Long-term stability, security in Africa essential to America

Long-term stability, security in Africa essential to America

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

USA’s Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) has recently released a new publication.

"African Horizons: The United States Army Working Toward a Secure and Stable Africa," National Security Watch 16-1, 1 Feb. 2016, by Douglas W. Merritt, examines the security environment in Africa and the U.S. Army’s role on the continent.

Today’s security environment is more volatile and unstable than ever before.

The velocity of change within certain regions of the world is quite evident; the nightly news vividly captures the images.

There are, however, regions that are just as volatile but do not receive the attention they require. Africa is one such region.

Long-term stability in Africa is essential to U.S. interests.

However, the priority that the United States places on the African region when compared to Europe, the Middle East or the Pacific is low.

If ignored, the security environment in Africa could quickly deteriorate to a quagmire similar to the Middle East.

The size and diversity of the African continent results in a complex environment that requires not only a whole-of-government approach but a synchronized one.

To influence the complex and unstable African environment to achieve U.S interests, the United States must leverage all of the elements of national power.

With embassies in more than 45 countries on the continent, the Department of State leads the U.S. effort in developing partners in Africa.

Although the military solution in Africa is a joint one, the U.S. Army is the primary service building partner capabilities.

The Army is partnering with more than 18 countries and is present in every region of Africa conducting engagements in support of U.S. interests.

The Army, as the cornerstone of the joint force, requires the capability and capacity to accomplish its mission and facilitate expansion from the other elements of national power.

The U.S. Army in Africa is already making strategic impacts with small investments.

Just think what they could accomplish with a modest increase in resources.

This and other ILW publications are available online at http://www.ausa.org/ilw, and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, Ext. 4630, or by e-mailing a request to ilwpublications@ausa.org.

Lt. Col. Douglas Merritt
AUSA Army Fellow
Institute of Land Warfare