Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa [Updated August 22, 2008]   [open pdf - 545KB]

This CRS report discusses Africa Command. "On February 6, 2007, the Bush Administration announced its intention to create a new unified combatant command, U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM, to promote U.S. national security objectives in Africa and its surrounding waters. U.S. military involvement on the continent has been divided among three commands: U.S. European Command (EUCOM), U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). The new command's area of responsibility (AOR) will include all African countries except Egypt. AFRICOM was officially launched as a sub-unified command under EUCOM on October 1, 2007, and is expected to become a stand-alone command by September 30, 2008. In recent years, analysts and U.S. policymakers have noted Africa's growing strategic importance to U.S. interests. Among those interests are Africa's role in the Global War on Terror and potential threats posed by uncontrolled spaces; the growing importance of Africa's natural resources, particularly energy resources; and 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. As envisioned by the Department of Defense (DOD), AFRICOM will 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."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34003
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