Us Africa Command, Changing Security Dynamics, and Perceptions of U.S. Africa Policy

Us Africa Command, Changing Security Dynamics, and Perceptions of U.S. Africa Policy

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This report will demonstrate that U.S. change agents in seeking transformation focused inwardly within the bureaucracy. They did not bother to consult with African leaders and made assumptions about African reactions to AFRICOM which demonstrated a lack of empathy. The authoritarian leadership style of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld brought about an order that could not be refused including the unfortunate directive that AFRICOM headquarters should be placed on the African continent. The directive was rejected by most African leaders and media. A subsequent strategic communications campaign to repackage AFRICOM and sell it to African leaders failed because of already established suspicions. Only the reversal of the directive to place the command on the continent brought grudging acceptance, along with US offers of training exercises and other forms of security assistance. Change agents within a bureaucracy must be careful to consult with foreign actors in attempting to bring about transformation. While African reaction to AFRICOM was largely negative, there was variation in types of responses. Some leaders in sub-regions and states feared terrorist attacks against an AFRICOM base that would undermine their regimes. Others feared the possibility of regime change. Sub-regional powers objected to US military presence in their areas of hegemonic control. Ideology was important, with non-aligned states rejecting AFRICOM and more liberal and pro-Western states accepting it. A second conclusion is that African states are weak. Those states that do not align themselves with the United States feel threatened by it. The negative lessons of 2007 demonstrate that Africa Command and US diplomats should continue engaging with regional players in order to explain the purpose of the new command and react to feedback. Thanks to considerable US diplomacy in 2008, African perceptions of US security policy and strategy in Africa and of US Africa Command have shifted from largely negative to mostly more

Product details

  • Paperback | 44 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 2.54mm | 167.83g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514284316
  • 9781514284315