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Thread: US launches African military command

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    Postman vector7's Avatar
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    Default US launches African military command

    US launches African military command

    The US is launching a separate military command for Africa to take over all operations on the continent.

    By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
    Last Updated: 7:34PM BST 30 Sep 2008

    However, budget cuts and controversy have dogged the inauguration of Africa Command, known as Africom.

    The latest, and sixth, geographical US military hub suffered a blow last week when the Democrat-controlled US Congress cut its budget by a third to $225 million (125 million) and ordered Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, to draw up a plan for its overhaul by next April.

    Efforts by the Pentagon to secure an African home for the command also failed and its headquarters are located in Stuttgart in southern Germany.

    The fight against terrorism is one of the main responsibilities assumed by Africom's commander General William Ward. An 1,800-strong US contingent based in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is intended to suppress the spread of al-Qaeda affiliates across the Sahara.

    A second key remit is to protect west African oil and natural gas supplies, prized as an alternative source to the Middle East.

    Security is only one aspect of Africom's remit. US regional commanders are familiar figures in capitals from Beijing to Buenos Aires and frequently eclipse diplomats. "There is not a single controlling security reason for this step," said Vince Crawley, the Africom spokesman. "We want to deal with African nations as a continental whole. The stability of that space is in the interests of the United States."

    Responsibility for strategic efforts to strengthen relations with African countries has been delegated to teams of military officials based at embassies across Africa.
    Despite frequent reassurances from the military, aid groups are largely critical of Africom as a threat to efforts to improve African living conditions, claiming future programmes could be increasingly diverted to satisfied military objectives. "Africom has become a lightening rod for a bigger concern, which is that US foreign policy is being dictated almost entirely by the department of defence," said Erin Weir of Refugees International.

    But the chronic instability of Africa's poorest states, where ongoing wars mean there is little development aid delivery, means the new command has an opportunity to deliver a humanitarian breakthrough, said Simon Maxwell, director of the Overseas Development Institute in London.

    "There are countries in Africa where aid funding can't get through," he said. "Historically aid agencies have been wary of the military but the key development challenges are in countries on the outside of normal stable conditions. We need to think about ending conflict and stabilising these countries by using all instruments of foreign policy, including a military role in aid."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...y-command.html

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: US launches African military command

    About time! Hopefully we aren't too far behind the 8 ball known as China on this.

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    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
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    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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