Globe’s Bryan Bender reports:

    " The Pentagon, which crafted the proposal with the aid of the State Department and other government agencies, envisions the new command to be unique among its global combat headquarters. Because African nations do not pose a direct military threat to the United States, Defense officials said, the AFRICOM operation would focus far less on preparing troops for major combat in the area. Instead, it would stress military training programs to help local governments secure their borders and take steps to guard against crises such as Darfur as well as contain outbreaks of deadly diseases such as AIDS and malaria . Unlike in other traditional command posts, the four-star general who would be in charge of AFRICOM would probably have a civilian counterpart from the State Department to coordinate nonmilitary functions of the US government. The expectation is that diplomacy and economic and political aid will often prove more critical to achieving US goals in Africa than relying on military solutions."

  19. #59
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Craddock Discusses Africa, European Command Changes

    Craddock Discusses Africa, European Command Changes - AFPS, 2 March 2007.

    Establishing U.S. Africa Command will mean big changes to U.S. European Command, the top U.S. military commander in Europe said at a news roundtable here today.

    Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, said initial operating capability for U.S. Africa Command is tentatively set for Oct. 1, with full operational capability set for Oct. 1, 2008.

    All the African nations currently under European Command will transfer to the new command. All the nations of the Horn of Africa will transfer from U.S. Central Command, and Madagascar and the Seychelles will transfer from U.S. Pacific Command.

    The new command will be based in Stuttgart, Germany, for the time being. Officials ultimately hope the command will transfer its headquarters to Africa, Craddock said.

    The teams working to set up AFRICOM are working in Washington and Stuttgart on the new command’s manning, functions and missions. Craddock has taken the opportunity of the change to look at and refocus the mission of U.S. European Command...

  20. #60
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default Feb 2007 USAFRICOM Public Brief PPT.


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