AFRICOM: focusing America's attention

Briefly, the creation of a new command centered on Africa, likely to be named AFRICOM, is really a no brainer. With current attention to Africa by our primary 'diplomats' divided between three different commands (Pacific, Europe, and Central), it's hard to focus resources on outreach programs, some of which have been blogged about on MountainRunner.

More on the need for AFRICOM:

Senior special operations officers believe that the creation of an African Command would alleviate the cumbersome bureaucracy that is slowing progress on the Horn of Africa.

Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa was created in 2002 to stop the influence of radical Islamists coming over the border from Somalia. The task force oversees an area roughly a third of the size of the continental United States and has or had forces working in Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula.

But much of the Horn of Africa task force's time is taken up by turf battles with the embassy, host nations and regional commands....

Under a regional command structure, the staff would serve longer tours and "institutional" relationships between the command and the host nations and embassies would be created, Whelan said.

Unlike deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan where staff officers deploy in one unit, individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deploy to the Horn of Africa staff for tours of six months to one year.

"This is where people come to check off their war on terror box," said a senior noncommissioned officer.

Most of the officers are not trained in aid missions, and they are not around long enough to see projects and programs from start to finish.

"There is a learning curve with the staffs that go out to these missions," Whelan said.

She said many officers have to learn new regulations and missions since most are military officers trained primarily for combat.

Trained for aid missions? More militarized humanitarian aid by the guys who can do it... no time for analysis but just a cry for increasing Jointness...