The Department of Defense is leading counter-terrorism efforts to deny sanctuary and support to extremists in Africa and elsewhere through "investments in training and equipping military and police forces". To this end, they are focused on the fundamentals of health care, economic and physical security.
SACEUR General James Jones made the announcement to invest in Partner Nations' Contingency Capabilities earlier this month.
Security assistance programs help create common economic and security interests, provide mechanisms to respond to potential health crises, help emerging democracies defend their territory and foster their ability to thwart terrorist intentions. Marine Corps General James Jones, commander of the U.S. forces in Europe and Africa, made this point during an April 7 appearance before the House Armed Services Committee, in which he also said that conflict prevention is far more cost effective than post-conflict intervention.
Investments in training and equipping military and police forces and developing interlocking relationships with like-minded nations "can yield significant long-term dividends," Jones said. "A critical component in fighting the global war on terrorism is putting together programs that build the capacity of foreign nations to conduct counter-terrorist operations and participate in or provide support to military and stability operations in which the U.S. is a participant," he said.
EUCOM's Trans-Sahara Counter-terrorism Initiative (TSCTI) (and scroll down here for EUCOM-direct info) is a smart move. Where is State in this? USAID? MCA? Bilateral aid? There is tremendous value to this initiative and others like it. This is why State should move and act, as should Karen Hughes to leverage the goodwill these programs generate.
"Left unattended, political instability in Africa could require reactive and repeated interventions at enormous costs, as in the case of Liberia," Jones said. The U.S. military is working with Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, and Nigeria to strengthen regional security, help those nations prepare to meet myriad contingencies and develop solid counterterror capabilities, he added.