Congressional Research Service Report for Congress
Analyst in African Affairs
April 3, 2010
In recent years, analysts and U.S. policymakers have noted Africa's growing strategic importance to U.S. interests. Among those interests are the increasing importance of Africa's natural resources, particularly energy resources, and mounting concern over violent extremist activities and other potential threats posed by uncontrolled spaces, such as piracy and illicit trafficking. In addition, there is ongoing concern for Africa's many humanitarian crises, armed conflicts, and more general challenges, such as the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS. In 2006, Congress authorized a feasibility study on the creation of a new command for Africa to consolidate current operations and activities on the continent under one commander. Congress has closely monitored the command since its establishment.
On February 6, 2007, the Bush Administration announced the creation of a new unified combatant command, U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM, to promote U.S. national security objectives in Africa and its surrounding waters. Prior to AFRICOM's establishment, U.S. military involvement on the continent was divided among three commands: U.S. European Command (EUCOM), U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). The command's area of responsibility (AOR) includes all African countries except Egypt. AFRICOM was officially launched as a sub-unified command under EUCOM on October 1, 2007, and became a stand-alone command on October 1, 2008.
As envisioned by the Department of Defense (DOD), AFRICOM aims to promote U.S. strategic objectives by working with African states and regional organizations to help strengthen regional stability and security through improved security capability and military professionalization. If directed by national command authorities, its military operations would aim to deter aggression and respond to crises.
DOD signaled its intention to locate AFRICOM's headquarters on the continent early in the planning process, but such a move is unlikely to take place for several years, if at all. The command will operate from Stuttgart, Germany, for the foreseeable future. DOD has stressed that there are no plans to have a significant troop presence on the continent. The East African country of Djibouti, home to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) at Camp Lemonnier, provides the U.S. military's only enduring infrastructure in Africa.
The 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa and more recent attacks have highlighted the threat of terrorism to U.S. interests on the continent. Political instability and civil wars have created vast ungoverned spaces, areas in which some experts allege that terrorist groups may train and operate. Instability also heightens human suffering and retards economic development, which may in turn threaten U.S. economic interests. Africa's exports of crude oil to the United States are now roughly equal to those of the Middle East, further emphasizing the continent's strategic importance. This report provides a broad overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts on the continent as they pertain to the creation of AFRICOM. A discussion of AFRICOM's mission, its coordination with other government agencies, and its basing and manpower requirements is included.
Issues for Congress
On February 6, 2007, President George W. Bush formally announced the creation of a new Unified Combatant Command (COCOM) for the African continent, reflecting Africa's increasing strategic importance to the United States.1 The Department of Defense (DOD) organizes its command structure by dividing its activities among joint military commands based either on a geographic or functional area of responsibility (AOR).2 With the creation of the new command, DOD now has six geographic commands and four functional commands. Previously, U.S. military involvement in Africa was divided among three geographic commands: European Command (EUCOM), Central Command (CENTCOM), and Pacific Command (PACOM). The new command's area of responsibility (AOR) includes all African countries except Egypt, which remains in the AOR of CENTCOM. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was launched with initial operating capability (IOC) as a sub-unified command under EUCOM on October 1, 2007, and reached full operating capability (FOC) as a stand-alone unified command on October 1, 2008. AFRICOM's first commander, Army General William E. "Kip" Ward, former Deputy Commander of EUCOM, was confirmed by the Senate on September 28, 2007.
Although the precise wording of AFRICOM's mission statement has evolved since the command was first announced, DOD officials have broadly suggested that the command's mission is to promote U.S. strategic objectives by working with African partners to help strengthen stability and security in the region through improved security capability and military professionalization.3 A key aspect of the command's mission is its supporting role to other agencies' and departments' efforts on the continent. But like other combatant commands, AFRICOM is expected to oversee military operations, when directed, to deter aggression and respond to crises.
The Bush Administration's motivation for the creation of a new unified command for Africa evolved in part out of concerns about DOD's division of responsibility for Africa among three geographic commands, which reportedly posed coordination challenges. Although some military officials had advocated the creation of an Africa Command for over a decade, recent crises
1. The White House Office of the Press Secretary, "President Bush Creates a Department of Defense Unified Combatant Command for Africa," February 6, 2007. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the command's creation to Congress in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the same day. Formal efforts to establish an Africa Command, or AFRICOM, began in mid-2006, under former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. DOD announced that it was considering AFRICOM in August 2006, and President Bush reportedly approved the proposal on December 15, 2006. "Africa Command Plans Approved by Bush, DOD Officials Confirm," Stars and Stripes, December 30, 2006.
2. A unified combatant command is defined as "a command with a broad continuing mission under a single commander and composed of significant assigned components of two or more Military Departments that is established and so designated by the President, through the Secretary of Defense with the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," according to DOD's Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
3. When first announced, the draft mission statement was: "U.S. Africa Command promotes U.S. National Security objectives by working with African states and regional organizations to help strengthen stability and security in the AOR. U.S. Africa Command leads the in-theater DOD response to support other USG agencies in implementing USG security policies and strategies. In concert with other U.S. government agencies and other international partners, U.S. Africa Command conducts theater security cooperation activities to assist in building security capacity and improve accountable governance. As directed, U.S. Africa Command conducts military operations to deter aggression and respond to crises." Its current mission statement, approved by General Ward and Secretary Gates, is "United States Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. 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 U.S. foreign policy."
highlighted the challenges created by "seams" between the COCOMs' boundaries. One such seam was located between Sudan (then within CENTCOM's AOR), Chad and the Central African Republic (then within EUCOM's AOR), an area of increased instability. The United States, acting first alone and later as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has provided airlift and training for African peacekeeping troops in the Darfur region of Sudan, and although CENTCOM had responsibility for Sudan, much of the airlift and training was done by EUCOM forces.
In addition, close observers say that EUCOM and CENTCOM had become overstretched particularly given the demands created by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Commander of EUCOM, whose AOR included 92 countries prior to AFRICOM's creation, testified before Congress that
the increasing strategic significance of Africa will continue to pose the greatest security stability challenge in the EUCOM AOR. The large ungoverned area in Africa, HIV/AIDS epidemic, corruption, weak governance, and poverty that exist throughout the continent are challenges that are key factors in the security stability issues that affect every country in Africa.4
His predecessor, General James L. Jones, who currently serves as National Security Advisor to the President, pointed out in 2006 that EUCOM's staff were spending more than half their time on Africa issues, up from almost none three years prior.5
AFRICOM has faced myriad challenges in its establishment, and outstanding issues remain as the command moves forward. Some of these issues have been or may be addressed by the 111th Congress. Key oversight questions relating to the command may include the following:
What are the United States' strategic interests in Africa?
How are U.S. strategic interests influencing the size and scope of the U.S. military footprint on the continent, and what effect will AFRICOM have on future U.S. military operations in Africa?
Is AFRICOM's mission well defined?
The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) addresses steps the U.S. military will take in order to improve potential "contingency response." How has AFRICOM prepared to meet potential contingencies on the continent?
How are AFRICOM and U.S. military efforts in Africa perceived by Africans and by other foreign countries, including China? Have those perceptions evolved since the command was first announced?
What are the costs associated with AFRICOM? How are these costs affected by AFRICOM's chosen headquarters location?
What role, if any, do contractors play in AFRICOM's operations?
How closely do the State Department and DOD coordinate on plans for the command and on U.S. military efforts in Africa in general? What are the Obama
4. Testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 19, 2006.
5. Greg Mills, "World's Biggest Military Comes to Town," Business Day, February 9, 2007.
Administration's views on the development of AFRICOM's interagency process? Does AFRICOM's enhanced integration of non-DOD USG agency personnel into the command necessitate statutory changes?
How is AFRICOM addressing the intelligence community's need to realign its resources directed toward the continent?
How will the Obama Administration ensure that U.S. military efforts in Africa do not overshadow or contradict U.S. diplomatic and development objectives? Should conflict prevention activities be an essential part of DOD's mandate, and are they sustainable?
What are the authorities granted to U.S. Chiefs of Mission regarding combatant command activities in the countries to which they are posted, and are these authorities sufficient?
How prominent are counter-terrorism operations and programs, particularly relative to the peacekeeping training and support components, in AFRICOM's mandate? Would some DOD-implemented counter-terrorism programs be more appropriately implemented by other U.S. agencies?
How do AFRICOM's civil affairs teams contribute to the command's mission?
Are the legal authorities guiding DOD's implementation of security cooperation reform programs sufficient for AFRICOM to fulfill its mandate? Do any of these authorities hinder the U.S. military's ability to conduct these programs?
Are there procedural challenges that hinder AFRICOM's ability to conduct its capacity building mandate in a timely manner?
Does the lack of assigned forces affect AFRICOM's ability to implement its mandate?
How can AFRICOM ensure that improvements in partner capacity are sustained?
What efforts does DOD take to ensure that the training and equipment provided to African security forces are not used to suppress internal dissent or to threaten other nations?
This report provides information on AFRICOM's mission, structure, interagency coordination, and its basing and manpower requirements. The report also gives a broad overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts on the continent as they pertain to the creation of Africa Command.
The DOD Proposal for a New Africa Command
Changes to the Unified Command Plan
The mission of geographic commands is defined by a general geographic area of responsibility (AOR), while the mission of functional commands is the worldwide performance of transregional responsibilities. There are currently six geographic combatant commands: Africa (AFRICOM), European (EUCOM), Pacific (PACOM), North (NORTHCOM), Southern (SOUTHCOM), and Central (CENTCOM) Commands. There are four functional COCOMs, including Transportation
(TRANSCOM), Special Operations (SOCOM), Joint Forces (JFCOM) and Strategic (STRATCOM) Commands. As mentioned above, DOD responsibilities for Africa were divided among three geographic commands prior to October 2008. EUCOM, based in Germany, had 42 African countries in its AOR;6 CENTCOM, based in Florida, covered eight countries in East Africa, including those that make up the Horn of Africa; and PACOM, based in Hawaii, was responsible for the islands of Comoros, Madagascar, and Mauritius.7
The creation of a new combatant command requires changes by the President to a classified executive document, the Unified Command Plan (UCP), which establishes responsibilities and areas of responsibilities for the commanders of combatant commands. Changes to the UCP are usually initiated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), who presents a recommendation to the Secretary of Defense. After the Secretary's review, a proposal is presented to the President for approval. Prior to the advent of AFRICOM, the most recent Unified Command to be established was NORTHCOM, which was created in 2002, after the September 11 terrorist attacks, to protect the U.S. homeland. The UCP is reviewed at least every two years, as required by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-433). The 2006 review recommended the establishment of an Africa Command, and the 2008 review, released in December 2008, codified the command. A new functional command, Medical Command, is reportedly also being considered. Congress has, on occasion, taken legislative action that has led to changes in the UCP.
Combatant Command "Plus"?
Some DOD officials have referred to Africa Command as a combatant command "plus."8 This implies that the command has all the roles and responsibilities of a traditional geographic combatant command, including the ability to facilitate or lead military operations, but also includes a broader "soft power" mandate aimed at building a stable security environment and incorporates a larger civilian component from other U.S. government agencies to address those challenges. According to the 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy, "America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones." The Department of Defense, identifying instability in foreign countries as a threat to U.S. interests, issued DOD Directive 3000.05 in 2005, defining stability operations9 as a "core U.S. military mission" that "shall be given priority comparable to combat operations."10 The 2008 National Defense Strategy further argues that "the inability of many states to police themselves effectively or to work with their neighbors to ensure regional security represents a challenge to the international system" and that "if left unchecked, such instability can spread and threaten regions of interest to the United States, our allies, and friends." The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) reiterates these points, noting,
6. Western Sahara is considered an "Area of Interest."
7. For more information see http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/unifiedcommand.
8. "Pentagon: AFRICOM Won't Boost U.S. Troop Presence on the Continent," Inside the Army, February 12, 2007.
9. DOD defines stability operations as "military and civilian activities conducted across the spectrum from peace to conflict to establish or maintain order in States and regions."
10. DOD, Directive 3000.05: Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations, November 28, 2005. The directive also clarifies that DOD sees its role in U.S. government plans for SSTR as a supporting one: "Many stability operations tasks are best performed by indigenous, foreign, or U.S. civilian professionals. Nonetheless, U.S. military forces shall be prepared to perform all tasks necessary to establish or maintain order when civilians cannot do so."
"preventing conflict, stabilizing crises, and building security sector capacity are essential elements of America's national security approach."
Although U.S. forces have traditionally focused on "fighting and winning wars," defense strategy is now evolving to look at conflict prevention, or "Phase Zero," addressing threats at their inception through increased emphasis on theater security cooperation (TSC) and capacity building of allies.11 The 2010 QDR and the Obama Administration's FY2011 Defense Budget Request emphasize the strategic importance the Administration places on security assistance, stating:
U.S. security is inextricably tied to the effectiveness of our efforts to help partners and allies build their own security capacity. Although security assistance is not new, what has fundamentally changed is the role that such assistance can play in providing security in today's environment. Threats to our security in the decades to come are more likely to emanate from state weakness than from state strength. The future strategic landscape will increasingly feature challenges in the ambiguous gray area that is neither fully war nor fully peace. In such an environment, enabling our partners to respond to security challenges may reduce risk to U.S. forces and extend security to areas we cannot reach alone.12
As General Bantz Craddock, former Commander of EUCOM, noted in his 2006 confirmation hearing, Africa in recent years had posed "the greatest security stability challenge" to EUCOM, and "a separate command for Africa would provide better focus and increased synergy in support of U.S. policy and engagement."13 In the view of AFRICOM's architects and proponents, if U.S. agencies, both military and civilian, are able to coordinate more efficiently and effectively both among themselves as well as with their African partners and other international actors, they might be more successful at averting more complex emergencies on the continent. The 2008 National Defense Strategy stresses the military's commitment to the concept of a new "Jointness," with emphasis on developing a "whole-of-government" approach toward meeting national security objectives, including greater civilian participation in military operations and greater harmonization of best practices among interagency partners. The 2010 QDR repeats the need to strengthen interagency partnerships. AFRICOM's commander, General Kip Ward, views the Department of Defense's role in Africa as part of a "three-pronged" U.S. government approach, with DOD, through AFRICOM, taking the lead on security issues, but playing a supporting role to the Department of State, which conducts diplomacy, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which implements development programs.
Ward does see AFRICOM playing a greater role in development activities than other commands, but has emphasized that its role will remain one of supporting USAID's development and humanitarian objectives. Command guidance for AFRICOM's humanitarian and civic assistance activities stresses that such activities should compliment, not duplicate, other U.S. government
11. Some analysts view four traditional phases for a military campaign: deter/engage, seize initiative, decisive operations, and transition. DOD officials have begun using a phrase, "Phase Zero" to encompass efforts prior to the first phase aimed at preventing the conflict. For more information on the Phase Zero strategy and TSC, also known as peacetime engagement, see General Charles Wald, "The Phase Zero Campaign," Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 43, 4th Quarter 2006, available at http://www.ndu.edu/inss.
12. DOD, The Quadrennial Defense Review Report, February 2010, p. 73. The FY2011 Defense Budget Request is available at http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/budget.html.
13. Advance Questions for General Bantz J. Craddock, USA, Nominee for United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 19, 2006.
activities, and should be used to strengthen security sector relationships. AFRICOM policies also require such activities to meet both US foreign policy objectives and AFRICOM theater strategic interests, and they must be approved by the Ambassador and USAID Mission Director in the host country.14
The mission of Africa Command might be most closely compared to that of Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which is responsible for U.S. military efforts in Central and South America. SOUTHCOM's mission, as defined by DOD, is to ensure the forward defense of the United States through security cooperation, counter-narcotics operations, humanitarian assistance, and monitoring and support for human rights initiatives in the region. Like SOUTHCOM, AFRICOM supervises an array of operations that relate to U.S. strategic interests but are not combat-related, unlike EUCOM, CENTCOM and PACOM, which have traditionally been more focused on preparing for potential warfighting operations. One DOD official suggested that the U.S. government could consider the command a success "if it keeps American troops out of Africa for the next 50 years."15
An Imbalance Between Military and Civilian Capacities?
AFRICOM's proactive approach to deterring or averting conflict reflects an evolution in DOD strategy that has been outlined extensively in government documents, but operationalizing that broad mandate may prove difficult.16 As one foreign policy expert points out, "the mission of AFRICOM will necessarily require a major break with conventional doctrinal mentalities both within the armed services themselves and between government agencies."17 One former DOD official described the mandate in the following words, "We want to help develop a stable environment in which civil society can be built and that the quality of life for the citizenry can be improved."18 The prospect that the Department of Defense will focus less on fighting wars and more on preventing them engenders mixed feelings elsewhere in the government. While many at the State Department and USAID welcome the ability of DOD to leverage resources and to organize complex operations, there also is concern that the military may overestimate its capabilities as well as its diplomatic role, or pursue activities that are not a core part of its mandate. Some argue that the highly unequal allocation of resources between the Departments of Defense, State, and USAID, hinder their ability to act as "equal partners" and could lead to the militarization of development and diplomacy.19
In August 2009, the State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report assessing the capacity of the Department's Bureau of African Affairs (AF). In that report, the OIG found that cuts in Department resources and personnel after the end of the Cold War led to a decline in management and experienced staffing at U.S. missions on the African continent. The subsequent dramatic increase in funding for HIV/AIDS programs and new development
14. Interviews by author with AFRICOM officials in Germany in February 2009.
15. Comments by then-Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Ryan Henry at a Meeting of USAID's Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) on May 23, 2007.
16. While the Phase Zero approach to ensuring national security has been accepted by much of the DOD leadership, discussion is ongoing within the Department about how best to use the U.S. military in a pre-conflict role.
17. J. Peter Pham, "Getting AFRICOM Right," World Defense Review, February 15, 2007.
18. DOD, "News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon," February 7, 2007.
19. See, for example, Lisa Schirch and Aaron Kishbaugh, "Leveraging '3D' Security: From Rhetoric to Reality," Foreign Policy in Focus, Policy Brief Vol. 11, No. 2, November 15, 2006.
initiatives, like the Millennium Challenge Corporation, combined with an increase in funding for military programs in many African countries, left U.S. embassy personnel overwhelmed and acutely understaffed. Among the OIG's many findings, the report determined that the U.S. military "is stepping into a void created by a lack of resources for traditional development and public diplomacy."20 The report also suggested that the creation and role of AFRICOM was "misunderstood at best, if not resented and challenged by AF." Inadequate communication between the Bureau and embassies led to confusion about AFRICOM's role and the parameters of ambassadors' authority in the beginning, although the OIG found that "there is every indication that the new Assistant Secretary and the AFRICOM Commander are working cooperatively." Other reports produced recently by non-governmental organizations like Refugees International reiterate the OIG report's findings, and, like the OIG, provide an array of recommendations for resolving what they determine to be an imbalance between civilian and military capacity in U.S. foreign affairs.21 DOD references the current disparity in capacities in the 2010 QDR, noting that
the lack of adequate civilian capacity has made prevailing in current conflicts significantly more challenging. Unfortunately, despite a growing awareness of the need and real efforts throughout the government to address it, adequate civilian capacity will take time and resources to develop and is unlikely to materialize in the near term.
The Bush Administration suggested that its proposal for AFRICOM represented an evolution in the involvement of other U.S. government agencies in the DOD planning process. Interagency coordination of U.S. security policy involves a variety of offices and actors in Washington, DC, and in the field. In Washington, the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) serves as the primary liaison for the Department with DOD. Its counterpart at DOD is the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ISA). USAID created the Office of Military Affairs (OMA) within the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) in 2005 to coordinate agency policy with DOD and the State Department for humanitarian relief and post conflict reconstruction efforts. USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Operations Liaison Unit (OLU), and the geographic bureaus' missions manage the operational coordination with DOD for those activities.
At the regional level, State's PM Bureau appoints senior officials known as Foreign Policy Advisors (POLADs) to serve as advisors to combatant commanders and other military leaders to "provide policy support regarding the diplomatic and political aspects of the commanders' military responsibilities."22 Like the State Department, USAID places OFDA military liaison officers with COCOMs that routinely provide humanitarian and disaster relief coordination; OMA also currently has policy advisors known as Senior Development Advisors (SDAs) in several commands, including AFRICOM. The State Department, intelligence and other government agencies have also designated representatives to Joint Interagency Coordination Groups (JIACGs) within the COCOMs to facilitate the interagency process. The JIACG was
20. U.S. Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors Office of Inspector General, Report of Inspection: The Bureau of African Affairs, Report No. ISP-I-09-63, August 2009.
21. Ron Capps, Drawing on the Full Strength of America: Seeking Greater Civilian Capacity on U.S. Foreign Affairs, Refugees International, September 2009.
22. For more information on Foreign Policy Advisors (formerly known as Political Advisors), see http://www.state.gov/t/pm/polad/.
created out of a request by former CENTCOM Commander General Tommy Franks in 2001 to "execute and influence policy, but not to make it, and to establish new interagency links, but not to replace habitual relationships or traditional chains of command."23
At the country level, DOD assigns senior defense officials/defense attachés (SDO/DATT) to serve as military liaisons at embassies around the world. These officials serve on interagency embassy Country Teams, which are led by the U.S. ambassador in each country. Many embassies also have an Office of Security Cooperation (OSC), which reports to the ambassador and the COCOM, to coordinate security assistance activities with the host country's defense forces.24 USAID OFDA deploys military liaison officers as part of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to affected countries during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations when there is a civil-military component involved.
AFRICOM has sought greater interagency coordination with the State Department, USAID, and other government agencies, including a larger non-DOD civilian staff (initially proposed at as much as one quarter of the total staff), than has been traditional with other combatant commands. Those involved in the creation of AFRICOM aimed to build upon initiatives in NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM to improve the interagency process, but EUCOM Commander General Bantz Craddock has suggested that this command could be "the pioneer" for a new approach that the other commands might later adopt. In the development of AFRICOM's first theater strategy and supporting campaign plan, for example, the leadership sought to involve other U.S. government agencies at the earliest stages of the planning process, an effort that DOD hopes to employ more broadly as its new planning approach.25 Non-DOD civilian staff positions within AFRICOM include senior leadership positions, senior advisors or liaisons (including the Foreign Policy Advisor, a Senior Development Advisor, an OFDA liaison, and a senior Treasury Department representative), and subject-matter experts embedded with the headquarters staff. During his confirmation hearing, General Ward testified that he did not believe any statutory changes were necessary to incorporate "detailed" non-DOD personnel into the command.26 Officials report that filling those interagency positions has been more challenging than first anticipated. Although lawyers from several departments have worked to facilitate the assignment of non-DOD civilians to AFRICOM, less than 30 have been permanently assigned.
Following General Ward's confirmation, a senior U.S. diplomat, Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, was appointed as Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities (DCMA), a new post equivalent to that of a deputy commander. Yates, who had previously served as U.S. ambassador to Burundi and Ghana and more recently as the Foreign Policy Advisor to EUCOM, was the first non-DOD civilian to be integrated into the command structure of a unified command. The DCMA directs many of AFRICOM's civil-military plans and programs, as well as its various security cooperation initiatives, and is responsible for ensuring that policy development and
23. For more information on JIACGs, see JFCOM's fact sheet at http://www.jfcom.mil/about/facts_prt/JIACG.pdf and Col. Matthew F. Bogdanos, "Joint Interagency Cooperation: The First Step," Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 37, 2005.
24. These offices are also sometimes referred to as Offices of Defense Cooperation (ODC) or Security Assistance Organizations (SAOs). There are currently 17 OSCs in Africa (not including Egypt) and over 30 defense attaches in U.S. embassies on the continent. AFRICOM proposed to open 11 new OSCs between FY2010-2015. Changes to the titles and responsibilities of defense attaches and security assistance officers were made in DOD Directive 5105.75 in December 2007.
25. A theater campaign plan translates national or theater strategy into operational concepts.
26. As in the case of POLADs, DOD and the respective department or agency will establish an agreement regarding the relationship between the staff member and the command.
implementation are consistent with U.S. foreign policy. Ambassador Yates left AFRICOM to become the Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform at the National Security Council in 2009; J. Anthony Holmes, a senior U.S. diplomat, has been appointed as the new DCMA. Navy Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, who led AFRICOM's transition team, has served as the DCMA's military equivalent, Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations (DCMO). The DCMO is responsible for the implementation and execution of the command's programs and operations. To maintain the military chain of command, one deputy commander position will always be held by a military officer, but DOD statements suggest that AFRICOM's DCMA role will always be held by a Senior Foreign Service Officer.27 Both Deputies have supervisory authority for the civilian and military personnel in their respective offices.
Structure and Footprint
DOD officials emphasize that the new command is still under development; some details regarding the command's structure and footprint are still being finalized. A decision on AFRICOM's final headquarters location has been postponed to 2012, and a move to the continent may not occur for several years, if at all. DOD officials initially considered the establishment of sub-regional offices in Africa but reportedly received resistance from the State Department, based on concerns related to chief-of-mission authority. Officials stress that there are no plans to establish any new military bases in Africa.28 President Bush's Principal Under Secretary of Defense asserted that the creation of AFRICOM reflected an "organizational change," rather than a change in "basing structure or troop positions on the continent."29
At present, DOD's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) has a semipermanent troop presence at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti with more than 1,800 U.S. military and civilian personnel in residence. The facility provides support for U.S. military operations in the Gulf of Aden and supports DOD objectives in Yemen.30 The U.S. military has a five-year lease with the Djiboutian government for Lemonnier, with the option to extend the lease for two more five-year terms. The command authority for CJTF-HOA, formerly under CENTCOM, has been transferred to AFRICOM, and Camp Lemonnier will continue to be used as an enduring Forward Operating Site.31 AFRICOM's other Forward Operating Site is on the United Kingdom's Ascension Island in the south Atlantic. U.S. military facilities in Rota, Spain; Sigonella, Italy; Aruba, Lesser Antilles; Souda Bay, Greece; and Ramstein, Germany, serve as logistic support facilities. The U.S. military also has access to a number of foreign air bases and ports in Africa and has established "bare-bones" facilities maintained by local troops in several locations. The
U.S. military used facilities in Kenya in the 1990s to support its intervention in Somalia and continues to use them today to support counter-terrorism activities. DOD refers to these facilities as "lily pads," or Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs), and currently has access to locations in Algeria, Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia.
27. DOD, "News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon," April 27, 2007.
28. U.S. military facilities on the island of Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, will remain under the AOR of PACOM.
29. DOD, "News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon," April 23, 2007.
30. "U.S. Africa Command 2010 Posture Statement," Statement of General Ward before the House Armed Services Committee on March 10, 2010.
31. The mission transfer process from CENTCOM to AFRICOM for CJTF-HOA responsibilities continued into 2009.
There has been considerable debate over where to ultimately base AFRICOM. Prior to AFRICOM's establishment, EUCOM was the only geographic combatant command with headquarters located outside of the United States. Given that the majority of countries in AFRICOM's AOR were previously under the responsibility of EUCOM, and that consequently a majority of the personnel working on Africa issues were already based in EUCOM's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, DOD determined that AFRICOM's headquarters would be initially located at the American base in Germany as well.32 In November 2008, the Secretary of Defense announced that the decision on whether to move the command out of Germany would be postponed until 2012 to allow the command to gain greater understanding of its long-term operational requirements.
Prior to Secretary Gates's announcement of the command's establishment, there was speculation that an Africa Command might be permanently located in Europe, or in the United States, like the other commands. Some DOD officials have argued that AFRICOM's headquarters should be located in Africa. Locating the headquarters within the AOR would have several benefits in terms of proximity. Flight time from Germany to Nairobi, Kenya, for example, is approximately eight hours, and flight time from Germany to Johannesburg, South Africa, is approximately 11 hours. Flight time from Washington, DC, to the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is approximately 16-20 hours. Deploying AFRICOM's staff in close geographic proximity to their African counterparts and to U.S. diplomatic missions on the continent could enable more efficient interaction.
Those who have advocated locating Africa Command on the continent faced some initial negative reactions from Africans. There are concerns, both domestically and internationally, that moving the command to Africa might be the first step in an alleged U.S. military agenda to establish a larger footprint on the continent. DOD officials stressed early in the headquarters discussion that the location in question would be a staff headquarters rather than a troop headquarters, and suggested that they might consider a dispersed regional headquarters model, with several small locations spread across the continent to lessen the U.S. presence and burden in any one country.33 Some have suggested that AFRICOM try to co-locate such dispersed facilities with the headquarters of the continent's regional and sub-regional organizations to link AFRICOM with the AU's nascent regional security architecture (see "Security Assistance" below). General Ward suggests that presently, however, AFRICOM's disbursed presence among its Offices of Security Cooperation (OSCs) in countries across the continent are sufficient in terms of an on-continent presence. AFRICOM also already has military liaison officers (LNOs) at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia and with ECOWAS in Nigeria, as well as at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana. Those presences are likely to expand, and additional liaison offices may be attached to other regional organizations. DOD's FY2009 budget request sought funding for a "limited presence on the African continent with the establishment of two of five regional offices," but plans for those two offices were postponed and funding for the offices was cut by Congress.34
32. DOD spent approximately $140 million between FY2007 and FY2009 to renovate the Stuttgart facilities.
33. Comments by then-Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Ryan Henry at a Public Meeting of USAID's Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) on May 23, 2007.
34. DOD's FY2009 Budget Request Summary Justification can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/budget.html.
The Department of Defense has developed criteria for determining the ultimate location(s) for AFRICOM in coordination with the Department of State, should a decision be made to move from Stuttgart. Through regular consultations with African countries that have a security relationship with the United States, U.S. officials reportedly received offers to host the command from several of these governments, including, most publicly, Liberia. Other strategic partners, such as South Africa and Algeria, expressed reluctance to host the command, possibly out of concern over a permanent foreign military presence within their borders. In North Africa, for example, there are concerns that an American military presence might embolden domestic terrorist groups. Some African governments that consider themselves to be regional hegemons may perceive a permanent American military presence, whether staffed by civilians or troops, to be a rival for political or military power in their sphere of influence.
At the forefront of DOD considerations in determining a host country (or countries), should a decision to move to the continent be made, would be providing for the safety and security of over 1,000 American personnel (and their families) who staff the command. Living standards in Africa are among the lowest in the world, and DOD would be expected to choose a politically stable location on the continent with good access to health care and schools and relatively low levels of corruption. Ease of access to regional and international transportation, along with proximity to the African Union, African regional organizations, and U.S. government hubs on the continent would also be considered. Locating U.S. soldiers permanently in a foreign country would be predicated on the host country's approval of a Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA), a legal document negotiated by the State Department to define the legal status of U.S. personnel and property while in that country, and a bilateral non-surrender agreement, commonly known as an Article 98 Agreement, to protect American servicemen from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.35 Some advocacy groups hope that DOD would consider potential host countries' human rights record among other criteria. In testimony before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee in March 2009, however, AFRICOM's Commander, General Ward, indicated that while there was still a potential for the headquarters to be located in Africa, such a move was neither necessary nor sought after at this time.36
Manning a new command is a challenging task, particularly in a time when defense resources and personnel are stretched thin by engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the number of personnel needed to staff a combatant command headquarters varies, DOD officials estimate that the average command ranges from 500 to more than 1,000 personnel (exclusive of supporting intelligence architecture).37 AFRICOM was authorized to have just over 1,300 headquarters staff by October 2008, including intelligence and other support requirements.38 Sourcing manpower to
35. For more information on Article 98 agreements, see CRS Report RL31495, U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court (ICC), by Jennifer K. Elsea.
36. Testimony before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee at a hearing on the U.S. Africa Command, March 19, 2009.
37. These figures do not necessarily include contractors working at command headquarters.
38. AFRICOM had 628 military positions, 318 DOD civilian positions, and 13 interagency positions (not including liaison positions) assigned as of October 1, 2008. These figures were short of the approved FY2009 targets: 639 military positions, 665 DOD civilian positions, and 52 interagency positions. For more information, see Government Accountability Office, Force Structure: Preliminary Observations on the Progress and Challenges Associated with Establishing the U.S. Africa Command, GAO-08-947T, July 15, 2008.
facilitate the aggressive timeline to meet full operational capacity proved difficult, according to AFRICOM officials, and less than 75% of these positions were filled by the FOC date. An estimated 270 personnel for the command were transferred from EUCOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM. As of January 2010, AFRICOM had 1,140 staff at its headquarters. An additional 1,300 serve at the armed services (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) component headquarters that support AFRICOM.39 In essence, the services must pay two manpower bills--they must fill AFRICOM headquarters requirements and also staff the service component headquarters.40 The service components currently have no assigned forces for activities in Africa and instead must rely on forces provided through the Global Force Management and Request for Forces system. AFRICOM estimates that the average U.S. military footprint on the continent (exclusive of Egypt) is approximately 3,500 troops. This includes an estimated 1,900 troops at CJTF-HOA and the rotational presence of forces participating in various exercises, such as the annual communications interoperability exercise African Endeavor; operations, such as the counterterrorism effort Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans-Sahara; theater security cooperation activities, such as the Navy's Africa Partnership Station; and various conferences and meetings.41
Start-up costs for Africa Command in FY2007 were approximately $51 million, and the nascent command's budget for Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2008) was estimated at $154.6 million. The Bush Administration's FY2009 budget request included $389 million for the command to cover (1) operation of the headquarters in Stuttgart, (2) an AFRICOM intelligence capability, (3) a Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC) for AFRICOM, (4) operational support aircraft, (5) the establishment of two regional offices on the continent (see above), and (6) training, exercises, and theater security cooperation activities. On September 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329). Under this legislation, which included defense appropriations, AFRICOM received $53 million less than what was requested. DOD officials suggest some of the items trimmed from the budget were restored following negotiations with the relevant committees, although the command lost some requested funding because of across-the-board cuts to the operations and maintenance account.42 The identified cuts targeted the proposed regional offices, the TSOC, and DOD salaries for interagency personnel.43 While the AFRICOM reduction was not as steep as was proposed in the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee version of the bill, and the joint explanatory statement accompanying the final legislation expressed support for AFRICOM, the statement also insisted that the State Department and USAID should "play a more important role in this new organization supported with the appropriate manpower and funding required."
39. AFRICOM's four service component commands are: U.S. Army Africa (USARAF); U.S. Naval Forces, Africa (NAVAF); U.S. Marine Forces, Africa (MARFORAF); and U.S. Air Forces Africa/ the 17th Air Force (AFAFRICA). Its joint theater special operations command is called Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA). They are located, respectively, in Vicenza, Italy; Naples, Italy; Stuttgart, Germany; Ramstein, Germany; and Stuttgart, Germany.
40. These estimates were provided to the author by AFRICOM officials in February 2010.
41. Information provided to the author by AFRICOM in February 2010.
42. For more information, see CRS Report RL34473, Defense: FY2009 Authorization and Appropriations, by Pat Towell, Stephen Daggett, and Amy Belasco.
43. In interviews with the author in December 2008, DOD officials reported that a compromise had been reached on the cut to salaries for interagency personnel.
AFRICOM's budget for FY2010 is estimated at $295.2 million, slightly higher than the $278 million originally requested.44 Among the items identified for directed funding in the FY2010 budget request were (1) a new program of record, Air and Maritime Sector Development (AMSD); (2) an expansion of Operation Objective Voice (OOV; see below); (3) a Standing Joint Forces Headquarters (SJFHQ); (4) strategic communications; (5) satellite communications; (6) additional manpower (16 billets) for AFRICOM's Special Operations Command and another 125 billets (55 military and 70 civilian billets for the SJFHQ, OSCs, and the command's Joint Operations Center).45 The request also included funding for four new Offices of Security Cooperation in Cameroon, Chad, Libya, and Rwanda, and expansion of existing offices in Kenya, Liberia, and Morocco. The Department's FY2010 military construction request included $41.8 million for Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.46 CJTF-HOA operations, estimated at $80 million in FY2010, have been classified as Overseas Contingency Operations and have been funded separately from other AFRICOM activities, primarily by the Navy.47 To date they have been largely funded through emergency supplemental appropriations, rather than in DOD's base budget. DOD's budget request for AFRICOM for FY2011, $296.2 million, is similar to that of FY2010.
Table 1. AFRICOM Funding from the Operations and Maintenance Budget
($ in millions)
Source: U.S. Africa Command.
44. The command's FY2010 budget estimate of $274.8 million was understated by $20.4 million due to an erroneous budget reduction that has been restored by the Army in FY2010. For more information on the FY2010 DOD budget, see CRS Report R40567, Defense: FY2010 Authorization and Appropriations, coordinated by Pat Towell.
45. S.Rept. 111-74 accompanying H.R. 3326, the FY2010 DOD Appropriations Act, recommends significant cuts to the COCOM's Information Operations budgets, including a $7.9 million cut for AFRICOM. That cut would effectively eliminate the budget for the command's Operation Objective Voice. The Senate Report also recommends a $5 million cut in the command's counternarcotics operations; H.Rept. 111-230 accompanying H.R. 3326 recommends a $2 million cut in CN operations. The House Report advocates in increase in AFRICOM's budget for maritime security capacity building, recommending an additional $20.5 million for the Africa Partnership Station.
46. Camp Lemonnier received $68.6 million in military construction projects in FY2008, $31.4 million in FY2009, and an estimated $41.8 million in FY2010. DOD has requested $51.6 million for FY2011, part of which would fund construction of a Horn of Africa Joint Operations Center.
47. Requested funding for CJTF-HOA operations in FY2010 was $60 million; requested funding for base operating costs and facilities modification at Lemonnier was $249 million. Current estimates put the camp's FY2010 budget at $238 million.
AFRICOM received approximately $30 million in FY2009 for operational airlift support, including $17.5 million for the 17th Air Force for military airlift and $12.5 million for TRANCOM to contract staff travel. AFRICOM leadership and staff have reported challenges posed by the routing and scheduling of commercial airlines traveling on the continent. DOD's FY2010 budget request included $75 million for airlift, in addition to a C-37 that will be dedicated to AFRICOM in FY2011and $100 million for a C-40, to be delivered in FY2012. The Air Force's FY2011 budget included a $5 million increase for AFRICOM airlift support.
U.S. Strategic Interests in Africa
Issues on the African continent have not historically been identified as strategic priorities for the U.S. military, and U.S. military engagement in Africa has been sporadic.48 According to one defense analyst, "during the Cold War, United States foreign policy toward Sub-Saharan Africa had little to do with Africa."49 After the fall of the Soviet Union, many U.S. policymakers considered the U.S. military's role and responsibilities on the continent to be minimal. In 1995, the Department of Defense outlined its view of Africa in its U.S. Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, asserting that "ultimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa."50 In 1998, following terrorist attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the United States conducted a retaliatory attack against a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, that Clinton Administration officials initially contended was producing precursors for chemical weapons for al Qaeda. The embassy bombings, and the retaliatory strike against Sudan, are considered by many analysts to be a turning point in U.S. strategic policy toward the region.
Africa and the Unified Command Plan
Africa was not included in the U.S. military command structure until 1952, when several North African countries, including Libya, were added to the responsibilities of U.S. European Command because of their historic relationship with Europe. The rest of the continent remained outside the responsibility of any command until 1960, when Cold War concerns over Soviet influence in newly independent African countries led the Department of Defense to include Sub-Saharan Africa in the Atlantic Command (LANTCOM), leaving North Africa in EUCOM. The Unified Command Plan was revised again in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and responsibility for Sub-Saharan Africa was transferred to a newly-created Strike Command (STRICOM), which was responsible for operations in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. STRICOM was redesignated as Readiness Command (REDCOM) in 1971, and its responsibility for Africa was dissolved, leaving Sub-Saharan Africa out of the combatant command structure until 1983. Under the Reagan Administration, U.S. military involvement in Africa was largely dominated by Cold War priorities, and the Administration's "containment" policy led DOD to divide responsibility for Africa into its configuration among three geographic commands.
Current U.S. National Security Strategy Toward Africa
The Bush Administration's National Security Strategy of 2002 reflected a need for a more focused strategic approach toward the African continent: "In Africa, promise and opportunity sit side by side with disease, war, and desperate poverty. This threatens both a core value of the United States - preserving human dignity - and our strategic priority - combating global terror."
48. For an overview of the history of U.S. military involvement in Africa, see Appendix A. Appendix B provides a list of instances in which U.S. military forces have deployed in conflict situations in Africa since World War II.
49. Letitia Lawson, "U.S. Africa Policy Since the Cold War," Strategic Insights, Vol. VI, Issue 1, January 2007.
50. The report did, however, note significant U.S. political and humanitarian interests. DOD Office of International Security Affairs, United States Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, August 1995.
To address these challenges, the document asserted that U.S. security strategy must focus on building indigenous security and intelligence capabilities through bilateral engagement and "coalitions of the willing."51 The most recent National Security Strategy, issued in 2006, goes further, identifying Africa as "a high priority" and "recogniz(ing) that our security depends upon partnering with Africans to strengthen fragile and failing states and bring ungoverned areas under the control of effective democracies."52
The Obama Administration has yet to release a National Security Strategy, but the President has affirmed his view of Africa's strategic importance in policy documents and public statements. In a speech in Ghana in July 2009, he said,
When there is genocide in Darfur or terrorists in Somalia, these are not simply African problems, they are global security challenges, and they demand a global response.... And let me be clear: our Africa Command is focused not on establishing a foothold on the continent, but on confronting these common challenges to advance the security of America, Africa, and the world.53
The establishment of the new Africa Command reflects an evolution in policymakers' perceptions of U.S. strategic interests in Africa. In 2004 an advisory panel of Africa experts authorized by Congress to propose new policy initiatives identified five factors that have shaped increased U.S. interest in Africa in the past decade: oil, global trade, armed conflicts, terror, and HIV/AIDS.54 They suggested that these factors had led to a "conceptual shift to a strategic view of Africa."55
Oil and Global Trade
The United States has sought to increase its economic relations with Sub-Saharan Africa, and trade between the United States and Africa has tripled since 1990. In 2000, the Clinton Administration introduced a comprehensive U.S. trade and investment policy for the continent in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA; Title I, P.L. 106-200). AGOA has been amended by Congress on several occasions, most recently in 2006. Natural resources, particularly energy resources, dominate the products imported from Africa under AGOA. Africa now supplies the United States with roughly the same amount of crude oil as the Middle East.56
Nigeria is Africa's largest supplier of oil, and is regularly the fifth-largest global supplier of oil to the United States. Instability in the country's Niger Delta region has reduced output periodically
51. The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002.
52. The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, March 2006.
53. Speech by President Barack Obama to the Ghanaian Parliament, July 11, 2009.
54. Some U.S. officials have argued that environmental security should be added as a national security issue, particularly as it relates to Africa. One DOD official testified before Congress that climate change served as a "threat multiplier" in Africa, using Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia as examples and asserting, "beyond the more conventional threats we traditionally address, I believe we must now also prepare to respond to the consequences of dramatic population migrations, pandemic health issues and significant food and water shortages due to the possibility of significant climate change." Testimony of General Charles Wald, Member, Military Advisory Board, at a hearing on Climate Change and National Security Threats by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 9, 2007.
55. Walter H. Kansteiner III and J. Stephen Morrison, Rising U.S. Stakes in Africa: Seven Proposals to Strengthen U.S. Africa Policy, CSIS, May 2004.
56. Data on U.S. crude oil imports is compiled by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, and is available at http://www.eia.doe.gov.
by over 25%. World oil prices have been affected by Nigerian political developments and by periodic attacks on pipelines and other oil facilities in the Delta. President Bush announced in his 2006 State of the Union Address his intention to "to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025,"57 echoing a commitment made in 2002 "to strengthen [U.S.] energy security and the shared prosperity of the global economy by working with our allies, trading partners, and energy producers to expand the sources and types of global energy supplied, especially in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Central Asia, and the Caspian region."58 A senior DOD official reportedly commented in 2003 that "a key mission for U.S. forces (in Africa) would be to ensure that Nigeria's oil fields ... are secure."59 In spite of conflict in the Niger Delta and other oil producing areas, the potential for deep water drilling in the Gulf of Guinea is high, and analysts have estimated that Africa could supply as much as 25% of all U.S. oil imports by 2015.60
Africa's coastlines, particularly along the Gulf of Guinea, the Gulf of Aden, and the west Indian Ocean, have been highly susceptible to illegal fishing, illegal trafficking, and piracy in recent years.61 The inability of African governments to adequately police the region's waters has allowed criminal elements to smuggle people, drugs, and weapons and dump hazardous waste, and has opened maritime commerce and off-shore oil production facilities to the threat of piracy and sabotage. The growing problem of narcotics trafficking in West Africa, estimated by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to be a transit point for almost one-third of all cocaine annually consumed in Europe, has become an area of increasing concern to policymakers. In 2005, the Bush Administration introduced its National Strategy for Maritime Security, identifying the freedom of the seas and the facilitation and defense of commerce as top national priorities and indicating plans to fund border and coastal security initiatives with African countries.62
The United States government, represented by members of AFRICOM (and previously EUCOM), the U.S. Navy, the State Department, and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), has engaged its West African partners in a number of ministerial conferences on maritime security, and is currently conducting several activities to increase the capability of African navies to monitor and enforce maritime laws. AFRICOM coordinates with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), a cooperative effort in which African Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDET) embark on U.S. and host nation vessels to conduct boardings, search, seizure and arrests in African waters. The
57. The White House, "President Delivers State of the Union Address," January 31, 2006.
58. The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002.
59. Greg Jaffe, "In Massive Shift, U.S. Is Planning To Cut Size of Military in Germany," Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2003.
60. Central Intelligence Agency, Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Non-government Experts, December 2000. This prediction implies that previously higher sub-Saharan African shares of U.S. oil imports will be eclipsed and then surpassed. Previously, when absolute levels of U.S. oil imports were lower, Africa provided a higher percentage of annual U.S. imports (e.g., about 19.53% in 1990 and about 18.47% in 1995) than it has during the past five years. For more information, see also African Oil Policy Initiative Group, African Oil: A Priority for U.S. National Security and African Development, January 2002.
61. According to the International Maritime Bureau, the waters off the coast of Nigeria had the highest number of pirate attacks worldwide in 2007, but attacks by Somali pirates have been the most numerous since 2008.
62. The White House, The National Strategy for Maritime Security, September 20, 2005.
U.S. Navy has increased its operations in the Gulf of Guinea to enhance security in the region, although those operations have been sporadic.63 Through its Global Fleet Stations (GFS) concept, the Navy has committed itself to more persistent, longer-term engagement (see information on the African Partnership Station in "Security Assistance" below). In the waters off the coast of East Africa, the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is working with the Navy and with coalition partners in CENTCOM's Coalition Task Force 151 (CTF-151), which conducts maritime security operations to protect shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.64 Coalition and U.S. naval forces have had numerous engagements with pirates in these waters.
Political conflict and instability in parts of Africa have caused human suffering on a massive scale and undermined economic, social, and political development.65 Although the number of conflicts in Africa has decreased in recent years, the continent is home to a majority of the United Nations' peace operations, with seven missions currently underway.66 Four African countries--Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa--have consistently ranked in the top 10 troop contributing countries to U.N. peacekeeping operations in recent years. African militaries also contribute troops to peace operations conducted by the African Union and regional organizations like ECOWAS. Despite a willingness to participate in these operations, many African militaries lack the command and control, training, equipment, and logistics capability to effectively participate in such efforts. Instability in Africa has demanded substantial humanitarian and defense resources from the international community, and the United States and other donor countries have acknowledged the utility and potential cost-effectiveness of assisting African forces to enhance their capabilities to participate in these operations. In 2004, the G8 introduced the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), a five-year multilateral program to train 75,000 troops, a majority of them African, by 2010.67
U.S. security policy has been driven largely, in recent years, by counter-terrorism efforts, which the Bush and Obama Administrations have both identified as a top national security priority. Terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998, on targets in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002 and more recently in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Somalia have highlighted the threat of violent extremism in the region. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has repeatedly expressed concern to Congress over Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the increasing capabilities of terrorist groups in East Africa.68 In a
63. "U.S. Increasing Operations in Gulf of Guinea," American Forces Press Service, September 5, 2006.
64. For more information see CRS Report R40528, Piracy off the Horn of Africa, by Lauren Ploch et al.
65. For further discussion on the indirect costs of instability, see CRS Report 97-454, Peacekeeping Options: Considerations for U.S. Policymakers and the Congress, by Marjorie Ann Browne, Ellen Collier, and Nina M. Serafino.
66. Current operations in Africa include UNAMID (Darfur region of Sudan), UNMIS (Sudan), UNOCI (Cote d'Ivoire), UNMIL (Liberia), MONUC (Dem. Rep. Of Congo), MINURCAT (Chad/CAR), and MINURSO (Western Sahara).
67. For more information see CRS Report RL32773, The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress, by Nina M. Serafino.
68. For more information on these groups, see CRS Report R41070, Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy, coordinated by John Rollins.
February 2010 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on national security threats, Blair testified that while the U.S. intelligence community considered most of these groups' members to be focused on regional objectives in the short-term, some of those now training and fighting in Somalia could be redirected to the United States.69 U.S. officials have also warned that recruitment and support networks continue to operate in Africa, facilitating the activities of foreign fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.70 DOD officials have emphasized the need to work with African governments to counteract the threat, claiming "Africa has been, is now, and will be into the foreseeable future ripe for terrorists and acts of terrorism."71 In testimony before Congress, AFRICOM's Commander, General Ward, linked the threat posed by terror groups to regional conflicts, stating, "violent extremism by transnational terrorist organizations is a major source of regional instability."72 Of primary concern to policy makers is the possible challenge posed by "ungoverned spaces," defined as "physical or non-physical area(s) where there is an absence of state capacity or political will to exercise control."73 The Bush Administration linked these areas indirectly to terrorist threats, asserting
Regional conflicts can arise from a wide variety of causes, including poor governance, external aggression, competing claims, internal revolt, tribal rivalries, and ethnic or religious hatreds. If left unaddressed, however, these different causes lead to the same ends: failed states, humanitarian disasters, and ungoverned areas that can become safe havens for terrorists.74
State Department officials have identified failed states as an "acute risk" to U.S. national security.75 In addition to failed states providing a potential "safe haven" for terrorists, there is evidence to suggest terrorist groups may profit from the limited capacity of state administrative and security institutions, particularly when in the midst of conflict. During Sierra Leone's civil war in the 1990s, for example, reports suggest that al Qaeda may have used the proceeds from the "conflict diamond" trade as a funding source for its operations.76 General Ward has testified that "terrorist activities, kidnapping, illicit trafficking of all types (humans, weapons, drugs), and the existence of under-governed spaces in the Sahel contribute to the region's vulnerability and make it susceptible to extremist influences."77
69. Testimony of DNI Director Dennis Blair before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, "Current and Projected Threats to the United States," February 2, 2010. See also "Young Somali Men Missing from Minneapolis," International Herald Tribune, November 27, 2008. In March 2009, a U.S. intelligence official expressed "concern...over the travel by some tens of Somali-American young men back to Somalia, some of whom have trained and fought with Al Shabaab." Testimony of Andrew Liepman, Deputy Director, Intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, March 11, 2009.
70. See, for example, the testimony of General Ward at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on AFRICOM, March 17, 2009.
71. Speech by DOD official Vincent Kern referenced in "Africa Is Still Ripe for Terrorism, Top Pentagon Official Asserts," The Washington File, February 10, 2004.
72. Statement of General William E. Ward before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9, 2010.
73. Jessica Piombo, "Terrorism and U.S. Counter-Terrorism Programs in Africa: An Overview," Strategic Insights, Vol. VI, Issue 1, January 2007.
74. The White House, The National Security Strategy of The United States, September 2002.
75. Stephen D. Krasner and Carlos Pascual, "Addressing State Failure," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2005.
76. See Douglas Farah, "Al Qaeda Cash Tied to Diamond Trade Sale of Gems From Sierra Leone Rebels Raised Millions, Sources Say," The Washington Post, November 2, 2001; U.N. Security Council, Report of the Panel of Experts Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001), Paragraph 19, Concerning Liberia, in S/2001/1015, October 26, 2001; and CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation.
77. Statement of General William E. Ward before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 9, 2010.
According to the United Nations, there were over 22 million HIV-positive Africans in 2008, representing 67% of infected persons worldwide.78 HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death on the continent and was identified by former Secretary of State Colin Powell as "the greatest threat of mankind today."79 The rate of infection in some African security forces is believed to be high, raising concerns that those forces may be unable to deploy when needed.80 The Bush Administration and Congress placed priority on efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, committing over $48 billion through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); President Obama has pledged to sustain that commitment. Twelve of PEPFAR's 15 focus countries are in Africa.81 As part of these efforts, DOD has established the DOD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) with African armed forces, which is administered by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego. DHAPP supports programs in approximately 40 countries, many of which do not receive PEPFAR funds.
U.S. Military Assistance and Security Cooperation in Africa: An Expanding Role
The Department of Defense conducts a wide variety of activities in Africa in support of U.S. national interests. Operational activities may include, but are not limited to, humanitarian relief,82 peacekeeping, counter-narcotics, sanctions enforcement, demining, non-combatant evacuations (NEOs), and maritime interdiction operations (MIOs).
In addition to traditional contingency operations,83 the U.S. military implements a number of efforts aimed at increasing the capabilities of African militaries to provide security and stability for their own countries and the region as a whole. Several of these DOD-implemented initiatives are part of foreign military assistance programs funded by the State Department that "help to promote the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law."84 In addition to providing funding, the State Department gives overall guidance and direction for the programs. The United States military also occasionally provides advisors to peacekeeping missions on the continent; U.S. military advisors from CJTF-HOA have assisted peacekeepers deployed to Sudan and Somalia. U.S. forces routinely conduct a variety of bilateral and multilateral joint exercises
78. UNAIDS, 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update, November 2009.
79. Speech by Secretary Powell at the Gheskio Clinic, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 5, 2004.
80. Kevin A. O'Brien, "Headlines Over the Horizon: AIDS and African Armies," Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 292, No. 1, July/August 2003.
81. For more information, see CRS Report RL33584, AIDS in Africa, by Nicolas Cook.
82. General Ward, in his confirmation hearing, has testified that "The U.S. military is not an instrument of first resort in providing humanitarian assistance but supports civilian relief agencies ... The U.S. military may be involved when it provides a unique service; when the civilian response is overwhelmed; and civilian authorities request assistance. The USAID Office of Disaster Assistance validates all such requests for U.S. military assistance. Our role in this context will not change."
83. DOD defines a "contingency operation" as a military operation in which members of the Armed Forces are or may become involved, either by designation of the Secretary of Defense or by law, in military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing force.
84. For more information on U.S. Foreign Military Training programs, see the Department of State's website at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/fmtrpt.
with African militaries through such programs as Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET). U.S. forces also conduct joint exercises as part of disaster assistance and maritime security training.
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) was created in 1999 as one of DOD's five regional centers for strategic studies. It conducts a variety of academic activities for African, American, and European military and civilian officials aimed promoting good governance and democratic values, countering ideological support of terrorism, and fostering regional collaboration and cooperation in the African defense and security sectors. ACSS, which is based in Washington, DC, has offices on the continent in Dakar, Senegal and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.85 DOD initiated another multi-nation forum, the Africa Clearinghouse, in 2004 under EUCOM. The Africa Clearinghouse, modeled after EUCOM Clearinghouses for Southeast Europe and the South Caucasus, provides a venue for the United States to coordinate its actions with other nations involved in security cooperation in Africa to maximize limited resources, synchronize security assistance, and avoid duplication of efforts.
The United States sells military equipment to African governments through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, implemented by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).86 The U.S. government also provides loans (the United States waives repayment of these loans for African countries) to foreign governments to finance the purchase of such equipment through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Equipment is also provided to select African countries through the African Coastal and Border Security Program (ACBSP) and the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program, and through special DOD authorities.
U.S. counter-terrorism strategy on the continent is addressed through a number of these initiatives, but U.S. counter-terrorism efforts may also include, at one end of the spectrum, programs to address the root causes of terrorism, and, at the other end, military operations to destroy terrorist targets through military strikes. The United States is placing increasing emphasis on Information Operations (IO) in Africa, which use information to improve the security environment and counter extremist ideology through military information support teams deployed to U.S. embassies. IO activities in Africa have included website initiatives such as Maghrebia.com and AFRICOM's Operation Objective Voice (OOV), an interagency effort to counter extremist messaging.87 Some question whether activities such as these should be a part of DOD's mandate, or whether they might be more appropriately managed by other U.S. agencies.
DOD officials argue that AFRICOM not only allows the U.S. military to better coordinate these operations and programs, but that it also allows DOD to better coordinate with other U.S. agencies, like the State Department, USAID, the Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and others, as well as with other governments, like those of Britain and France, which are also providing training and assistance for African security forces. DOD suggests that Africa Command builds on the experiences of the U.S. military's only forward presence in the region, Combined Joint Task Force--Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) in Djibouti.
85. U.S. State Department, "Africa Center for Strategic Studies Opens Annex in Ethiopia," August 1, 2006, available at http://usinfo.state.gov [sic. Actually at http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2006/August/200608011600502jrgnik0.5310633.html.
86. For more information, see http://www.dsca.osd.mil/ or CRS Report RL33758, U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1998-2005, by Richard F. Grimmett.
87. The website can be found at http://www.magharebia.com.
Combined Joint Task Force: Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA)
In October 2002, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) developed a joint task force to focus on "detecting, disrupting and ultimately defeating transnational terrorist groups operating in the region," and to provide a forward presence in the region.88 Under AFRICOM, the task force's mission has evolved to more broadly reflect a strategy of "cooperative conflict prevention." Between 1,500 and 2,500 short-term rotational U.S. military and civilian personnel make up CJTF-HOA, which covers the land and airspace in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, and Sudan, as well as the coastal waters of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean. CJTF-HOA has named Burundi, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen as "areas of interest."
CJTF personnel, approximately half of whom are reservists, train the region's security forces in counter-terrorism and other areas of military professionalization, collect intelligence, serve as advisors to peace operations, and oversee and support humanitarian assistance efforts. Although
U.S. Central Command maintains primary responsibility for naval operations against pirates in the waters off the Horn of Africa, CJTF-HOA personnel provide security assistance to several regional maritime security forces, few of which have "blue water capacity." The Task Force has provided military assistance and training to Ugandan military forces deployed in support of the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). As part of this effort, CJTF-HOA worked with non-governmental organizations to provide medical supplies to the Ugandan forces for assistance to the people of Mogadishu. CJTF-HOA has supported several humanitarian missions, including the airlift of humanitarian assistance supplies to Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. CJTF-HOA also conducts civilian-military operations throughout East Africa as part of an effort to "win hearts and minds"89 and enhance the long-term stability of the region. These civil-military operations include digging wells and building and repairing schools, hospitals, and roads, and were part of a broader CENTCOM mission to "counter the re-emergence of transnational terrorism."90 Some observers question whether these activities might be more appropriately coordinated by a civilian agency or non-governmental organization than by the U.S. military. AFRICOM officials have suggested that the scope of these activities is being reexamined. The future role and structure of the task force itself are also under review.
Building partnership capacity is a key goal of U.S. military strategy in Africa and is consequently a key mandate for AFRICOM. At present, military experts believe that no African nation poses a direct threat to the United States or is expected to; consequently Africa Command is expected to focus less on preparing U.S. forces for major combat in the AOR. Instead, the command will concentrate much of its energies and resources on training and assistance to professionalize local militaries so that they can better ensure stability and security on the continent. As one DOD official asserted, "its principle mission will be in the area of security cooperation and building partnership capability. It will not be in warfighting."91 Officials stress that U.S. training programs
88. For more information see http://www.hoa.africom.mil.
89. U.S. Central Command, "CJTF HOA donates supplies to Djiboutian Well Drillers," March 12, 2007.
90. For more information on CJTF-HOA activities, see http://www.hoa.africom.mil.
91. DOD, "News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon," April 23, 2007.
aim to encourage respect for human rights and for civilian authority, key shortcomings for some African security forces.
The U.S. government provides security assistance to African militaries through both bilateral and multilateral initiatives. During the 1990s, the United States provided military training through several programs, including the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), the Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capabilities (EIPC) program, the African Regional Peacekeeping Program (ARP), and International Military Education and Training (IMET). Some of this training has been provided by the U.S. Army 3rd and 10th Special Forces Groups, which have worked with African militaries since 1990. Training has also been provided by contractors. Under the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP), U.S. states' and territories' National Guard units have paired with several African countries to conduct a variety of security cooperation activities.92 The U.S. military has worked with the continent's regional security organizations, including the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). U.S. military efforts also aim to support the development of the African Union's African Standby Force (ASF), a multinational peacekeeping force composed of regional brigades organized by the continent's Regional Economic Communities.93 The AU aims for the force to have a standby capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 peacekeepers. The ASF and its regional brigades are not intended to be standing forces, but will instead draw from pre-identified forces of member states. AFRICOM continues to conduct annual training exercises begun under EUCOM, such [as] African Endeavor, a communications and interoperability exercise with 25 African nations conducted annually, most recently in Gabon in October 2009. U.S. military assistance also includes efforts to improve information sharing networks between African countries through programs such as the Multinational Information Sharing Initiative, which donor and aid organizations can in turn use to warn of and be warned of possible crises. AFRICOM also supports U.S. security sector reform initiatives in post-conflict countries like the DRC, Liberia, and Sudan.
Several of the other major current bilateral and multilateral security assistance programs implemented by DOD in Africa are listed below (the list is not inclusive).94 These programs fall under the mission of Africa Command.
African Partnership Station (APS)
In October 2007, U.S. Naval Forces Europe launched a new initiative, the African Partnership Station (APS). Under the initiative, a navy ship, the USS Fort McHenry, was deployed to the Gulf of Guinea from fall 2007 to spring 2008 to serve as a continuing sea base of operations and a "floating schoolhouse" from which to provide assistance and training to the Gulf nations.95
92. As of 2009, SPP included seven U.S-African partnerships: Utah and Morocco, North Dakota and Ghana, California and Nigeria, Wyoming and Tunisia, New York and California, North Carolina and Botswana, and Vermont and Senegal.
93. The ASF is divided into North, West, Central, East, and South Regional Brigades, which are organized by the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEMAC), the states within the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), respectively.
94. Other authorities used for DOD training include the Combatant Commander Initiative Fund (Title 10, USC, Sec. 166(a)), the DOD Regional Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program (Title 10, USC, Sec. 2249(c)), the Air Force's Aviation Leadership Program (Title 10, USC, Sec. 9381-9383), training with U.S. Special Forces (Title 10, USC, Sec. 2011), and disaster response training under Title 10, USC, Sec. 2561.
95. For more information on Global Fleet Stations, see U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Operations Concept 2006, Washington, 2006. See also "U.S. Navy Seeks to Expand Presence in W. Africa," DefenseNews, June 4, 2007; "U.S. Naval Forces Europe Prepares For AFRICOM Stand Up," American Forces Press Service, June 1, 2007; and "U.S. Navy Plans Six-Month West African Training Mission," USINFO, June 7, 2007.
Training focused on maritime domain awareness and law enforcement, port facilities management and security, seamanship/navigation, search and rescue, leadership, logistics, civil engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Other Navy and Coast Guard vessels have subsequently deployed to the region under the APS banner, and APS began conducting similar activities in East Africa in 2009. European partners, NGOs, and U.S. government agencies, including the Coast Guard and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have partnered with the Navy to use the station, which is considered by the Navy to be a "delivery vehicle for interagency, international, and NGO assistance" to West, Central, and East Africa, for their own training and development initiatives.96 Humanitarian outreach activities have included Project Handclasp and Project Hope. The APS vessels have had a minimal footprint onshore, and have conducted repeat visits to ports along the African coast. The cost for APS in FY2010 was initially estimated at $10.5 million for deployments in West and Central Africa and $9.96 million for East Africa.97
Operation Enduring Freedom: Trans Sahara (OEF-TS)/Trans Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP)
In 2002, the Department of State launched the Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI) program to increase border security and counter-terrorism capacities of four West African nations: Mali, Chad, Niger, and Mauritania. In 2005, the Bush Administration announced a "follow-on" interagency program to PSI. According to the State Department, the Trans Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (formerly Initiative) aims to "improve individual country and regional capabilities to defeat terrorist organizations, disrupt efforts to recruit and train new terrorist fighters, particularly from the young and rural poor, and counter efforts to establish safe havens for domestic and outside extremist groups."98 Under the American military component, Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara, which AFRICOM took responsibility for in fall 2008, U.S. forces work with their African counterparts from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia to improve intelligence, command and control, logistics, and border control, and to execute joint operations against terrorist groups.99 U.S. and African forces have conducted joint exercises such as Exercise Flintlock to improve security partnerships initiated under PSI and TSCTP.
These military efforts are designed to support complimentary development activities led by the State Department and USAID. To counter the recruitment efforts of terrorist groups, for example, USAID supports job creation initiatives for disadvantaged youth. Young people are a key demographic in Africa, where high unemployment rates and scarce education opportunities compound the challenges posed by a growing "youth bulge." Such programs are coordinated with
96. Presentation by Admiral Harry Ulrich, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on October 16, 2007.
97. House Rpt. 111-230, accompanying H.R. 3326, the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 2010, expresses support for more robust deployment of APS and recommends an additional $20.5 million in support of maritime security capacity building in AFRICOM's AOR.
98. U.S. State Department, FY2010 Congressional Budget Justification.
99. Libya has been invited to join TSCTP.
the efforts of U.S. military personnel working in the region. The United States allocated over $490 million for TSCTP from FY2005 through FY2009. The State Department's East Africa Regional Security Initiative (EARSI), a smaller program, has been designed to build upon the best practices of TSCTP.
International Military Education and Training (IMET)
In 1949 the U.S. government began providing training to foreign militaries under the Military Assistance Training Program (MAP) and through Foreign Military Sales (FMS), which allows countries to pay for their own training. MAP was succeeded in 1976 by IMET, which provides training at U.S. military schools and other training assistance for foreign military personnel on a grant basis through funding from the Department of State. A subset of IMET training, Expanded IMET (E-IMET), provides courses on defense management, civil-military relations, law enforcement cooperation, and military justice for military as well as civilian personnel. The State Department also provides training through its Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Sub-Saharan African countries received approximately $13.8 million in IMET assistance and $6.8 million in FMF in FY2008, $15.3 million in IMET and $8.3 million in FMF in FY2009, and $15.2 million in IMET and $18.8 million in FMF in FY2010. The FY2011 request includes $16 million in IMET and $23.8 million in FMF for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA)/ Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI)
In 1996, the Clinton Administration proposed the creation of an African Crisis Response Force (ACRF), an African standby force that would be trained and equipped by the United States and other donor nations. The initiative was not well received on the continent, and was later reintroduced as the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), a bilateral training program designed to improve the capabilities of individual African countries' militaries to participate in multilateral peacekeeping operations. ACOTA, which replaced ACRI in 2002, aims to upgrade the peace-enforcement capabilities of African militaries. ACOTA provides Peace Support Operations training, including light infantry and small unit tactics, and focuses on training African troops who can in turn train other African units. In 2004, ACOTA became a part of GPOI. GPOI attempts to address some of the factors limiting African militaries' ability to contribute to peace operations by conducting a variety of programs, events, and activities oriented on peacekeeping capacity building. Among these programs is an effort to foster an international transport and logistics support system for African and other region's forces. The United States coordinates its peacekeeping training and assistance programs with other G8 countries through a G8 Africa Clearinghouse. While the State Department is the executive agent of GPOI and ACOTA, the DOD provides small military teams for special mentoring assistance to ACOTA training events. According to the State Department, over 154,500 peacekeepers from over 20 African countries have received training under ACOTA and its predecessor, ACRI.100 Over $110 million was obligated for GPOI in FY2009, approximately half of which was allocated for ACOTA and support to the AU and ECOWAS headquarters. The Obama Administration has requested $101.8 million for GPOI for FY2011.101
100. U.S. Department of State, ACOTA Factsheet, April 1, 2009, available at http://www.usau.usmission.gov/media/pdfs/acota_factsheet_april2009.pdf.
101. For more information, see CRS Report RL32773, The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress, by Nina M. Serafino.
U.S. reaction to the creation of a new command for Africa has been largely positive, although concerns have been raised.102 In Africa, on the other hand, perceptions of the new command are more mixed. There has been considerable apprehension over U.S. motivations for creating AFRICOM, and some Africans worry that the move represents a neocolonial effort to dominate the region militarily. U.S. military efforts on the continent have been seen as episodic, leading some to question a more sustained focus from DOD now. Reports of U.S. air strikes in Somalia in recent years and U.S. support for Ethiopia's military intervention there have added to those concerns. Many view U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in Africa with skepticism, and there appears to be a widespread belief that the new command's primary goals will be to hunt terrorists and to secure U.S. access to African oil.103 U.S. foreign policy analysts have focused increased attention on China's role in Africa in recent years, and such attention has led some to question whether an Africa Command might be part of a new contest for influence on the continent.104
Among several African governments and militaries, on the other hand, AFRICOM has been received with cautious optimism.105 They view increased American attention to the continent's problems as a positive move, potentially bringing increased resources, training, and assistance. U.S. foreign military assistance has increased in recent years, and military training programs in Africa have steadily been on the rise.
DOD and State Department officials continue to consult with African nations to discuss their plans for the command. Those involved in the consultations have stressed that the goal of the visits has been to solicit African views and explain the rationale behind AFRICOM's creation, rather than to find a suitable location for its headquarters. In April 2007, senior officials visited Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Senegal. Following their visit, one DOD official noted that despite some initial "misconceptions," they had not encountered "any specific resistance to the idea."106 In June 2007, they visited Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, and Djibouti, and held discussions with African Union officials. The delegation also held meetings with 40 foreign defense attachés serving in Paris. African officials reportedly gave "positive feedback about the design and mission of AFRICOM" and advised the delegation that DOD should consider how AFRICOM could complement the AU's regional security structure.107 In September 2007, DOD hosted representatives from the African Union, African regional security
102. For U.S. reactions, see, for example, Michael Moran, "The New 'Africa Command,'" Council on Foreign Relations, February 9, 2007; Brett D. Schaefer, "Creating an Africa Command: Bush Administration Makes the Right Call," Heritage Foundation, February 7, 2007; "Analysts Concerned New US Military Command to Hamper African Development," VOA, October 23, 2007; Mark Malan, U.S. Civil-Military Imbalance for Global Engagement: Lessons From the Operational Level in Africa, Refugees International, July 2008; and Daniel Volman and William Minter, "AFRICOM - Making Peace or Fueling War," Foreign Policy in Focus, March 13, 2009.
103. See, for example, "The U.S., Oil, and Africa," Egyptian Mail, February 20, 2007.
104. Dulue Mbachu, "Skepticism Over U.S. Africa Command," ISN Security Watch, February 19, 2007.
105. See, for example, "Morocco Lobbying to Become Home for New U.S. Military Command," Middle East Newsline, February 9, 2007, and "Algerian Foreign Minister "Satisfied" With Plans for US-Africa Command," El-Khabar, March 24, 2007.
106. DOD, "News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry from the Pentagon," April 23, 2007.
107. DOD, "DOD Special Briefing on Africa Command with Mr. Ryan Henry from the Pentagon," June 21, 2007.
organizations, and over 35 African governments in Virginia to further explain its plans for the command and to solicit input from attendees; a similar event was held in April 2008. Analysts suggest U.S. officials should continue to closely consult with these governments to ensure that AFRICOM reflects a mutual exchange of interests and is seen to foster a closer alliance rather than serving as an avenue for the U.S. to dictate policy to African governments.
AFRICOM's commander has acknowledged the need for his staff to continue their public relations campaign to allay concerns.108 In October 2007, members of the Pan-African Parliament, the legislative body of the African Union, voted in favor of a motion to "prevail upon all African Governments through the African Union (AU) not to accede to the United States of America's Government's request to host AFRICOM anywhere in the African continent."109 West African military chiefs, following a November 2007 conference in Liberia, issued a cautious response to U.S. government plans, saying that AFRICOM "had not been fully understood" by African countries and requesting "further sensitization by the United States authorities at the highest political level." ECOWAS's Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security did suggest that "everybody welcomes and supports the idea, but we want that direction to come from the heads of state."110
Several African heads of state issued preliminary statements about their views on the command. Some advised DOD to consider how AFRICOM could complement the AU's regional security structure. Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, during his December 2007 visit to Washington, DC, commented, "We shall partner with AFRICOM to assist not only Nigeria, but also the African continent to actualize its peace and security initiative, which is an initiative to help standby forces of brigade-size in each of the regional economic groupings within the African continent."111 Yar'Adua's statements were criticized by several Nigerian opposition parties and civil society organizations. In response, Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs remarked, "Nigeria's position on AFRICOM remains that African governments have the sovereign responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security on the continent.... President Yar'Adua's statement on the proposed AFRICOM is consistent with Nigeria's well-known position on the necessity for Africa to avail itself of opportunities for enhanced capacity for the promotion of peace and security in Africa."112 During President Bush's second official visit to Africa in February 2008, Ghana's President John Kufour announced, "I am happy, one, for the President dispelling any notion that the United States of America is intending to build military bases on the continent of Africa. I believe the explanation the President has given should put fade to the speculation, so that the relationship between us and the United States will grow stronger and with mutual respect."113 Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been vocal in her support from AFRICOM, and has offered to host its headquarters.
108. "U.S. Army Boss for Africa Says No Garrisons Planned," Reuters, November 8, 2007.
109. Some details of the debate are included in "Gaborone Succeeds At PAP As Sebetela is Booed," All Africa, October 29, 2007.
110. "West African Military Heads Want to Hear More from the United States on Africa Command," Associated Press, November 7, 2007.
111. White House Press Release, "President Bush Meets with President Umaru Yar'Adua of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," December 13, 2007.
112. "AFRICOM Ship Heads for the Gulf of Guinea," This Day (Lagos), January 8, 2008.
113. Press availability with Presidents Bush and Kufour in Accra, Ghana on February 20, 2008.
As AFRICOM has assumed ongoing security engagement operations from EUCOM and CENTCOM and initiated new programs, its officials have stressed the need for improved strategic communications efforts to increase understanding of the command among African governments and their people. In October 2008, the South African government, initially one of the most vocal on the continent in expressing concerns about the new command, welcomed the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the first U.S. carrier to visit the country since the end of apartheid. The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has yet to publicly express his views on AFRICOM.
Congressional Interest and Oversight Issues
As noted above, AFRICOM continues to face myriad challenges, some of which may be issues for Congress. Several Members of Congress expressed interest in the creation of an Africa Command prior to the Bush Administration decision. In 2006, Senator Russ Feingold introduced S.Amdt. 4527 to the FY2007 National Defense Authorization bill (S. 2766) requiring a feasibility study for the establishment of a new command for Africa. S. 2766 passed the Senate in June 2006. In December 2007, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.Res. 897, recognizing the strategic importance of the African continent and welcoming the establishment of AFRICOM. Senator James Inhofe introduced similar legislation, S.Res. 480, in March 2008. These resolutions also urge the Departments of Defense and State, as well as USAID, to consult with African partners to address concerns regarding the command's mandate. The Africa Subcommittees of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs both held hearings on AFRICOM in August 2007. Following General Ward's confirmation as commander, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing to discuss the command in November 2007. He later testified in February and March 2008 before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, respectively. General Ward testified before the 111th Congress in February 2009, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and in March 2009, before the House Armed Services Committee and the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. He delivered his most recent posture statement to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in March 2010.
Congress has addressed issues associated with the command's development in report language accompanying several authorization and appropriations bills. The Senate Armed Services Committee expressed its support for AFRICOM in S.Rept. 110-77, which accompanied S. 1547, the National Defense Authorization Act, 2008. The report did, however, raise questions regarding authorities needed to stand up and staff the command; authorities and funding mechanisms for interagency staff; location; planned staffing levels; and anticipated costs. The committee repeated its support in S.Rept. 110-335, which accompanied S. 3001, the National Defense Authorization Act, 2009, but expressed concern that other U.S. government agencies may not have the resources to support the command's "whole of government" approach. In S.Rept. 111-35 accompanying S. 1390, the National Defense Authorization Act, 2010, the committee expressed support for the persistent regional engagement activities conducted by AFRICOM's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, but requested clarification from DOD on the future role of the Task Force on the continent. The House Armed Services Committee raised questions regarding AFRICOM's mission in H.Rept. 110-652, which accompanied H.R. 5658, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act, 2009. The Senate Appropriations Committee also noted its concern regarding unanswered questions surrounding the command's mission in S.Rept. 110-85 accompanying H.R. 2642, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008, and in the conference report to H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act, 2008 (H.Rept. 110-477). Such concerns were repeated in S.Rept. 110-428, which accompanied S. 3301,
the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009. H.Rept. 110-775, accompanying the House version of that legislation, H.R. 6599, raised specific concern with unanswered questions related to the permanent location of AFRICOM's headquarters. Reference to AFRICOM in the joint explanatory statement accompanying H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329), has been discussed above (see "Cost").
AFRICOM's mandate has also been considered by Congress within the broader context of DOD's role in U.S. foreign affairs. During the 110th Congress, AFRICOM was the focus of a series of hearings by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs. The command was discussed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in several hearings, including one entitled "Implementing Smart Power: Setting an Agenda for National Security Reform" in April 2008 and another in July 2008 entitled "Defining the Military's Role Toward Foreign Policy." During an April 2008 hearing on Building Partnership Capacity, the Secretaries of State and Defense both addressed AFRICOM's unique interagency approach in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. In June 2008, the command was also addressed in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing entitled "Foreign Assistance Reform: Rebuilding U.S. Civilian Development and Diplomatic Capacity in the 21st Century." The House Armed Services Committee has commissioned a Panel on Roles and Missions of not only the various military branches, but also of the various civilian agencies involved in protecting American security. Among its initial findings was the notion that shortcomings in the interagency process have led the U.S. military to take on missions that are not part of its core responsibilities. The FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) required the military to examine its core competencies, which may ultimately have implications for AFRICOM, as may a requirement in H.Rept. 111-288 accompanying the FY2010 NDAA for DOD to evaluate the relationship between DOD's authorities to conduct security cooperation and the Department of State's authorities for security assistance. Some observers have cautioned that AFRICOM could develop independent institutional imperatives that demand resources regardless of need, rather than reflecting genuine strategic interests.
Given that a large part of AFRICOM's mandate is to build the indigenous capacity of African defense forces, the ease with which the command can conduct security cooperation programs will be key to its success. DOD officials suggest that inefficiencies exist in the authorities through which funding is provided for the military's TSC activities.114 Some military officials have argued that the applicable laws need simplification to allow the combatant commands greater flexibility to respond to emerging threats and opportunities. Others have raised concerns, though, that modifying the administrative authorities could interfere with the Department of State's diplomatic decisions or bilateral relationships. The National Security Council is currently conducting a Security Sector Assistance Review that may address some of these issues. The U.S. military has faced other policy restrictions, including Article 98 restrictions, in its operations with some
114. Authorities provided to DOD under Title 10, USC, cannot be generally used for training or equipment programs, whereas Title 22 funds, which are controlled by the State Department, but which include some DOD-implemented programs like FMF and IMET, cannot be used to fund military operations. In the FY2006 Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 109-163), Congress gave DOD expanded funding and authorities under Title 10, USC, Section 1206 and 1207 to address lengthy administrative and procurement delays. Section 1206 authorities allow DOD to directly fund some security cooperation activities. In FY2006, DOD obligated $13 million in Section 1206 funding to African countries. In FY2007, an estimated $45 million was obligated for African recipients ( of which $11 million was redirected in FY09). Approximately $62 million was obligated to African countries in FY2008 and $55 million in FY2009.
African governments and militaries.115 At the same time, DOD is also concerned about possible gaps in servicemen protections for U.S. troops operating on the continent (see "Headquarters Location" above). The Government Accountability Office has noted in testimony to Congress that "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 of developing enduring relationships on the continent can be achieved."
The establishment of a new unified command requires both financial and human resources, although some of those have been redirected from the other commands. Military resources have been stretched by major theater operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, making troop readiness and costs associated with standing up a new command a critical issue for Congress.116 Staffing the command at the interagency level may also require additional resources from Congress--some officials at the State Department and USAID have expressed concern about their departments' inability to provide the number of civilian staff requested by the command, and that concern that has been echoed by DOD.117 The State Department has requested funding to increase the number of diplomatic and development personnel at State and USAID to allow the agencies to focus greater effort on meeting national security goals. The Secretary of Defense has also advocated on behalf of the civilian agencies, emphasizing that the State Department is critically understaffed.118
The development of AFRICOM's interagency staffing has been of particular interest to Congress. In the House Report to accompany H.R. 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act of FY2008, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence expressed concern with interagency coordination on Africa, calling it "flawed" and suggesting that the intelligence community needed to realign its resources to "better understand the threats emanating from this region." DOD officials point out that there are no legally binding requirements for agencies to coordinate their activities, which could make AFRICOM's "pioneering" interagency process more challenging, should other agencies not have the resources to participate adequately.119 Because the command's role is to support U.S. foreign policy objectives in Africa, close coordination with the State Department will be critical to the success of AFRICOM. Some have suggested that because the State Department organizes its efforts bilaterally while DOD organizes regionally, that coordination may be challenging and may require some "internal bureaucratic changes" within the State Department.120
115. In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 17, 2007, the EUCOM Commander expressed concern that Article 98 restrictions could affect long-term U.S.-African security relationships and hinder the logistical capability of countries that do not sign Article 98 agreements to participate in regional peacekeeping efforts.
116. Congress has, in the past, prohibited funding for combatant commands. For example, under the FY1982 DOD Authorization Act (P.L. 97-252), Congress prohibited the use of funds for the integration of the Army's Military Traffic Management Command and the Navy's Military Sealift Command into a new unified transportation command, at the request of the Army and Navy Chiefs of Staff.
117. Then-EUCOM Commander Bantz Craddock told a Defense Writers Group forum on May 18, 2007, "It will be difficult to get subscription and participation by the interagency." Other concerns have been expressed to the author in interviews with Administration officials.
118. See, for example, the speech delivered by Secretary Gates to the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2008.
119. Some of the challenges in coordinating a more effective interagency process were outlined by John Hamre, President of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in a hearing, "Organizing Department of Defense Roles and Mission Requirements," held by the House Armed Services Committee on June 20, 2007.
120. Statement of Senator Russ Feingold, "Creation of a U.S. Africa Command," before the Senate on January 10, 2007.
Observers have expressed concern that U.S. military efforts on the continent must not be allowed to overshadow U.S. diplomatic objectives. A 2006 Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Report found that
As a result of inadequate funding for civilian programs ... U.S. defense agencies are increasingly being granted authority and funding to fill perceived gaps. Such bleeding of civilian responsibilities overseas from civilian to military agencies risks weakening the Secretary of State's primacy in setting the agenda for U.S. relations with foreign countries and the Secretary of Defense's focus on war fighting.121
Senator Feingold, in several speeches before the Senate, has expressed his support for the Africa Command, but has cautioned that it must "contribute to, not define, the U.S. Government's overall strategy and objectives for the continent."122 Likewise, Senator Richard Lugar has suggested that AFRICOM could help the U.S. military develop a "more sophisticated understanding of a region that is ever-changing and highly complex," but has also cautioned, "with greater expertise created within a new regional command, the hope is that there would be few disagreements between the two Departments on the appropriateness of security assistance to specific African nations. But undoubtedly, some differences of opinion will occur."123 As AFRICOM develops, Congress may exert its oversight authority to monitor the command's operations to ensure that they support, rather than guide, the United States' political, economic, and social objectives for the continent.
121. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Embassies as Command Posts in the Anti-Terror Campaign, December 15, 2006.
122. Statements of Senator Russ Feingold, "Creation of a U.S. Africa Command," before the Senate on January 10, 2007, and on January 27, 2009.
123. Opening Statement at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing "Exploring The U.S. Africa Command and A New Strategic Relationship With Africa," August 1, 2007.
Figure 1. Area of Responsibility for Africa Command
Source: Department of Defense, adapted by CRS.
Appendix A. History of U.S. Military Involvement in Africa
The United States maintained Wheelus Air Base near Tripoli, Libya, from the 1940s until 1971 with an estimated 4,000 American personnel.124 Wheelus served primarily as a bomber base for missions to Europe and as an Air Force training location, although U.S. forces from the base did provide emergency humanitarian assistance to earthquake and flood victims in Libya and Tunisia in the 1960s.
Africa was not included in the U.S. military command structure until 1952, when several North African countries, including Libya, were added to the responsibilities of U.S. European Command because of their historic relationship with Europe. The rest of the continent remained outside the responsibility of any command until 1960, when Cold War concerns over Soviet influence in newly independent African countries led DOD to include Sub-Saharan Africa in the Atlantic Command (LANTCOM), leaving North Africa in EUCOM. The Unified Command Plan was revised again in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and responsibility for Sub-Saharan Africa was transferred to a newly-created Strike Command (STRICOM), which was responsible for operations in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia and located at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL. STRICOM was redesignated as Readiness Command (REDCOM) in 1971, and its responsibility for Africa was dissolved, leaving Sub-Saharan Africa out of the combatant command structure until 1983. Under the Reagan Administration, U.S. military involvement in Africa was largely dominated by Cold War priorities, and the Administration's "containment" policy led DOD to divide responsibility for Africa into its current configuration.
In the 1980s, the U.S. military was involved in repeated skirmishes with Libyan jets in territorial disputes over the Gulf of Sidra, and those engagements later escalated as Libya was implicated for supporting international terrorism. On April 15, 1986, the United States initiated air strikes against multiple military targets in Libya under the code name Operation El Dorado Canyon to "inflict damage to Qadhafi's capability to direct and control the export of international terrorism;" several civilian targets including the French Embassy in Tripoli were also inadvertently hit.125
After the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy toward Africa was driven by President George H. W. Bush's vision of a "New World Order"126 and later by President William J. Clinton's policy of "assertive multilateralism."127 U.S. military involvement in Africa was dominated by the deployment of U.S. forces to Somalia to secure humanitarian operations, first in 1992 under the U.S.-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF), also known as Operation Restore Hope, and later under the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) II.128 U.S. military efforts in Somalia were
124. Other former U.S. military installations in North Africa included Kenitra Naval Air Station, also known as Port Lyautey, and several Naval Communication Relay Stations in Morocco, as well as three airbases: Nouassur, Sidi Slimane, and Ben Guerir.
125. The White House, "Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speaks on the United States Air Strike Against Libya," April 15, 1986.
126. See the speech of President George H.W. Bush before a Joint Session of Congress, "Toward a New World Order," September 11, 1990.
127. See the statement of then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeline Albright before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, "Myths of Peacekeeping," June 24, 1993.
128. For more information, see CRS Report RL30065, Somalia: Background and U.S. Involvement Through the 1990s, by Ted Dagneand CRS Report RL30184, Military Interventions by U.S. Forces from Vietnam to Bosnia: Background, Outcomes, and "Lessons Learned" for Kosovo, by Nina M. Serafino.
unprecedented on the continent - over 25,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed by President George H.W. Bush under UNITAF, which was led by CENTCOM and included forces from 24 other countries.
The number of U.S. troops was significantly reduced under President Clinton as operational responsibility was shifted from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. In October 1993, U.S. Special Operations soldiers in the U.S.-led Task Force Ranger engaged Somali militia forces in the battle of Mogadishu, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of 18 American soldiers and hundreds of Somalis.129 President Clinton ultimately ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia in March 1994, the same month that a limited U.S. deployment of 3,600 soldiers was dispatched to Central Africa to assist in humanitarian efforts for Rwandan refugees and to provide protection for humanitarian supplies in Rwanda.130
In 1995, DOD outlined its view of Africa in its U.S. Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, asserting that "ultimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa."131 While the U.S. military was deployed almost annually during the 1990s to conduct Non-Combatant Evacuation and Repatriation Operations (NEO) in African countries that had become politically unstable, other contingency operations132 involving U.S. forces in Africa in latter half of the 1990s were limited. In 1998, following the attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the United States conducted retaliatory cruise missile attacks against a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, that Clinton Administration officials initially contended was producing precursors for chemical weapons for al Qaeda.
In 2003, the United States responded to calls to intervene in Liberia's civil war by deploying a U.S. Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) off the coast of Liberia to provide assistance to the ECOWAS mission in Liberia (ECOMIL) through Joint Task Force Liberia, under the command of EUCOM.133 Out of an estimated 5,000 U.S. forces deployed to the area under Operation Sheltering Sky, only approximately 200 U.S. soldiers came ashore.
More recently, U.S. military personnel have provided training and logistical support for African peacekeepers in both Sudan and Somalia, and have provided counter-terrorism training to select African military units in the Sahel region. As discussed above, the U.S. Navy continues to conduct anti-piracy patrols off the coast of East Africa. According to media reports, the U.S. military also has, in recent years, engaged in air strikes against suspected terrorist targets in Somalia. AFRICOM officials have acknowledged that the command provided logistical and
129. Twenty-nine American soldiers ultimately lost their lives as a result of the conflict in Somalia.
130. Although the mission was deemed successful in alleviating the starvation and disease that threatened the refugees, many have been highly critical of the United States, the United Nations, and others for not doing more to attempt to avert the genocide that occurred in Rwanda that year. See, for example, Col. Scott R. Feil, "Could 5,000 Peacekeepers Have Saved 500,000 Rwandans?: Early Intervention Reconsidered," ISD Reports, Vol. III, No. 2, April 1997.
131. DOD Office of International Security Affairs, United States Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, August 1995.
132. According to DOD, a military operation that is either designated by the Secretary of Defense as a contingency operation or becomes a contingency operation as a matter of law: title 10, United States Code (USC), Section 101 (a)(13).
133. For more information, see CRS Report RL32243, Liberia: Transition to Peace, by Nicolas Cook.
advisory support for a joint military operation between the armies of Uganda, the DRC, and Southern Sudan in December 2008 against the Ugandan insurgent group known as the Lord's Resistance Army.134
134. John Vandiver, "AFRICOM Official Defends U.S. Role in Ugandan Mission," Stars and Stripes, February 14, 2009; Jeffrey Gettleman and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Aided a Failed Plan to Rout Ugandan Rebels," New York Times, February 6, 2009.
Appendix B. Instances of the Use of U.S. Armed Forces in Africa, 1950-2008135
||Egypt. A marine battalion evacuated U.S. nationals and other persons from Alexandria during the Suez crisis.
||Congo. The United States sent four transport planes to provide airlift for Congolese troops during a rebellion and to transport Belgian paratroopers to rescue foreigners.
||Congo. The United States sent three military transport aircraft with crews to provide the Congo central government with logistical support during a revolt.
||Zaire. From May 19 through June 1978, the United States used military transport aircraft to provide logistical support to Belgian and French rescue operations in Zaire.
||Libya. On August 19, 1981, U.S. planes based on the carrier U.S.S. Nimitz shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyan jets had fired a heat-seeking missile. The United States periodically held freedom of navigation exercises in the Gulf of Sidra, claimed by Libya as territorial waters but considered international waters by the United States.
||Egypt. After a Libyan plane bombed a city in Sudan on March 18, 1983, and Sudan and Egypt appealed for assistance, the United States dispatched an AWACS electronic surveillance plane to Egypt.
||Chad. On August 8, 1983, President Reagan reported the deployment of two AWACS electronic surveillance planes and eight F-15 fighter planes and ground logistical support forces to assist Chad against Libyan and rebel forces.
||Libya. On March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported to Congress that, on March 24 and 25, U.S. forces, while engaged in freedom of navigation exercises around the Gulf of Sidra, had been attacked by Libyan missiles and the United States had responded with missiles.
||Libya. On April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in Libya.
||Libya. On January 4, 1989, two U.S. Navy F-14 aircraft based on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The U.S. pilots said the Libyan planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.
||Liberia. On August 6, 1990, President Bush reported that a reinforced rifle company had been sent to provide additional security to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated U.S. citizens from Liberia.
||Zaire. On September 25-27, 1991, after widespread looting and rioting broke out in Kinshasa, U.S. Air Force C-141s transported 100 Belgian troops and equipment into Kinshasa. U.S. planes also carried 300 French troops into the Central African Republic and hauled back American citizens and third country nationals from locations outside Zaire.
||Sierra Leone. On May 3, 1992, U.S. military planes evacuated Americans from Sierra Leone, where military leaders had overthrown the government.
||Somalia. On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed U.S. armed forces to Somalia in response to a humanitarian crisis and a U.N. Security Council Resolution determining that the situation constituted a threat to international peace. This operation, called Operation Restore Hope, was part of a U.S.-led United Nations Unified Task Force (UNITAF) and came to an end on May 4, 1993. U.S. forces continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II), which the U.N. Security Council authorized to assist Somalia in political reconciliation and restoration of peace.
||Somalia. On June 10, 1993, President Clinton reported that in response to attacks against U.N. forces in Somalia by a factional leader, the U.S. Quick Reaction Force in the area had participated in military action to quell the violence. On July 1 President Clinton reported further air and ground military operations on June 12 and June 17 aimed at neutralizing military capabilities that had impeded U.N. efforts to deliver humanitarian relief and promote national reconstruction, and additional instances occurred in the following months.
||Rwanda. On April 12, 1994, President Clinton reported that combat-equipped U.S. military forces had been deployed to Burundi to conduct possible non-combatant evacuation operations of U.S. citizens and other third-country nationals from Rwanda, where widespread fighting had broken out. By September 30, 1994, all U.S. troops had departed from Rwanda and surrounding nations. In the Defense Appropriations Act for FY1995 (P.L. 103-335, signed September 30, 1994), Congress barred use of funds for U.S. military participation in or around Rwanda after October 7, 1994, except for any action necessary to protect U.S. citizens.
||Somalia. On March 1, 1995, President Clinton reported that on February 27, 1995, 1,800 combat-equipped U.S. armed forces personnel began deployment into Mogadishu, Somalia, to assist in the withdrawal of U.N. forces assigned there to the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II). This mission was completed on March 3, 1995.
||Liberia. On April 11, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress that on April 9, 1996 due to the "deterioration of the security situation and the resulting threat to American citizens" in Liberia he had ordered U.S. military forces to evacuate from that country "private U.S. citizens and certain third-country nationals who had taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound.... "
||Liberia. On May 20, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress the continued deployment of U.S. military forces in Liberia to evacuate both American citizens and other foreign personnel, and to respond to various isolated "attacks on the American Embassy complex" in Liberia. The President noted that the deployment of U.S. forces would continue until there was no longer any need for enhanced security at the Embassy and a requirement to maintain an evacuation capability in the country.
||Central African Republic. On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress the deployment of U.S. military personnel to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of "private U.S. citizens and certain U.S. Government employees," and to provide "enhanced security for the American Embassy in Bangui."
||Rwanda and Zaire. On December 2, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress that to support the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations regarding refugees in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of Eastern Zaire, he had authorized the use of U.S. personnel and aircraft, including AC-130U planes to help in surveying the region in support of humanitarian operations, although fighting still was occurring in the area, and U.S. aircraft had been subject to fire when on flight duty.
||Congo and Gabon. On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported to Congress that, on March 25, 1997, a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide enhanced security for American private citizens, government employees, and selected third country nationals in Zaire, and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.
||Sierra Leone. On May 30, 1997, President Clinton reported to Congress that on May 29 and May 30, 1997, U.S. military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the evacuation of certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens.
||Guinea-Bissau. On June 12, 1998, President Clinton reported to Congress that, on June 10, 1998, in response to an army mutiny in Guinea-Bissau endangering the U.S. Embassy, U.S. government employees and citizens in that country, he had deployed a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel to Dakar, Senegal, to remove such individuals, as well as selected third country nationals, from the city of Bissau. The deployment continued until the necessary evacuations were completed.
||Kenya and Tanzania. On August 10, 1998, President Clinton reported to Congress that he had deployed, on August 7, 1998, a Joint Task Force of U.S. military personnel to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and disaster assistance related to the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He also reported that teams of 50-100 security personnel had arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to enhance the security of the U.S. Embassies and citizens there.
||Afghanistan and Sudan. On August 21, 1998, by letter, President Clinton reported to Congress that he had authorized airstrikes on August 20th against camps and installations in Afghanistan and Sudan used by the Osama bin Laden terrorist organization. The President did so based on what he viewed as convincing information that the bin Laden organization was responsible for the bombings, on August 7, 1998, of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
||Liberia. On September 29, 1998, President Clinton reported to Congress that on September 27, 1998 he had, due to political instability and civil disorder in Liberia, deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of 30 U.S. military personnel to augment the security force at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and to provide for a rapid evacuation capability, as needed, to remove U.S. citizens and government personnel from the country.
||Kenya. On February 25, 1999, President Clinton reported to Congress that he was continuing to deploy U.S. military personnel in that country to assist in providing security for the U.S. embassy and American citizens in Nairobi, pending completion of renovations of the American embassy facility in Nairobi, subject of a terrorist bombing in August 1998.
||Sierra Leone. On May 12, 2000, President Clinton, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution" reported to Congress that he had ordered a U.S. Navy patrol craft to deploy to Sierra Leone to be ready to support evacuation operations from that country if needed. He also authorized a U.S. C-17 aircraft to deliver "ammunition, and other supplies and equipment" to Sierra Leone in support of United Nations peacekeeping operations there.
||Terrorism threat. On September 24, 2001, President George W. Bush reported to Congress, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," and "Senate Joint Resolution 23" that in response to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon he had ordered the "deployment of various combat-equipped and combat support forces to a number of foreign nations in the Central and Pacific Command areas of operations." The President noted in efforts to "prevent and deter terrorism" he might find it necessary to order additional forces into these and other areas of the world." He stated that he could not now predict "the scope and duration of these deployments," or the "actions necessary to counter the terrorist threat to the United States."
||Terrorism threat. On September 20, 2002, President Bush reported to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," that U.S. "combat-equipped and combat support forces" have been deployed to the Philippines since January 2002 to train with, assist and advise the Philippines' Armed Forces in enhancing their "counterterrorist capabilities." He added that U.S. forces were conducting maritime interception operations in the Central and European Command areas to combat movement, arming or financing of "international terrorists." He also noted that U.S. combat personnel had been deployed to Georgia and Yemen to help enhance the "counterterrorist capabilities" of their armed forces.
||Cote d'Ivoire. On September 26, 2002, President Bush reported to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," that in response to a rebellion in Cote d'Ivoire that he had on September 25, 2002, sent U.S. military personnel into Cote d'Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens and third country nationals from the city of Bouake; and otherwise assist in other evacuations as necessary.
||Terrorism threat. On March 20, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," as well as P.L. 107-40, and "pursuant to" his authority as Commander-in-Chief, that he had continued a number of U.S. military operations globally in the war against terrorism. These military operations included ongoing U.S. actions against al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan; collaborative anti-terror operations with forces of Pakistan in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border area; "maritime interception operations on the high seas" in areas of responsibility of the Central and European Commands to prevent terrorist movement and other activities; and military support for the armed forces of Georgia and Yemen in counter-terrorism operations.
||Liberia. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," that on June 8 he had sent about 35 combat-equipped U.S. military personnel into Monrovia, Liberia, to augment U.S. Embassy security forces, to aid in the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens if necessary. The President also noted that he had sent about 34 combat-equipped U.S. military personnel to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to assist in evacuation of American citizens if required. They were expected to arrive at the U.S. embassy by June 10, 2003. Back-up and support personnel were sent to Dakar, Senegal, to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.
||Liberia. On August 13, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," that in response to conditions in Liberia, on August 11, 2003, he had authorized about 4,350 U.S. combat-equipped military personnel to enter Liberian territorial waters in support of U.N. and West African States efforts to restore order and provide humanitarian assistance in Liberia.
||Terrorism threat. On September 19, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," that U.S. "combat-equipped and combat support forces" continue to be deployed at a number of locations around the world as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. American forces support antiterrorism efforts in the Philippines, and maritime interception operations continue on the high seas in the Central, European, and Pacific Command areas of responsibility, to "prevent the movement, arming, or financing of international terrorists." He also noted that "U.S. combat equipped and support forces" had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their "counterterrorist capabilities."
||Terrorism/Bosnia and Haiti. On March 20, 2004, the President reported to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple on-going United States military deployments and operations "in support of the global war on terrorism (including in Afghanistan)," as well as operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Haiti. In this report, the President noted that U.S. anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea. He further noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,900 personnel); in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO-led SFOR (about 1,100 personnel); and approximately 1,800 military personnel were deployed in Haiti as part of the U.N. Multinational Interim Force.
||Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia/Iraq. On November 4, 2004, the President sent to Congress, "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the global war on terrorism." These deployments, support or military operations include activities in Afghanistan, Djibouti, as well as Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. In this report, the President noted that U.S. anti-terror related activities were underway in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea. He further noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,800 personnel); and in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO-led SFOR (about 1,000 personnel). Meanwhile, he stated that the United States continues to deploy more than 135,000 military personnel in Iraq.
||Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia. On May 20, 2005, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the global war on terrorism," as well as operations in Iraq, where about 139,000 U.S. military personnel were deployed. U.S. forces are also deployed in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Eritrea, and Djibouti assisting in "enhancing counter-terrorism capabilities" of these nations. The President further noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,700 personnel). Approximately 235 U.S. personnel are also deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo who assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia.
||Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia/Iraq. On December 7, 2005, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the global war on terrorism," and in support of the Multinational Force in Iraq, where about 160,000 U.S. military personnel were deployed. U.S. forces were also deployed in the Horn of Africa region - Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Djibouti - assisting in "enhancing counter-terrorism capabilities" of these nations. The President further noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,700 personnel). Approximately 220 U.S. personnel were also deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo who assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as "counterterrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia."
||Terrorism threat/Kosovo/Bosnia/Iraq. On June 15, 2006, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the war on terror," and in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as part of the Multinational Force (M.F.) in Iraq. About 131,000 military personnel were deployed in Iraq. U.S. forces were also deployed in the Horn of Africa region, and in Djibouti to support necessary operations against al-Qaida and other international terrorists operating in the region. U.S. military personnel continue to support the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). The U.S. contribution to KFOR was about 1,700 military personnel. The NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo was established on November 22, 2004, as a successor to its stabilization operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina to continue to assist in implementing the peace agreement. Approximately 250 U.S. personnel were assigned to the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo to assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as "counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia."
||Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia. On December 15, 2006, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the war on terror," in Kosova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as part of the Multinational Force (M.F.) in Iraq. About 134,000 military personnel were deployed in Iraq. U.S. forces were also deployed in the Horn of Africa region, and in Djibouti to support necessary operations against al-Qaida and other international terrorists operating in the region, including Yemen. U.S. military personnel continue to support the NATO-led Kosova Force (KFOR). The U.S. contribution to KFOR was about 1,700 military personnel. The NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo was established on November 22, 2004, as a successor to its stabilization operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina to continue to assist in implementing the peace agreement. Approximately 100 U.S. personnel were assigned to the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo to assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as "counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia."
||Terrorism threat/Kosovo/Afghanistan. On June 15 and December 14, 2007, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," consolidated reports giving details of ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the war on terror,"and in support of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). The President reported that various U.S. "combat-equipped and combat-support forces" were deployed to "a number of locations in the Central, Pacific, European, and Southern Command areas of operation" and were engaged in combat operations against al-Qaida terrorists and their supporters.
||Terrorism threat/Kosovo/Afghanistan. On June 13 and December 16, 2008, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," consolidated reports giving details of ongoing United States military deployments and operations "in support of the war on terror," and in support of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). The President reported that various U.S. "combat-equipped and combat-support forces" were deployed to "a number of locations in the Central, Pacific, European, Southern and Africa Command areas of operation" and were engaged in combat operations against al-Qaida terrorists and their supporters.
||Terrorism threat/Afghanistan/Iraq/Kosovo. On June 15 and December 5, 2009, the President sent to Congress "consistent with the War Powers Resolution," consolidated reports, giving details of "ongoing contingency operations overseas." The report noted that the United states continues to deploy "U.S. combat-equipped forces to help enhance the counterterrorism capabilities of our friends and allies" not only in the Horn of Africa region, but globally through "maritime interception operations on the high seas" aimed at blocking the "movement, arming and financing of international terrorists."
SOURCE: CRS Report RL32170, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2009, by Richard F. Grimmett.
135. Covert actions, disaster relief, and routine alliance stationing and training exercises are not included in this list. Most instances listed since 1980 are summaries of U.S. military deployments reported to Congress by the President as a result of the War Powers Resolution.
Appendix C. Acronyms
||African Coastal and Border Security Program
||African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance
||Africa Center for Strategic Studies
||African Union Mission in Sudan
||African Union Mission in Somalia
||Air & Maritime Sector Development
||Area of Responsibility
||Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa
||Regional Defense Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program
||Department of Defense
||Department of State
||Economic Community of West African States
||Excess Defense Articles
||Foreign Military Financing
||Foreign Military Sales
||Full Operating Capability
||Global Peace Operations Initiative
||Global War on Terrorism
||International Military Education and Training
||Initial Operating Capability
||Joint Chiefs of Staff
||Joint Forces Command
||Joint Interagency Coordination Groups
||Maritime Interception Operation
||North Atlantic Treaty Organization
||Non-Combatant Evacuation and Repatriation Operations
||Operation Enduring Freedom - Trans Sahara
||USAID Office of Military Affairs
||Operation Objective Voice
||Office of Security Cooperation
||Office of the Secretary of Defense
||Foreign Policy Advisor
||Southern African Development Community
||Senior Development Advisor
||Standing Joint Force Headquarters
||Special Operations Command
||Theater Security Cooperation
||Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership
||Unified Command Plan
||U.S. United Task Force
||U.N. Operation in Somalia
||United States Agency for International Development
Author Contact Information
Analyst in African Affairs