Home > Africa, Americas, Conflict & Security, Politics, USA > AFRICOM: Wrong for Liberia, Disastrous for Africa

AFRICOM: Wrong for Liberia, Disastrous for Africa

Ezekiel Pajibo and Emira Woods write in Toward Freedom:

Just two months after U.S. aerial bombardments began in Somalia, the Bush administration solidified its militaristic engagement with Africa. In February 2007, the Department of Defense announced the creation of a new U.S. Africa Command infrastructure, code name AFRICOM, to “coordinate all U.S. military and security interests throughout the continent.”

“This new command will strengthen our security cooperation with Africa,” President Bush said in a White House statement, “and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa.” Ordering that AFRICOM be created by September 30, 2008, Bush said “Africa Command will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy, and economic growth in Africa.”

The general assumption of this policy is that prioritizing security through a unilateral framework will somehow bring health, education, and development to Africa. In this way, the Department of Defense presents itself as the best architect and arbiter of U.S. Africa policy. According to Navy Rear Admiral Robert Moeller, director of the AFRICOM transition team, “By creating AFRICOM, the Defense Department will be able to coordinate better its own activities in Africa as well as help coordinate the work of other U.S. government agencies, particularly the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.”

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