African Security and the Future of AFRICOM

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					                     African Security and the Future of AFRICOM

                                 50th Strategy for Peace Conference
                                Sponsored by the Stanley Foundation
                                        October 15-17, 2009
                                 Airlie Center, Warrenton, Virginia

                  Patrick Cronin, National Defense University, Roundtable Chair
                                 Alena Junko Tansey, Rapporteur

The aim of this roundtable is to explore Africa’s salient security challenges and the evolving role of
US African Command in effectively meeting some of those challenges.

(In the words of the US Africa Command itself:
Source: Accessed Tuesday, October 6, 2009,
10:18 p.m.)

US Africa Command: On February 6, 2007, President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates
announced the creation of US Africa Command. The decision was the culmination of a 10-year
thought process within the Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledging the emerging strategic
importance of Africa, and recognizing that peace and stability on the continent impacts not only
Africans but the interests of the US and international community as well. Yet the department’s
regional command structure did not account for Africa in a comprehensive way, with three different
US military headquarters maintaining relationships with African countries. The creation of US
Africa Command enables DoD to better focus its resources to support and enhance existing US
initiatives that help African nations, the African Union, and the regional economic communities
succeed. It also provides African nations and regional organizations an integrated DoD coordination
point to help address security and related needs.

A Different Kind of Command
The designers of US Africa Command clearly understood the relationships between security,
development, diplomacy, and prosperity in Africa. As a result, US Africa Command, or AFRICOM,
reflects a much more integrated staff structure, one that includes significant management and staff
representation by the Department of State, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and
other US government agencies involved in Africa. The command also will seek to incorporate
partner nations and humanitarian organizations, from Africa and elsewhere, to work alongside the
US staff on common approaches to shared interests.

 United States Africa Command, in concert with other US government agencies and international
partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-
sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure
African environment in support of US foreign policy. Mission statement approved by the Secretary
of Defense May 2008.

I. Thursday, October 15, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
   The Saliency of African Security Challenges
   A. Introduction of participants/Chatham House rules
   B. Review of conference agenda
   C. How important is African security for the United States? Is the United States
       prepared to be more active in supporting African security?
   D. What are Africa’s chief security challenges?
      1. What is a “threat” and what isn’t?
      2. Traditional and nontraditional challenges:
           a) Current conflicts: Somalia, Sudan, DRC
           b) Counterterrorism
           c) Energy, environmental, and resource security
           d) Poverty and economic inequality
           e) Illicit trafficking and criminality
           f) Ungoverned and poorly governed spaces
      3. Human security
           a) Weak governance and institutions
           b) Absence of strong civil society, rule of law
           c) Corruption

II. Friday, October 16, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
    The United States African Command
    A. Background on the evolution of AFRICOM
        1. Origins
        2. Organizational structure
        3. Comparison to other regional commands
        4. What is new at AFRICOM?
    B. Evolving roles and missions
        1. Predominantly human security theme
        2. What is AFRICOM’s strategy?
            a) Bilateral, multilateral?
            b) How is it addressing civil, military, law-enforcement needs (breaking it
        3. What are AFRICOM’s success stories?
            a) How do they measure success?
        4. What difficulties have arisen around AFRICOM?
    C. Ability to provide comprehensive security
        1. What is AFRICOM’s capacity?
        2. What tools do they have?
        3. What else do they need?
     D. Challenges and limitations of AFRICOM
        1. Interagency collaboration
        2. Mixed messages
        3. Who should be their partners?
     E. Future of AFRICOM
        1. Does AFRICOM need a sustained US advocate to survive?
        2. How will AFRICOM judge success?

III. Friday, October 16, 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
     Testing AFRICOM Against Three of Africa’s Challenges
     A. Humanitarian assistance and disaster response
         1. What is their role?
         2. What tools does AFRICOM have?
         3. What tools does AFRICOM need?
         4. How do they avoid redundancy in the field?
     B. Peacemaking and conflict resolution
         1. What is their role?
         2. What tools does AFRICOM have?
         3. What tools does AFRICOM need?
         4. How do they avoid redundancy in the field?
     C. Transnational terrorism
         1. What is their role?
         2. What tools does AFRICOM have?
         3. What tools does AFRICOM need?
         4. How do they avoid redundancy in the field?

IV. Saturday, October 17, 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
    Recalibrating AFRICOM to Better Meeting African Security Challenges
    A. Alternate models for AFRICOM
        1. What recommendations should be contemplated for the US to be more effective?
           AFRICOM or otherwise?
    B. Improving AFRICOM’s comprehensive approach
        1. What is AFRICOM’s strategy for conflict prevention, management, and
        2. What are the roles we see for AFRICOM in addressing these issues in the future?
    C. Building state capacity, locally, nationally, and regionally
        1. How does AFRICOM engage other departments and agencies in building state
        2. Subregional and regional institution building?
      3. State security vs. human security?
   D. Mobilizing and working with other international actors and institutions
      1. African governments and regional organizations
      2. US government?
      3. United Nations?
      4. NGOs?
   E. Enhancing understanding of AFRICOM in the region and enhancing understanding of
      African security in the United States
      1. Where do African and US security paradigms diverge?
      2. What are the insights for the future of US support for stabilizing and developing
      3. What options and recommendations can we give?

V. Saturday, October 17, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
   Wrap-up Plenary Session of All Roundtables
   A. Summary of conclusions and recommendations