Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
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. Prior to AFRICOM’s establishment, U.S. military
involvement on the continent was 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) includes all African countries except Egypt.
AFRICOM was officially launched as a sub-unified command under EUCOM on October 1,
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. If
directed by national command authorities, its military operations would aim to deter aggression
and respond to crises.
DOD signaled its intention to locate AFRICOM’s headquarters on the continent early in the
planning process, but such a move is unlikely to take place for several years, if at all. U.S officials
are consulting with strategic partners in the region to determine what type of presence on the
continent would be most appropriate, and what location, or locations, are most suitable. The new
command will operate from Stuttgart, Germany for the foreseeable future. DOD has stressed that
there are no plans to have a significant troop presence on the continent.
The 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa highlighted the threat of terrorism to U.S.
interests on the continent. Political instability and civil wars have created vast ungoverned spaces,
areas in which some experts allege that terrorist groups may train and operate. Instability also
heightens human suffering and retards economic development, which may in turn threaten U.S.
economic interests. Africa’s exports of crude oil to the United States are now roughly equal to
those of the Middle East, further emphasizing the continent’s strategic importance. This report
provides a broad overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts
on the continent as they pertain to the creation of AFRICOM. A discussion of AFRICOM’s
mission, its coordination with other government agencies, and its basing and manpower
requirements is included. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Issues for Congress..........................................................................................................................1
The DOD Proposal for a New Africa Command.............................................................................3
Changes to the Unified Command Plan....................................................................................3
Combatant Command “Plus”?..................................................................................................4
Structure and Footprint..............................................................................................................7
Manpower ......................................................................................................................... 10
Cost ................................................................................................................................... 10
U.S. Strategic Interests in Africa....................................................................................................11
Current U.S. National Security Strategy Toward Africa..........................................................11
Oil and Global Trade.........................................................................................................12
Te rr or ................................................................................................................................ 14
H IV / AIDS ....................................................................................................................... .. 15
U.S. Military Assistance and Security Cooperation in Africa: An Expanding Role....................15
Combined Joint Task Force: Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA)...............................................17
Operation Enduring Freedom: Trans Sahara (OEF-TS)/Trans Sahara Counter-
Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP).....................................................................................19
International Military Education and Training (IMET)....................................................20
The African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA)/
Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI)...................................................................20
Congressional Interest and Oversight Issues.................................................................................23
Related CRS Reports.....................................................................................................................26
Figure 1. Proposed Area of Responsibility for Africa Command..................................................27
Appendix A. History of U.S. Military Involvement in Africa.......................................................28
Appendix B. Instances of the Use of U.S. Armed Forces in Africa, 1950-2007...........................30
Appendix C. Acronyms.................................................................................................................35
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................36
President George W. Bush formally announced the creation of a new Unified Combatant
Command (COCOM) for the African continent on February 6, 2007, reflecting Africa’s 1
increasing strategic importance to the United States. The Department of Defense (DOD)
organizes its command structure by dividing its activities among joint military commands based 2
either on a geographic or functional area of responsibility (AOR). With the creation of the new
command, DOD now has six geographic commands and four functional commands. Previously,
U.S. military involvement in Africa was divided among three geographic commands: European
Command (EUCOM), Central Command (CENTCOM), and Pacific Command (PACOM). The
new command’s area of responsibility (AOR) includes all African countries except Egypt, which
remains in the AOR of CENTCOM. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was launched with initial
operating capability (IOC) as a sub-unified command under EUCOM on October 1, 2007 and
reached full operating capability (FOC) as a stand-alone unified command on October 1, 2008.
AFRICOM’s first commander, Army General William E. “Kip” Ward, former Deputy
Commander of EUCOM, was confirmed by the Senate on September 28, 2007.
Although the precise wording of AFRICOM’s mission statement has evolved since the command
was first announced, DOD officials have broadly suggested that the command’s mission is to
promote U.S. strategic objectives by working with African partners to help strengthen stability 3
and security in the region through improved security capability and military professionalization.
A key aspect of the command’s mission is its supporting role to other agencies’ and departments’
efforts on the continent. But like other combatant commands, AFRICOM will also be expected to
oversee military operations, when directed, to deter aggression and respond to crises.
The Administration’s motivation for the creation of a new unified command for Africa evolved in
part out of concerns about DOD’s division of responsibility for Africa among three geographic
commands, which reportedly posed coordination challenges. Although some military officials
1 The White House Office of the Press Secretary, “President Bush Creates a Department of Defense Unified Combatant
Command for Africa,” February 6, 2007. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the command’s creation to
Congress in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the same day. Formal efforts to establish an
Africa Command, or AFRICOM, began in mid-2006, under former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. DOD
announced that it was considering AFRICOM in August 2006, and President Bush reportedly approved the proposal on
December 15, 2006. “Africa Command Plans Approved by Bush, DOD Officials Confirm,” Stars and Stripes,
December 30, 2006.
2 A unified combatant command is defined as “a command with a broad continuing mission under a single commander
and composed of significant assigned components of two or more Military Departments that is established and so
designated by the President, through the Secretary of Defense with the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff,” according to DOD’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
3 When first announced, the draft mission statement was: “U.S. Africa Command promotes U.S. National Security
objectives by working with African states and regional organizations to help strengthen stability and security in the
AOR. U.S. Africa Command leads the in-theater DOD response to support other USG agencies in implementing USG
security policies and strategies. In concert with other U.S. government agencies and other international partners, U.S.
Africa Command conducts theater security cooperation activities to assist in building security capacity and improve
accountable governance. As directed, U.S. Africa Command conducts military operations to deter aggression and
respond to crises.” Its current mission statement, approved by General Ward and Secretary Gates, is “United States
Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained
security engagement through military-to-military programs, military sponsored activities, and other military operations
as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.”
have advocated the creation of an Africa Command for over a decade, recent crises highlighted
the challenges created by “seams” between the COCOMs’ boundaries. One such seam was
located between Sudan (then within CENTCOM’s AOR), Chad and the Central African Republic
(then within EUCOM’s AOR), an area of increasing instability. The United States, acting first
alone and later as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has provided
airlift and training for African peacekeeping troops in the Darfur region of Sudan, and although
CENTCOM had responsibility for Sudan, much of the airlift and training was done by EUCOM
In addition, close observers say that EUCOM and CENTCOM had become overstretched
particularly given the demands created by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Commander of
EUCOM, whose AOR included 92 countries prior to AFRICOM’s creation, testified before
the increasing strategic significance of Africa will continue to pose the greatest security
stability challenge in the EUCOM AOR. The large ungoverned area in Africa, HIV/AIDS
epidemic, corruption, weak governance, and poverty that exist throughout the continent are
challenges that are key factors in the security stability issues that affect every country in 4
His predecessor, General James Jones, pointed out in 2006 that EUCOM’s staff were spending 5
more than half their time on Africa issues, up from almost none three years prior.
AFRICOM has faced myriad challenges in its establishment, and outstanding issues remain as the th
command moves forward. Some of these issues may be addressed by the 111 Congress. Key
oversight questions for Congress relating to the command may include the following.
• Is an Africa Command necessary or desirable? Is its mission well-defined?
• How are U.S. strategic interests influencing the size and scope of the U.S.
military footprint on the continent, and what effect will the new Africa Command
have on future U.S. military operations in Africa?
• How are AFRICOM and U.S. military efforts in Africa perceived by Africans and
by other foreign countries, including China?
• What are the costs associated with AFRICOM? How are these costs affected by
AFRICOM’s chosen headquarters location?
• What role, if any, will contractors play in AFRICOM’s operations?
• How closely do the State Department and DOD coordinate on plans for the
command and on U.S. military efforts in Africa in general? What are the Obama
Administration’s views on the development of AFRICOM’s interagency process?
Will AFRICOM’s enhanced integration of non-DOD USG agency personnel into
the command necessitate statutory changes?
• How will AFRICOM address the intelligence community’s need to realign its
resources directed toward the continent?
4 Testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 19, 2006.
5 Greg Mills, “World’s Biggest Military Comes to Town,” Business Day, February 9, 2007.
• How will the Obama Administration ensure that U.S. military efforts in Africa do
not overshadow or contradict U.S. diplomatic and development objectives?
Should conflict prevention activities be an essential part of DOD’s mandate, and
are they sustainable?
• What are the authorities granted to U.S. Chiefs of Mission regarding combatant
command activities in the countries to which they are posted, and are these
• How prominent will counter-terrorism operations and programs be, particularly
relative to the peacekeeping training and support components in AFRICOM’s
mandate? Would some DOD-implemented counter-terrorism programs be more
appropriately implemented by other U.S. agencies?
• Are the legal authorities guiding DOD’s implementation of security cooperation
reform programs sufficient? Do any of these authorities hinder the U.S. military’s
ability to conduct these programs?
• What efforts does DOD take to ensure that the training and equipment provided
to African security forces are not used to suppress internal dissent or to threaten
This report provides information on AFRICOM’s mission, structure, interagency coordination,
and its basing and manpower requirements. Because the command is still under development,
many of the details regarding these issues are still being determined. The report also gives a broad
overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts on the continent
as they pertain to the creation of a new Africa Command.
The mission of geographic commands is defined by a general geographic area of responsibility
(AOR), while the mission of functional commands is the worldwide performance of transregional
responsibilities. There are currently six geographic combatant commands: Africa (AFRICOM),
European (EUCOM), Pacific (PACOM), North (NORTHCOM), Southern (SOUTHCOM), and
Central (CENTCOM) Commands. There are four functional COCOMs, including Transportation
(TRANSCOM), Special Operations (SOCOM), Joint Forces (JFCOM) and Strategic
(STRATCOM) Commands. As mentioned above, DOD responsibilities for Africa were divided
among three geographic commands prior to October 2008. EUCOM, based in Germany, had 42 6
African countries in its AOR; CENTCOM, based in Florida, covered eight countries in East
Africa, including those that make up the Horn of Africa; and PACOM, based in Hawaii, was 7
responsible for the islands of Comoros, Madagascar, and Mauritius.
The creation of a new combatant command requires changes by the President to a classified
executive document, the Unified Command Plan (UCP), which establishes responsibilities and
6 Western Sahara is considered an “Area of Interest.”
7 For more information see http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/unifiedcommand.
areas of responsibilities for the commanders of combatant commands. Changes to the UCP are
usually initiated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), who presents a
recommendation to the Secretary of Defense. After the Secretary’s review, a proposal is presented
to the President for approval. Prior to the advent of AFRICOM, the most recent Unified
Command to be established was NORTHCOM, which was created in 2002, after the September
as required by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-433). The 2006
review recommended the establishment of an Africa Command, and the 2008 review, released in
December 2008, codified the command. A new functional command, Medical Command, is
reportedly also being considered. Congress has, on occasion, taken legislative action that has led
to changes in the UCP.
Some DOD officials have referred to Africa Command as a combatant command “plus.”8 This
implies that the command will have all the roles and responsibilities of a traditional geographic
combatant command, including the ability to facilitate or lead military operations, but will also
include a broader “soft power” mandate aimed at building a stable security environment and will
incorporate a larger civilian component from other U.S. government agencies to address those
challenges. According to the 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy, “America is now threatened
less by conquering states than we are by failing ones.” The Department of Defense, identifying
instability in foreign countries as a threat to U.S. interests, issued DOD Directive 3000.05 in 9
comparable to combat operations.” The 2008 National Defense Strategy further argues that “the
inability of many states to police themselves effectively or to work with their neighbors to ensure
regional security represents a challenge to the international system” and that “if left unchecked,
such instability can spread and threaten regions of interest to the United States, our allies, and
friends.” Although U.S. forces have traditionally focused on “fighting and winning wars,” defense
strategy is now evolving to look at conflict prevention, or “Phase Zero,” addressing threats at
their inception through increased emphasis on theater security cooperation (TSC) and capacity 11
building of allies.
As General Bantz Craddock, Commander of EUCOM, noted in his confirmation hearing, Africa
in recent years has posed “the greatest security stability challenge” to EUCOM, and “a separate
command for Africa would provide better focus and increased synergy in support of U.S. policy
8 ”Pentagon: AFRICOM Won’t Boost U.S. Troop Presence on the Continent,” Inside the Army, February 12, 2007.
9 DOD defines stability operations as “military and civilian activities conducted across the spectrum from peace to
conflict to establish or maintain order in States and regions.”
10 DOD, Directive 3000.05: Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR)
Operations, November 28, 2005. The directive also clarifies that DOD sees its role in U.S. government plans for SSTR
as a supporting one: “Many stability operations tasks are best performed by indigenous, foreign, or U.S. civilian
professionals. Nonetheless, U.S. military forces shall be prepared to perform all tasks necessary to establish or maintain
order when civilians cannot do so.”
11 Some analysts view four traditional phases for a military campaign: deter/engage, seize initiative, decisive
operations, and transition. DOD officials have begun using a phrase, “Phase Zero” to encompass efforts prior to the
first phase aimed at preventing the conflict. For more information on the Phase Zero strategy and TSC, also known as
peacetime engagement, see General Charles Wald, “The Phase Zero Campaign,” Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 43, 4th
Quarter 2006, available at http://www.ndu.edu/inss.
and engagement.”12 In the view of AFRICOM’s architects and proponents, if U.S. agencies, both
military and civilian, are able to coordinate more efficiently and effectively both among
themselves as well as with their African partners and other international actors, they might be
more successful at averting more complex emergencies on the continent. AFRICOM’s
commander, General Kip Ward, views the Department of Defense’s role in Africa as part of a
“three-pronged” U.S. government approach, with DOD, through AFRICOM, taking the lead on
security issues, but playing a supporting role to the Department of State, which conducts
diplomacy, and USAID, which implements development programs. Ward does see AFRICOM
playing a greater role in development activities than other commands, but has emphasized that its
role will remain one of supporting USAID’s development and humanitarian objectives.
AFRICOM’s proactive approach to deterring or averting conflict reflects an evolution in DOD
strategy that has been outlined extensively in government documents, but operationalizing that 13
broad mandate may prove difficult. As one foreign policy expert points out, “the mission of
AFRICOM will necessarily require a major break with conventional doctrinal mentalities both 14
within the armed services themselves and between government agencies.” One DOD official
described the mandate in the following words, “We want to help develop a stable environment in 15
which civil society can be built and that the quality of life for the citizenry can be improved.”
The prospect that the Department of Defense will focus less on fighting wars and more on
preventing them engenders mixed feelings elsewhere in the government. While many at the State
Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) welcome the
ability of DOD to leverage resources and to organize complex operations, there also is concern
that the military may overestimate its capabilities as well as its diplomatic role in Africa, or
pursue activities that are not a core part of its mandate. Some argue that the highly unequal
allocation of resources between the Departments of Defense, State, and USAID, hinder their
ability to act as “equal partners” and could lead to the militarization of development and 16
The mission of Africa Command might be most closely compared to that of Southern Command
(SOUTHCOM), which is responsible for U.S. military efforts in Central and South America.
SOUTHCOM’s mission, as defined by DOD, is to ensure the forward defense of the United
States through security cooperation, counter-narcotics operations, humanitarian assistance, and
monitoring and support for human rights initiatives in the region. Like SOUTHCOM, AFRICOM
is expected to supervise an array of operations that relate to U.S. strategic interests but are not
combat-related, unlike EUCOM, CENTCOM and PACOM, which have traditionally been more
focused on preparing for potential warfighting operations. One DOD official suggested that the
U.S. government could consider the command a success “if it keeps American troops out of 17
Africa for the next 50 years.”
12 Advance Questions for General Bantz J. Craddock, USA, Nominee for United States European Command and
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on
September 19, 2006.
13 While the Phase Zero approach to ensuring national security has been accepted by much of the DOD leadership,
discussion is ongoing within the Department about how best to use the U.S. military in a conflict role.
14 J. Peter Pham, “Getting AFRICOM Right,” World Defense Review, February 15, 2007.
15 DOD, “News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon,” February 7, 2007.
16 See, for example, Lisa Schirch and Aaron Kishbaugh, “Leveraging ‘3D’ Security: From Rhetoric to Reality,”
Foreign Policy in Focus, Policy Brief Vol. 11, No. 2, November 15, 2006.
17 Comments by Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Ryan Henry at a Meeting of USAID’s Advisory
The Bush Administration suggested that its proposal for the new command represented an
evolution in the involvement of other U.S. government agencies in the DOD planning process.
Interagency coordination of U.S. security policy involves a variety of offices and actors in
Washington, DC, and in the field. In Washington, the State Department’s Bureau of Political-
Military Affairs (PM) serves as the primary liaison for the Department with DOD. Its counterpart
at DOD is the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
(ISA). USAID recently created the Office of Military Affairs (OMA) within the Bureau for
Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) to coordinate agency policy with
DOD and the State Department for humanitarian relief and post conflict reconstruction efforts.
USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Operations Liaison Unit (OLU),
and the geographic bureaus’ missions manage the operational coordination with DOD for those
At the regional level, State’s PM Bureau appoints senior officials known as Foreign Policy
Advisors (POLADs) to serve as advisors to combatant commanders and other military leaders to
“provide policy support regarding the diplomatic and political aspects of the commanders’ 18
military responsibilities.” Like the State Department, USAID places OFDA military liaison
officers with COCOMs that routinely provide humanitarian and disaster relief coordination;
OMA also currently has policy advisors known as Senior Development Advisors (SDAs) in
several commands, including AFRICOM. The State Department, intelligence and other
government agencies also designate representatives to Joint Interagency Coordination Groups
(JIACGs) within the COCOMs to facilitate the interagency process. The JIACG is a relatively
recent concept, created out of a request by former CENTCOM Commander General Tommy
Franks in 2001 to “execute and influence policy, but not to make it, and to establish new 19
interagency links, but not to replace habitual relationships or traditional chains of command.”
At the country level, DOD assigns defense attachés to serve as military liaisons at embassies
around the world. These officials serve on interagency embassy Country Teams, which are led by
the U.S. ambassador in each country. Many embassies also have an Office of Security
Cooperation (OSC), led by a military officer who reports to the ambassador and the COCOM, to 20
coordinate security assistance activities with the host country’s defense forces. USAID OFDA
deploys military liaison officers as part of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to
affected countries during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations when there is a
civil-military component involved.
The new command has sought greater interagency coordination with the State Department,
USAID, and other government agencies, including a larger non-DOD civilian staff (initially
Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) on May 23, 2007.
18 For more information on Foreign Policy Advisors (formerly known as Political Advisors), see
19 For more information on JIACGs, see Col. Matthew F. Bogdanos, “Joint Interagency Cooperation: The First Step,”
Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 37, 2005.
20 These offices are also sometimes referred to as Offices of Defense Cooperation (ODC) or Security Assistance
Organizations (SAOs). There are currently 15 OSCs in Africa (not including Egypt) and over 30 defense attaches in
U.S. embassies on the continent.
proposed at as much as one quarter of the total staff), than has been traditional with other
combatant commands. Those involved in the creation of AFRICOM aimed to build upon
initiatives in NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM to improve the interagency process, but EUCOM
Commander General Bantz Craddock has suggested that this command could be “the pioneer” for
a new approach that the other commands might later adopt. In the development of AFRICOM’s
theater campaign plan, for example, the leadership has sought to involve other U.S. government
agencies at the earliest stages of the planning process, an effort that DOD hopes to employ more 21
broadly as its new planning approach. Non-DOD civilian staff positions within AFRICOM
include senior leadership positions, senior advisors or liaisons (including the Foreign Policy
Advisor, a Senior Development Advisor, an OFDA liaison, and a senior Treasury Department
representative), and subject-matter experts embedded with the headquarters staff. During his
confirmation hearing, General Ward testified that he did not believe any statutory changes were 22
necessary to incorporate “detailed” non-DOD personnel into the command. Nevertheless,
AFRICOM officials report that filling those interagency positions has been more challenging than
first anticipated. Although lawyers from several of the departments/agencies have worked to
facilitate the assignment of non-DOD civilians to AFRICOM, to date few have been permanently
Following General Ward’s confirmation, a senior U.S. diplomat, Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates,
was appointed as Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities (DCMA), a new post
equivalent to that of a deputy commander. Yates, who had previously served as U.S. ambassador
to Burundi and Ghana and most recently as the Foreign Policy Advisor to EUCOM, is the first
non-DOD civilian to be integrated into the command structure of a unified command. The DCMA
directs many of AFRICOM’s civil-military plans and programs, as well as its various security
cooperation initiatives, and is responsible for ensuring that policy development and
implementation are consistent with U.S. foreign policy. Navy Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, who
led AFRICOM’s transition team, serves as Yates’ military equivalent, Deputy to the Commander
for Military Operations (DCMO). The DCMO is responsible for the implementation and
execution of the command’s programs and operations. To maintain the military chain of
command, one deputy commander position will always be held by a military officer, but DOD
statements suggest that AFRICOM’s DCMA role will always be held by a Senior Foreign Service 23
Officer. Both Deputies have supervisory authority for the civilian and military personnel in their
DOD officials emphasize that the new command is still under development; some details
regarding the command’s structure and footprint are still being determined. As mentioned above,
AFRICOM’s final headquarters location has not been identified, and a move to the continent may
not occur for several years, if at all. AFRICOM also has yet to determine the locations for sub-
regional offices that it originally sought to establish, and there has reportedly been some
resistance by the State Department to such offices, based on concerns related to chief-of-mission
authority. Officials stress that there are no plans to establish any new military bases in Africa;
21 A theater campaign plan translates national or theater strategy into operational concepts.
22 As in the case of POLADs, DOD and the respective department or agency will establish an agreement regarding the
relationship between the staff member and the command.
23 DOD, “News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon,” April 27, 2007.
President Bush reiterated this during his visit to the continent in February 2008.24 Bush’s
Principal Under Secretary of Defense asserted that the creation of the new command reflected an
“organizational change,” rather than a change in “basing structure or troop positions on the 25
At present, DOD’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) has a semi-
permanent troop presence at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti with more than 1,500 U.S. military and
civilian personnel in residence. The U.S. military has signed a five year lease with the Djiboutian
government for Lemonier, with the option to extend the lease for two more five-year terms. The
command authority for CJTF-HOA, formerly under CENTCOM, has been transferred to 26
AFRICOM, and it will continue to be used as a Forward Operating Site. The U.S. military has
access to a number of foreign air bases and ports in Africa and has established “bare-bones”
facilities maintained by local troops in several locations. The U.S. military used facilities in
Kenya in the 1990s to support its intervention in Somalia and continues to use them today to
support counter-terrorism activities. DOD refers to these facilities as “lily pads,” or Cooperative
Security Locations (CSLs), and currently has access to locations in Algeria, Botswana, Gabon,
Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Uganda, and
There is ongoing debate over where to base AFRICOM. Prior to AFRICOM’s establishment,
EUCOM was the only geographic combatant command with headquarters located outside of the
United States. Given that the majority of countries in AFRICOM’s new AOR have been under the
responsibility of EUCOM, and that consequently a majority of the personnel working on Africa
issues were already based in EUCOM’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, DOD determined that 27
AFRICOM’s headquarters would be initially located at the American base in Germany as well.
In November 2008, the Secretary of Defense announced that the decision on whether to move the
command out of Germany would be postponed until 2012 to allow the command to gain greater
understanding of its long-term operational requirements.
Prior to Secretary Gates’ announcement of the command’s establishment, there was speculation
that an Africa Command might be permanently located in Europe, or in the United States, like the
other commands. Some DOD officials have argued that AFRICOM’s headquarters should be
located in Africa. Locating the headquarters within the AOR would have several benefits in terms
of proximity. Flight time from Germany to Nairobi, Kenya, for example, is approximately 8
hours, and flight time from Germany to Johannesburg, South Africa is approximately 11 hours.
Flight time from Washington, DC to the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia is approximately 16-20 hours. Deploying AFRICOM’s staff in close geographic
proximity to their African counterparts and to U.S. diplomatic missions on the continent could
enable more efficient interaction.
24 U.S. military facilities on the island of Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, will remain under the AOR of PACOM.
25 DOD, “News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon,” April 23, 2007.
26 The mission transfer process from CENTCOM to AFRICOM for CJTF-HOA responsibilities will continue into
27 DOD is spending approximately $140 million between FY2007 and FY2009 to renovate the Stuttgart facilities.
Those who have advocated locating Africa Command on the continent have faced some initial
negative reactions from Africans. There are concerns, both domestically and internationally, that
moving the command to Africa might be the first step in an alleged U.S. military agenda to
establish a larger footprint on the continent. DOD officials have stressed that the location in
question would be a staff headquarters rather than a troop headquarters, and have suggested that
they may consider a dispersed regional headquarters model, with several small locations spread 28
across the continent to lessen the U.S. presence and burden in any one country. DOD may
eventually try to co-locate those facilities with the headquarters of the continent’s regional and
sub-regional organizations to link AFRICOM with the AU’s nascent regional security architecture
(see “Security Assistance” below). AFRICOM already has military liaison officers (LNOs) at the
African Union headquarters in Ethiopia and with ECOWAS in Nigeria, as well as at the Kofi
Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana. Those presences are likely to
expand, and additional liaison offices may be attached to other regional organizations. DOD’s
FY2009 budget request sought funding for a “limited presence on the African continent with the
establishment of two of five regional offices,” although plans for those two offices have been 29
postponed and funding for the offices was cut for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Department of Defense has developed criteria for determining the ultimate location(s) for
AFRICOM in coordination with the Department of State. Through regular consultations with
African countries that have a security relationship with the United States, U.S. officials have
reportedly already received offers to host the command from several of these governments,
including, most publicly, Liberia. Other strategic partners, such as South Africa and Algeria, have
expressed reluctance to host the new command, possibly out of concern over a permanent foreign
military presence within their borders. In North Africa, for example, there are concerns that an
American military presence might embolden domestic terrorist groups. Some African
governments that consider themselves to be regional hegemons may perceive a permanent
American military presence, whether staffed by civilians or troops, to be a rival for political or
military power in their sphere of influence.
At the forefront of DOD considerations in determining a host country (or countries) would be
providing for the safety and security of over a thousand American personnel who staff the
command and their families, should a decision to move to the continent be made. Living
standards in Africa are among the lowest in the world, and DOD would be expected to choose a
politically stable location on the continent with good access to health care and schools and
relatively low levels of corruption. Ease of access to regional and international transportation,
along with proximity to the African Union, African regional organizations, and U.S. government
hubs on the continent would also be considered. Locating U.S. soldiers permanently in a foreign
country would be predicated on the host country’s approval of a Status-of-Forces Agreement
(SOFA), a legal document negotiated by the State Department to define the legal status of U.S.
personnel and property while in that country, and a bilateral non-surrender agreement, commonly
known as an Article 98 Agreement, to protect American servicemen from prosecution by the 30
International Criminal Court. Some advocacy groups hope that DOD would consider potential
host countries’ human rights record among other criteria.
28 Comments by Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Ryan Henry at a Public Meeting of USAID’s Advisory
Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) on May 23, 2007.
29 DOD’s FY2009 Budget Request Summary Justification can be found at
30 For more information on Article 98 agreements, see CRS Report RL31495, U.S. Policy Regarding the International
Manning a new command is a challenging task, particularly in a time when defense resources and
personnel are stretched thin by engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the number of
personnel needed to staff a combatant command varies, DOD officials estimate that the average
command ranges from 500 to more than 1,000 personnel (exclusive of supporting intelligence 31
architecture). AFRICOM was authorized to have just over 1,300 headquarters staff by October 32
2008, including intelligence and other support requirements. Sourcing manpower to facilitate
the aggressive timeline to meet full operational capacity has proved difficult, according to
AFRICOM officials, and less than 75% of these positions were filled by the FOC date.
Approximately 270 personnel for the new command were transferred from EUCOM,
CENTCOM, and PACOM. The armed services (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) have also 33
developed plans for the service component headquarters that will support the new command. In
essence, the Services must pay two manpower bills—they must fill AFRICOM headquarters
requirements and also staff the service component headquarters. Current service component 34
headquarters proposals range from approximately 100 to 400 personnel.
Start-up costs for Africa Command in FY2007 were approximately $51 million, and the nascent
command’s budget for Fiscal 2008 (October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2008) was estimated at
$154.6 million. The Bush Administration’s FY2009 budget request included $389 million for the
command to cover 1) operation of the headquarters in Stuttgart, 2) an AFRICOM intelligence
capability, 3) a Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC) for AFRICOM, 4) operational
support aircraft, 5) the establishment of two regional offices on the continent (see above), and 6)
training, exercises, and theater security cooperation activities. On September 30, 2008, the
President signed into law H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329). Under this legislation, which includes
defense appropriations, AFRICOM received $53 million less than what was requested. DOD
officials suggest some of the items trimmed from the budget may be restored following
negotiations with the relevant committees, although the command may lose some additional 35
requested funding because of across-the-board cuts to the operations and maintenance account.
The identified cuts targeted the proposed regional offices, the TSOC, and DOD salaries for
Criminal Court, by Jennifer K. Elsea.
31 These figures do not necessarily include contractors working at command headquarters.
32 AFRICOM had 628 military positions, 318 DOD civilian positions, and 13 interagency positions (not including
liaison positions) assigned as of October 1, 2008. These figures are short of the approved FY2009 targets: 639 military
positions, 665 DOD civilian positions, and 52 interagency positions. For more information, see Government
Accountability Office, Force Structure: Preliminary Observations on the Progress and Challenges Associated with
Establishing the U.S. Africa Command, GAO-08-947T, July 15, 2008.
33 AFRICOM’s four service component commands are: U.S. Army Africa (USARAF); U.S. Naval Forces, Africa
(USNAVAFRICA); U.S. Marine Forces, Africa (USMARFORAFRICA); and U.S. Air Forces Africa Command
(USAFAC). Its joint theater special operations command is called Special Operations Command, Africa
34 These estimates were provided to the author by AFRICOM officials in October 2008.
35 For more information, see CRS Report RL34473, Defense: FY2009 Authorization and Appropriations, by Pat
Towell, Stephen Daggett, and Amy Belasco.
interagency personnel.36 While the AFRICOM reduction is not as steep as was proposed in the
House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee version of the bill, and the joint explanatory
statement accompanying the final legislation expresses support for AFRICOM, the statement also
insists that the State Department and USAID should “play a more important role in this new
organization supported with the appropriate manpower and funding required.”
Issues on the African continent have not historically been identified as strategic priorities for the 37
U.S. military, and U.S. military engagement in Africa has been sporadic. According to one
defense analyst, “during the Cold War, United States foreign policy toward Sub-Saharan Africa 38
had little to do with Africa.” After the fall of the Soviet Union, many U.S. policymakers
considered the U.S. military’s role and responsibilities on the continent to be minimal. In 1995,
the Department of Defense outlined its view of Africa in its U.S. Security Strategy for Sub-
Saharan Africa, asserting that “ultimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in 39
Africa.” In 1998, following terrorist attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the United
States conducted a retaliatory attack against a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan that
Clinton Administration officials initially contended was producing precursors for chemical
weapons for al Qaeda. The embassy bombings, and the retaliatory strike against Sudan, are
considered by many analysts to be a turning point in U.S. strategic policy toward the region.
Africa and the Unified Command Plan
Africa was not included in the U.S. military command structure until 1952, when several North African countries,
including Libya, were added to the responsibilities of U.S. European Command because of their historic relationship
with Europe. The rest of the continent remained outside the responsibility of any command until 1960, when Cold
War concerns over Soviet influence in newly independent African countries led the Department of Defense to
include Sub-Saharan Africa in the Atlantic Command (LANTCOM), leaving North Africa in EUCOM. The Unified
Command Plan was revised again in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and responsibility for Sub-Saharan Africa was
transferred to a newly-created Strike Command (STRICOM), which was responsible for operations in the Middle
East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. STRICOM was redesignated as Readiness Command (REDCOM) in 1971,
and its responsibility for Africa was dissolved, leaving Sub-Saharan Africa out of the combatant command structure
until 1983. Under the Reagan Administration, U.S. military involvement in Africa was largely dominated by Cold War
priorities, and the Administration’s “containment” policy led DOD to divide responsibility for Africa into its
configuration among three geographic commands.
The Bush Administration’s National Security Strategy of 2002 reflected a need for a more
focused strategic approach toward the African continent: “In Africa, promise and opportunity sit
side by side with disease, war, and desperate poverty. This threatens both a core value of the
United States—preserving human dignity—and our strategic priority—combating global terror.”
36 In interviews with the author in December 2008, DOD officials reported that a compromise had been reached on the
cut to salaries for interagency personnel.
37 For an overview of the history of U.S. military involvement in Africa, see Appendix A. Appendix B provides a list
of instances in which U.S. military forces have deployed in conflict situations in Africa since World War II.
38 Letitia Lawson, “U.S. Africa Policy Since the Cold War,” Strategic Insights, Vol. VI, Issue 1, January 2007.
39 The report did, however, note significant U.S. political and humanitarian interests. DOD Office of International
Security Affairs, United States Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, August 1995.
To address these challenges, the document asserted that U.S. security strategy must focus on
building indigenous security and intelligence capabilities through bilateral engagement and 40
“coalitions of the willing.” The most recent National Security Strategy, issued in 2006, goes
further, identifying Africa as “a high priority” and “recogniz(ing) that our security depends upon
partnering with Africans to strengthen fragile and failing states and bring ungoverned areas under 41
the control of effective democracies.”
The establishment of the new Africa Command reflects an evolution in policymakers’ perceptions
of U.S. strategic interests in Africa. In 2004 an advisory panel of Africa experts authorized by
Congress to propose new policy initiatives identified five factors that have shaped increased U.S. 42
interest in Africa in the past decade: oil, global trade, armed conflicts, terror, and HIV/AIDS. 43
They suggested that these factors had led to a “conceptual shift to a strategic view of Africa.”
The United States has sought to increase its economic relations with Sub-Saharan Africa, and 44
trade between the United States and Africa has tripled since 1990. In 2000, the Clinton
Administration introduced a comprehensive U.S. trade and investment policy for the continent in
the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA; Title I, P.L. 106-200). AGOA has been
amended by Congress on several occasions, most recently in 2006. Natural resources, particularly
energy resources, dominate the products imported from Africa under AGOA. Africa now supplies 45
the United States with roughly the same amount of crude oil as the Middle East.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest supplier of oil, and is the fifth largest global supplier of oil to the
United States. Instability in the country’s Niger Delta region has reduced output periodically by
as much as 25%. World oil prices have been affected by Nigerian political developments and by
periodic attacks on pipelines and other oil facilities in the Delta. President Bush announced in his
imports from the Middle East by 2025,” echoing a commitment made in 2002 “to strengthen
[U.S.] energy security and the shared prosperity of the global economy by working with our
allies, trading partners, and energy producers to expand the sources and types of global energy
40 The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002.
41 The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, March 2006.
42 Some U.S. officials have recently argued that environmental security should be added as a national security issue,
particularly as it relates to Africa. One DOD official testified before Congress that climate change served as a “threat
multiplier” in Africa, using Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia as examples and asserting, “beyond the more conventional
threats we traditionally address, I believe we must now also prepare to respond to the consequences of dramatic
population migrations, pandemic health issues and significant food and water shortages due to the possibility of
significant climate change.” Testimony of General Charles Wald, Member, Military Advisory Board, at a hearing on
Climate Change and National Security Threats by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 9, 2007.
43 Walter H. Kansteiner III and J. Stephen Morrison, Rising U.S. Stakes in Africa: Seven Proposals to Strengthen U.S.-
Africa Policy, May 2004.
44 See CRS Report RL31772, U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth
and Opportunity Act and Beyond, by Danielle Langton.
45 See John Authers, “The Short View: African Oil,” Financial Times, April 24, 2007. Data on U.S. crude oil imports
is compiled by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, and is available at
46 The White House, “President Delivers State of the Union Address,” January 31, 2006.
supplied, especially in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, Central Asia, and the Caspian region.”47
A senior DOD official reportedly commented in 2003 that “a key mission for U.S. forces (in 48
Africa) would be to ensure that Nigeria’s oil fields... are secure.” In spite of conflict in the Niger
Delta and other oil producing areas, the potential for deep water drilling in the Gulf of Guinea is
high, and analysts estimate that Africa may supply as much as 25% of all U.S. oil imports by 49
Africa’s coastlines, particularly along the Gulf of Guinea, the Gulf of Aden, and the west Indian
Ocean, have been highly susceptible to illegal fishing, illegal trafficking, and piracy in recent 50
years. The inability of African governments to adequately police the region’s waters has allowed
criminal elements to smuggle people, drugs, and weapons and dump hazardous waste, and has
opened maritime commerce and off-shore oil production facilities to the threat of piracy and
sabotage. In 2005, the Bush Administration introduced its National Strategy for Maritime
Security, identifying the freedom of the seas and the facilitation and defense of commerce as top
national priorities and indicating plans to fund border and coastal security initiatives with African 51
The United States government, represented by members of EUCOM, U.S. Naval Forces Europe,
the State Department, and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), has engaged its West
African partners in a number of ministerial conferences on maritime security, and is currently
conducting several activities to increase the capability of African navies to monitor and enforce
maritime laws. The U.S. Navy has increased its operations in the Gulf of Guinea to enhance 52
security in the region, although those operations have been sporadic. Through its Global Fleet
Stations (GFS) concept, the Navy has committed itself to more persistent, longer-term
engagement (see information on the African Partnership Station in “Security Assistance” below).
In the waters off the coast of East Africa, the Combined JointTask Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-
HOA) is working with the Navy and with coalition partners in CENTCOM’s Coalition Task
Force 150 (CTF-150), which conducts maritime security operations to protect shipping routes in 53
the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Coalition and
U.S. naval forces have had numerous engagements with pirates in these waters.
47 The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002.
48 Greg Jaffe, “In Massive Shift, U.S. Is Planning To Cut Size of Military in Germany,” Wall Street Journal, June 10,
49 Central Intelligence Agency, Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Non-government Experts,
December 2000. This prediction implies that previously higher sub-Saharan African shares of U.S. oil imports will be
eclipsed and then surpassed. Previously, when absolute levels of U.S. oil imports were lower, Africa provided a higher
percentage of annual U.S. imports (e.g., about 19.53% in 1990 and about 18.47% in 1995) than it has during the past
five years. For more information, see also African Oil Policy Initiative Group, African Oil: A Priority for U.S. National
Security and African Development, January 2002.
50 According to the International Maritime Bureau, the waters off the coast of Nigeria had the highest number of
attacks worldwide in 2007, but attacks by Somali pirates were the most numerous in 2008.
51 The White House, The National Strategy for Maritime Security, September 20, 2005.
52 ”U.S. Increasing Operations in Gulf of Guinea,” American Forces Press Service, September 5, 2006.
53 Coalition partners involved in CTF-150 include Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Denmark,
and Pakistan. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command established a Maritime Security Patrol Area in the Gulf of Aden in
August 2008 in response to calls by the International Maritime Organization for support in countering attacks on
Political conflict and instability in parts of Africa have caused human suffering on a massive scale 54
and undermined economic, social, and political development. Although the number of conflicts
in Africa has decreased in recent years, the continent is home to a majority of the United Nations’ 55
peace operations, with seven missions currently underway. Four African countries, Ghana,
Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa have consistently ranked in the top 10 troop contributing
countries to U.N. peacekeeping operations in recent years. African militaries also contribute
troops to peace operations conducted by the African Union and regional organizations like
ECOWAS. Despite a willingness to participate in these operations, many African militaries lack
the command and control, training, equipment, and logistics capability to effectively participate
in such efforts. Instability in Africa has demanded substantial humanitarian and defense resources
from the international community, and the United States and other donor countries have
acknowledged the utility and potential cost-effectiveness of assisting African forces to enhance
their capabilities to participate in these operations. In 2004, the G8 introduced the Global Peace
Operations Initiative (GPOI), a five-year multilateral program to train 75,000 troops, a majority 56
of them African, by 2010.
Current U.S. security policy is driven in large part by counter-terrorism efforts, which the Bush 57
Administration identified as a top national security priority. Terrorist attacks on the U.S.
embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya in 1998, on targets in Mombasa,
Kenya in 2002 and more recently in Algeria, Mauritania and Morocco have highlighted the threat
of terrorism in the region. DOD officials have emphasized the need to work with African
governments to counteract the threat, claiming “Africa has been, is now, and will be into the 58
foreseeable future ripe for terrorists and acts of terrorism.” Of primary concern to policy makers
is the possible challenge posed by “ungoverned spaces,” defined as “physical or non-physical 59
area(s) where there is an absence of state capacity or political will to exercise control.” The
Bush Administration linked these areas indirectly to terrorist threats, asserting:
Regional conflicts can arise from a wide variety of causes, including poor governance,
external aggression, competing claims, internal revolt, tribal rivalries, and ethnic or religious
hatreds. If left unaddressed, however, these different causes lead to the same ends: failed
54 For further discussion on the indirect costs of instability, see CRS Report 97-454, Peacekeeping Options:
Considerations for U.S. Policymakers and the Congress, by Marjorie Ann Browne, Ellen Collier, and Nina M.
55 Current operations in Africa include UNAMID (Darfur region of Sudan), UNMIS (Sudan), UNOCI (Cote d’Ivoire),
UNMIL (Liberia), MONUC (Dem. Rep. Of Congo), MINURCAT (Chad/CAR), and MINURSO (Western Sahara).
56 For more information see CRS Report RL32773, The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues
for Congress, by Nina M. Serafino.
57 The White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002.
58 Speech by DOD official Vincent Kern referenced in “Africa Is Still Ripe for Terrorism, Top Pentagon Official
Asserts,” The Washington File, February 10, 2004.
59 Jessica Piombo, “Terrorism and U.S. Counter-Terrorism Programs in Africa: An Overview,” Strategic Insights, Vol.
VI, Issue 1, January 2007.
states, humanitarian disasters, and ungoverned areas that can become safe havens for 60
In addition to failed states providing a potential “safe haven” for terrorists, there is evidence to
suggest terrorist groups may have profited from the collapse of state administrative and security
institutions in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s by trafficking gemstones during Sierra
Leone’s civil war. Reports suggest that al Qaeda used the proceeds from its “conflict diamond” 61
trade as a funding source for its operations. State Department officials have identified failed 62
states such as these as an “acute risk” to U.S. national security.
According to the United Nations, there were over 22 million HIV-positive Africans in 2007, 63
representing 67% of infected persons worldwide. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death on the
continent and was identified in 2004 by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell as “the greatest 64
threat of mankind today.” The rate of infection in some African security forces is believed to be
high, reportedly between 40%-60% in the case of one southern African country, for example, 65
raising concerns that those forces may be unable to deploy when needed. The Bush
Administration has placed priority on efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, committing over $48 billion
through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Twelve of PEPFAR’s 15 66
focus countries are in Africa. As part of the Administration’s efforts, DOD has established the
DOD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) with African armed forces, which is administered
by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego. DHAPP supports programs in over 20
countries that do not receive PEPFAR funds.
The Department of Defense conducts a wide variety of activities in Africa in support of U.S. 67
national interests. Operational activities may include, but are not limited to, humanitarian relief,
60 The White House, The National Security Strategy of The United States, September 2002.
61 See Douglas Farah, “Al Qaeda Cash Tied to Diamond Trade Sale of Gems From Sierra Leone Rebels Raised
Millions, Sources Say,” The Washington Post, November 2, 2001; U.N. Security Council, Report of the Panel of
Experts Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001), Paragraph 19, Concerning Liberia, in S/2001/1015,
October 26, 2001; and CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation, by Nicolas
62 Stephen D. Krasner and Carlos Pascual, “Addressing State Failure,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 84, No. 4, July/August
63 UNAIDS, 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, July 2008.
64 Speech by Secretary Powell at the Gheskio Clinic, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 5, 2004.
65 Kevin A. O’Brien, “Headlines Over the Horizon: AIDS and African Armies,” Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 292, No. 1,
66 For more information, see CRS Report RL33584, AIDS in Africa, by Nicolas Cook.
67 General Ward, in his confirmation hearing, has testified that “The U.S. military is not an instrument of first resort in
providing humanitarian assistance but supports civilian relief agencies...The U.S. military may be involved when it
provides a unique service; when the civilian response is overwhelmed; and civilian authorities request assistance. The
USAID Office of Disaster Assistance validates all such requests for U.S. military assistance. Our role in this context
peacekeeping, counter-narcotics, sanctions enforcement, demining, non-combatant evacuations
(NEOs), and maritime interdiction operations (MIOs).
In addition to traditional contingency operations68, the U.S. military implements a number of
efforts aimed at increasing the capabilities of African militaries to provide security and stability
for their own countries and the region as a whole. Several of these DOD-implemented initiatives
are part of foreign military assistance programs funded by the State Department that “help to 69
promote the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.” In addition
to providing funding, the State Department gives overall guidance and direction for the programs.
The United States military also occasionally provides advisors to peacekeeping missions on the
continent; U.S. military advisors from CJTF-HOA have assisted peacekeepers deployed to Sudan
and Somalia. U.S. forces routinely conduct a variety of bilateral and multilateral joint exercises
with African militaries through such programs as Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET).
U.S. forces also conduct joint exercises as part of disaster assistance and maritime security
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) was created in 1999 as one of DOD’s five
regional centers for strategic studies. It conducts a variety of academic activities for African,
American, and European military and civilian officials aimed promoting good governance and
democratic values, countering ideological support of terrorism, and fostering regional
collaboration and cooperation in the African defense and security sectors. ACSS, which is based
in Washington, DC, opened an annex at the U.S. embassy in Ethiopia in 2006 and is planning 70
future annexes elsewhere on the continent. DOD initiated another multi-nation forum, the Africa
Clearinghouse, in 2004 under EUCOM. The Africa Clearinghouse, modeled after EUCOM
Clearinghouses for Southeast Europe and the South Caucasus, provides a venue for the United
States to coordinate its actions with other nations involved in security cooperation in Africa to
maximize limited resources, synchronize security assistance, and avoid duplication of efforts.
The United States sells military equipment to African governments through the Foreign Military 71
Sales (FMS) program, implemented by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
The U.S. government also provides loans (the United States waives repayment of these loans for
African countries) to foreign governments to finance the purchase of such equipment through the
Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Equipment is also provided to select African
countries through the African Coastal and Border Security Program (ACBSP) and the Excess
Defense Articles (EDA) program, and through special DOD authorities.
U.S. counter-terrorism strategy on the continent is addressed through a number of these
initiatives, but U.S. counter-terrorism efforts may also include, at one end of the spectrum,
will not change.”
68 DOD defines a “contingency operation” as a military operation in which members of the Armed Forces are or may
become involved, either by designation of the Secretary of Defense or by law, in military actions, operations, or
hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing force.
69 For more information on U.S. Foreign Military Training programs, see the Department of State’s website at
70 U.S. State Department, “Africa Center for Strategic Studies Opens Annex in Ethiopia,” August 1, 2006, available at
71 For more information, see http://www.dsca.osd.mil/ or CRS Report RL33758, U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with
and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1998-2005, by Richard F. Grimmett.
programs to address the root causes of terrorism, and, at the other end, military operations to
destroy terrorist targets through military strikes. The United States is placing increasing emphasis
on Information Operations (IO) in Africa, which use information to improve the security
environment and counter extremist ideology through military information support teams deployed
to U.S. embassies. IO activities in Africa have included website initiatives such as 72
Maghrebia.com. Some question whether activities such as these should be a part of DOD’s
mandate, or whether they might be more appropriately managed by other U.S. agencies.
Administration officials argue that AFRICOM will not only allow the U.S. military to better
coordinate these operations and programs, but that it will also allow DOD to better coordinate
with other U.S. agencies, like the State Department, USAID, the Department of Justice, the
Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and others, as well as with
other governments, like those of Britain and France, which are also providing training and
assistance for African security forces. DOD suggests that Africa Command will build on the
experiences of the U.S. military’s only forward presence in the region, Combined Joint Task
Force—Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) in Djibouti.
In October 2002, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) developed a joint task force
to focus on “detecting, disrupting and ultimately defeating transnational terrorist groups operating 73
in the region,” and to provide a forward presence in the region. Between 1,500 and 2,000 short-
term rotational U.S. military and civilian personnel make up CJTF-HOA, which covers the land
and airspace in Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Yemen, as
well as the coastal waters of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean. CJTF
personnel train the region’s security forces on counter-terrorism, collect intelligence, serve as
advisors to peace operations, conduct activities to maintain critical maritime access to Red Sea
routes, and oversee and support humanitarian assistance efforts. The Task Force has provided
military assistance and training to Ugandan military forces deployed in support of the African
Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia. As part of this effort, CJTF-HOA worked with non-
governmental organizations to provide medical supplies to the Ugandan forces for assistance to
the people of Mogadishu. CJTF-HOA has supported several humanitarian missions, including the
airlift of humanitarian assistance supplies to Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. CJTF-HOA also
conducts civilian-military operations throughout East Africa as part of an effort to “win hearts and 7475
minds” and enhance the “long-term stability of the region.” These civil-military operations
include digging wells and building and repairing schools, hospitals, and roads, and were part of a 76
broader CENTCOM mission to “counter the re-emergence of transnational terrorism.” Some
observers question whether these activities might be more appropriately coordinated by a civilian
agency or non-governmental organization than by the U.S. military. AFRICOM officials have
suggested that the scope of these activities may be reexamined.
72 The website can be found at http://www.magharebia.com.
73 For more information, see http://www.hoa.centcom.mil/resources/english/facts.asp.
74 U.S. Central Command, “CJTF HOA donates supplies to Djiboutian Well Drillers,” March 12, 2007.
75 For more information, see http://www.hoa.centcom.mil/resources/english/facts.asp.
76 For more information on CJTF-HOA activities, see http://www.hoa.centcom.mil.
Building partnership capacity is a key goal of U.S. military strategy in Africa and will
consequently be a key mandate for AFRICOM. At present, military experts believe that no
African nation poses a direct threat to the United States or is expected to; consequently an Africa
Command is expected to focus less on preparing U.S. forces for major combat in the AOR.
Instead, the command will concentrate much of its energies and resources on training and
assistance to professionalize local militaries so that they can better ensure stability and security on
the continent. As one DOD official has asserted, “its principle mission will be in the area of 77
security cooperation and building partnership capability. It will not be in warfighting.” Officials
stress that U.S. training programs aim to encourage respect for human rights and for civilian
authority, key shortcomings for some African security forces.
The U.S. government provides security assistance to African militaries through both bilateral and
multilateral initiatives. During the 1990s, the United States provided military training through
several programs, including the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), the Enhanced
International Peacekeeping Capabilities (EIPC) program, the African Regional Peacekeeping
Program (ARP), and International Military Education and Training (IMET). Some of this training rdth
has been provided by the U.S. Army 3 and 10 Special Forces Groups, which have worked with
African militaries since 1990. Training has also been provided by contractors. Under the National
Guard State Partnership Program (SPP), U.S. states’ and territories’ National Guard units have 78
paired with several African countries to conduct a variety of security cooperation activities.
EUCOM has worked with the continent’s regional security organizations, including the African
Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). U.S. military
efforts also aim to support the development of the African Union’s African Standby Force (ASF),
a multinational peacekeeping force composed of regional brigades organized by the continent’s 79
Regional Economic Communities. The AU anticipates the Force being operational by 2010 with
a standby capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 peacekeepers. The ASF and its regional brigades are not
intended to be standing forces, but will instead draw from pre-identified forces of member states.
U.S. military assistance also includes efforts to improve information sharing networks between
African countries through programs such as the Multinational Information Sharing Initiative,
which donor and aid organizations can in turn use to warn of and be warned of possible crises.
In October 2007, U.S. Naval Forces Europe launched a new initiative, the African Partnership
Station (APS). Under the initiative, a navy ship, the USS Fort McHenry, was deployed to the Gulf
of Guinea from fall 2007 to spring 2008 to serve as a continuing sea base of operations and a 80
“floating schoolhouse” from which to provide assistance and training to the Gulf nations.
77 DOD, “News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry From the Pentagon,” April 23, 2007.
78 As of December 2008, SPP included seven U.S-African partnerships: Utah and Morocco, North Dakota and Ghana,
California and Nigeria, Wyoming and Tunisia, New York and California, North Carolina and Botswana, and Vermont
79 The ASF is divided into North, West, Central, East, and South Regional Brigades, which are organized by the
Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEMAC), the Inter-Governmental Authority on
Development (IGAD), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), respectively.
80 For more information on Global Fleet Stations, see U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Operations Concept 2006,
Washington, 2006. See also “U.S. Navy Seeks to Expand Presence in W. Africa,” DefenseNews, June 4, 2007;”U.S.
Naval Forces Europe Prepares For AFRICOM Stand Up,” American Forces Press Service, June 1, 2007; and “U.S.
Navy Plans Six-Month West African Training Mission,” USINFO, June 7, 2007.
Training focused on maritime domain awareness and law enforcement, port facilities
management and security, seamanship/navigation, search and rescue, leadership, logistics, civil
engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Several European partners, NGOs,
and U.S. government agencies, including the Coast Guard and the National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), partnered with the Navy to use the Station, which was
considered by the Navy to be a “delivery vehicle for interagency, international, and NGO 81
assistance to West and Central Africa,” for their own training and development initiatives.
Humanitarian outreach activities included Project Handclasp and Project Hope. The USS Fort
McHenry had a minimal footprint onshore, and conducted repeat visits to ports along the Gulf.
Another Navy vessel, the HSV Swift, conducted APS activities from January to June 2008, and a
U.S. Coast Guard cutter, the Dallas, deployed to the region in June 2008.
Several of the other major current bilateral and multilateral security assistance programs 82
implemented by DOD in Africa are listed below (the list is not inclusive). These programs will
fall under the mission of Africa Command.
In 2002, the Department of State launched the Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI) program to increase
border security and counter-terrorism capacities of four West African nations: Mali, Chad, Niger,
and Mauritania. In 2005, the Bush Administration announced a “follow-on” interagency program
to PSI. According to the State Department, the Trans Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership
(formerly Initiative) is “aimed at defeating terrorist organizations by strengthening regional
counterterrorism capabilities, enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation among the region’s
security forces, promoting democratic governance, discrediting terrorist ideology, and reinforcing 83
bilateral military ties with the United States.” Under the American military component,
Operation Enduring Freedom - Trans Sahara, which AFRICOM took responsibility for in fall
Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia to improve intelligence, command and control,
logistics, and border control, and to execute joint operations against terrorist groups. U.S. and
African forces have conducted joint exercises such as Exercise Flintlock to improve security
partnerships initiated under PSI and TSCTP.
These military efforts are designed to support complimentary development activities led by the
State Department and USAID. To counter the recruitment efforts of terrorist groups, for example,
USAID supports job creation initiatives for disadvantaged youth. Young people are a key
demographic in Africa, where high unemployment rates and scarce education opportunities
compound the challenges posed by a growing “youth bulge.” Such programs are coordinated with
the efforts of U.S. military personnel working in the region. The United States has allocated over
$353 million for TSCTP from FY2005 through FY2008.
81 Presentation by Admiral Harry Ulrich, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies on October 16, 2007.
82 Other authorities used for DOD training include the Combatant Commander Initiative Fund (Title 10, USC, Sec.
166(a)), the DOD Regional Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program (Title 10, USC, Sec. 2249(c)), the Air Force’s
Aviation Leadership Program (Title 10, USC, Sec. 9381-9383), training with U.S. Special Forces (Title 10, USC, Sec.
2011), and disaster response training under Title 10, USC, Sec. 2561.
83 U.S. State Department, “Africa Overview,” Country Reports on Terrorism, April 30, 2007.
84 In 1949 the U.S. government began providing training to foreign militaries under the Military
Assistance Training Program (MAP) and through Foreign Military Sales (FMS), which allows
countries to pay for their own training. MAP was succeeded in 1976 by IMET, which provides
training at U.S. military schools and other training assistance for foreign military personnel on a
grant basis through funding from the Department of State. A subset of IMET training, Expanded
IMET (E-IMET), provides courses on defense management, civil-military relations, law
enforcement cooperation, and military justice for military as well as civilian personnel. The
Department of State also provides training through its Foreign Military Financing (FMF)
program. IN FY2007, African countries received $35M in FMF and $15 million in IMET (these
figures include IMET and FMF funding for Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia, but not 85
86 In 1996, the Clinton Administration proposed the creation of an African Crisis Response Force
(ACRF), an African standby force that would be trained and equipped by the United States and
other donor nations. The initiative was not well received on the continent, and was later
reintroduced as the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), a bilateral training program
designed to improve the capabilities of individual African countries’ militaries to participate in
multilateral peacekeeping operations. ACOTA, which replaced ACRI in 2002, aims to upgrade
the peace-enforcement capabilities of African militaries. ACOTA provides Peace Support
Operations training, including light infantry and small unit tactics, and focuses on training 87
African troops who can in turn train other African units. In 2004, ACOTA became a part of
GPOI. GPOI attempts to address some of the factors limiting African militaries’ ability to
contribute to peace operations by conducting a variety of programs, events, and activities oriented
on peacekeeping capacity building. Among these programs is an effort to foster an international
transport and logistics support system for African and other region’s forces. The United States
coordinates its peacekeeping training and assistance programs with other G8 countries through a
G8 Africa Clearinghouse. While the State Department is the executive agent of GPOI and
ACOTA, the DOD provides small military teams for special mentoring assistance to ACOTA
training events. According to the State Department, over 60,000 peacekeepers from Benin,
Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya,
Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South
84 For more information on IMET, see CRS Report RS20506, International Military Education and Training Program,
by Richard F. Grimmett.
85 The FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764/P.L. 110-161), which included State, Foreign Operations,
and Related Programs appropriations for FY2008, reduced the President’s global request for IMET from $89,500 to
$85,877, restricted the provision of IMET to Equatorial Guinea without consultation with the Appropriations
Committees, and required that regular notification procedures be observed for IMET to the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Libya, Angola, and Nigeria. The legislation increased the President’s request for FMF from
$4.563 to $4.588 million, with specific increases for Tunisia and Morocco, and required a report from the Secretary of
State on allegations of FMF assistance being used by security forces against civilians in the DRC and Ethiopia.
86 For more information on ACOTA/GPOI, see CRS Report RL32773, The Global Peace Operations Initiative:
Background and Issues for Congress, by Nina M. Serafino.
87 “Kenyan military unite with CJTF-HOA for peacekeeping operations,” Marine Corps News, August 13, 2003.
Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia have received ACOTA training since the program’s 88
inception. GPOI received $96.4 million in FY2008.
U.S. reaction to the creation of a new command for Africa has been largely positive, although 89
concerns have been raised. In Africa, on the other hand, perceptions of the new command are
more mixed. There is considerable apprehension over U.S. motivations for creating AFRICOM,
and some Africans worry that the move represents a neo-colonial effort to dominate the region
militarily. U.S. military efforts on the continent have been seen as episodic, leading some to
question a more sustained focus from DOD now. Reports of U.S. air strikes in Somalia and U.S.
support for Ethiopia’s military intervention there have added to those concerns. Many view U.S.
counter-terrorism efforts in Africa with skepticism, and there appears to be a widespread belief
that the new command’s primary goals will be to hunt terrorists and to secure U.S. access to 90
African oil. U.S. foreign policy analysts have focused increased attention on China’s role in
Africa in recent years, and such attention has led some to question whether an Africa Command 91
might be part of a new contest for influence on the continent.
Among several African governments and militaries, on the other hand, AFRICOM has been 92
received with cautious optimism. They view increased American attention to the continent’s
problems as a positive move, potentially bringing increased resources, training, and assistance.
U.S. foreign military assistance has increased in recent years, and military training programs in
Africa have steadily been on the rise.
DOD and State Department officials continue to consult with African nations to discuss their
plans for the command. Those involved in the consultations have stressed that the goal of the
visits has been to solicit African views and explain the rationale behind AFRICOM’s creation,
rather than to find a suitable location for its headquarters. In April 2007, senior officials visited
Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal. Following their visit, one DOD
official noted that despite some initial “misconceptions,” they had not encountered “any specific 93
resistance to the idea.” In June 2007, they visited Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, and Djibouti,
and held discussions with African Union officials. The delegation also held meetings with 40
foreign defense attachés serving in Paris. African officials reportedly gave “positive feedback
about the design and mission of AFRICOM” and advised the delegation that DOD should 94
consider how AFRICOM could complement the AU’s regional security structure. In September
88 U.S. Department of State, FY 2008 Performance Summary, February 2008.
89 For U.S. reactions, see, for example, Michael Moran, “The New ‘Africa Command,’” Council on Foreign Relations,
February 9, 2007; Brett D. Schaefer, “Creating an Africa Command: Bush Administration Makes the Right Call,”
Heritage Foundation, February 7, 2007; “Analysts Concerned New US Military Command to Hamper African
Development,” VOA, October 23, 2007; and Mark Malan, U.S. Civil-Military Imbalance for Global Engagement:
Lessons From the Operational Level in Africa, Refugees International, July 2008.
90 See, for example, “The U.S., Oil, and Africa,” Egyptian Mail, February 20, 2007.
91 Dulue Mbachu, “Skepticism Over U.S. Africa Command,” ISN Security Watch, February 19, 2007.
92 See, for example, “Morocco Lobbying to Become Home for New U.S. Military Command,” Middle East Newsline,
February 9, 2007, and “Algerian Foreign Minister “Satisfied” With Plans for US-Africa Command,” El-Khabar, March
93 DOD, “News Briefing with Principal Deputy Under Secretary Henry from the Pentagon,” April 23, 2007.
94 DOD, “DOD Special Briefing on Africa Command with Mr. Ryan Henry from the Pentagon,” June 21, 2007.
2007, DOD hosted an representatives from the African Union, African regional security
organizations, and over 35 African governments in Virginia to further explain its plans for the
command and to solicit input from attendees; a similar event was held in April 2008. Analysts
suggest U.S. officials should continue to closely consult with these governments to ensure that
AFRICOM reflects a mutual exchange of interests and is seen to foster a closer alliance rather
than serving as an avenue for the U.S. to dictate policy to African governments.
AFRICOM’s commander has acknowledged the need for his staff to continue their public 95
relations campaign to allay concerns. In October 2007, members of the Pan-African Parliament,
the legislative body of the African Union, voted in favor of a motion to “prevail upon all African
Governments through the African Union (AU) not to accede to the United States of America’s 96
Government’s request to host AFRICOM anywhere in the African continent.” West African
military chiefs, following a November 2007 conference in Liberia, issued a cautious response to
U.S. government plans, saying that AFRICOM “had not been fully understood” by African
countries and requesting “further sensitization by the United States authorities at the highest
political level.” ECOWAS’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security did suggest
that “everybody welcomes and supports the idea, but we want that direction to come from the 97
heads of state.”
Several African heads of state have issued preliminary statements about their views on the
command. Some have advised DOD to consider how AFRICOM could complement the AU’s
regional security structure. President Umaru Yar’Adua, during his December 2007 visit to
Washington, D.C., commented, “We shall partner with AFRICOM to assist not only Nigeria, but
also the African continent to actualize its peace and security initiative, which is an initiative to
help standby forces of brigade-size in each of the regional economic groupings within the African 98
continent.” Yar’Adua’s statements were criticized by several Nigerian opposition parties and
civil society organizations. In response, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs remarked,
“Nigeria’s position on AFRICOM remains that African governments have the sovereign
responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security on the continent . . . President
Yar’Adua’s statement on the proposed AFRICOM is consistent with Nigeria’s well-known
position on the necessity for Africa to avail itself of opportunities for enhanced capacity for the 99
promotion of peace and security in Africa.” During President Bush’s second official visit to
Africa in February 2008, Ghana’s President John Kufour announced, “I am happy, one, for the
President dispelling any notion that the United States of America is intending to build military
bases on the continent of Africa. I believe the explanation the President has given should put fade
to the speculation, so that the relationship between us and the United States will grow stronger 100
and with mutual respect.” Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been vocal in her
support from AFRICOM, and has offered to host its headquarters.
95 ”U.S. Army Boss for Africa Says No Garrisons Planned,” Reuters, November 8, 2007.
96 Some details of the debate are included in “Gaborone Succeeds At PAP As Sebetela is Booed,” All Africa, October
97 ”West African Military Heads Want to Hear More from the United States on Africa Command,” Associated Press,
November 7, 2007.
98 White House Press Release, “President Bush Meets with President Umaru Yar’Adua of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria,” December 13, 2007.
99 “AFRICOM Ship Heads for the Gulf of Guinea,” This Day (Lagos), January 8, 2008.
100 Press availability with Presidents Bush and Kufour in Accra, Ghana on February 20, 2008, available at
As noted above, AFRICOM faces myriad challenges, both in its establishment and its operation.
Some of these challenges may be issues for Congress. Several Members of Congress expressed
interest in the creation of an Africa Command prior to the Bush Administration decision. In 2006,
Senator Russ Feingold introduced S.Amdt. 4527 to the FY2007 National Defense Authorization
bill (S. 2766) requiring a feasibility study for the establishment of a new command for Africa. S.
2766 passed the Senate in June 2006. In December 2007, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
introduced H.Res. 897, recognizing the strategic importance of the African continent and
welcoming the establishment of AFRICOM. Senator James Inhofe introduced similar legislation,
S.Res. 480, in March 2008. These resolutions also urge the Departments of Defense and State, as
well as USAID, to consult with African partners to address concerns regarding the command’s
mandate. The Africa Subcommittees of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs both held hearings on AFRICOM in August 2007. Following
General Ward’s confirmation as commander, the House Armed Services Committee held a
hearing to discuss the command in November 2007.
Congress has addressed issues associated with the command’s development in report language
accompanying several recent authorization and appropriations bills. The Senate Armed Services
Committee expressed its support for AFRICOM in S.Rept. 110-77, which accompanied S. 1547,
the National Defense Authorization Act, 2008. The report did, however, raise questions regarding
authorities needed to stand up and staff the command; authorities and funding mechanisms for
interagency staff; location; planned staffing levels; and anticipated costs. The committee repeated
its support in S.Rept. 110-335, which accompanied S. 3001, the National Defense Authorization
Act, 2009, but expressed concern that other U.S. government agencies may not have the resources
to support the command’s “whole of government” approach. The House Armed Services
Committee raised questions regarding AFRICOM’s mission in H.Rept. 110-652, which
accompanied H.R. 5658, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act, 2009. The
Senate Appropriations Committee also noted its concern regarding unanswered questions
surrounding the command’s mission in S.Rept. 110-85 accompanying H.R. 2642, the Military
Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008, and in the
Conference Report 110-477 to H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act, 2008. Such
concerns were repeated in S.Rept. 110-428, which accompanied S. 3301, the Military
Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009. H.Rept. 110-
775, accompanying the House version of that legislation, H.R. 6599, raised specific concern with
unanswered questions related to the permanent location of AFRICOM’s headquarters. Reference
to AFRICOM in the joint explanatory statement accompanying H.R. 2638, the Consolidated
Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-339), has been
discussed above (see “Cost”).
AFRICOM’s mandate also was considered by the 110th Congress within the broader context of
DOD’s role in U.S. foreign affairs. AFRICOM was the focus of a series of hearings by the House
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on National Security and
Foreign Affairs. The command was discussed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in
several hearings, including one entitled “Implementing Smart Power: Setting an Agenda for
National Security Reform” in April 2008 and another in July 2008 entitled “Defining the
Military’s Role Toward Foreign Policy.” During an April 2008 hearing on Building Partnership
Capacity, the Secretaries of State and Defense both addressed AFRICOM’s unique interagency
approach in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. In June 2008, the command
was also addressed in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing entitled “Foreign Assistance st
Reform: Rebuilding U.S. Civilian Development and Diplomatic Capacity in the 21 Century.”
The House Armed Services Committee has commissioned a Panel on Roles and Missions of not
only the various military branches, but also of the various civilian agencies involved in protecting
American security. Among its initial findings was the notion that shortcomings in the interagency
process have led the U.S. military to take on missions that are not part of its core responsibilities.
The FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act requires the military to examine its core
competencies, which may have implications for AFRICOM. Some observers have cautioned that
AFRICOM could develop independent institutional imperatives that demand resources regardless
of need, rather than reflecting genuine strategic interests.
Given that a large part of AFRICOM’s mandate will be to build the indigenous capacity of
African defense forces, the ease with which the command can conduct security cooperation
programs will be key to its success. DOD officials suggest that inefficiencies exist in the 101
authorities through which funding is provided for the military’s TSC activities. Military
officials have argued that the applicable laws need simplification to allow the combatant
commands greater flexibility to respond to emerging threats and opportunities. Some have raised
concerns, though, that modifying the administrative authorities could interfere with the
Department of State’s diplomatic decisions or bilateral relationships. The U.S. military faces other
policy restrictions, including Article 98 restrictions, in its operations with some African 102
governments and militaries. At the same time, DOD is also concerned about possible gaps in
servicemen protections for U.S. troops operating on the continent (see “Headquarters Location”
above). The Government Accountability Office has noted in testimony to Congress that
“uncertainties related to AFRICOM’s presence hinder DOD’s ability to estimate future funding
requirements for AFRICOM and raises questions about whether DOD’s concept of developing
enduring relationships on the continent can be achieved.”
The establishment of a new unified command requires both financial and human resources,
although some of those are being redirected from the existing commands. Military resources have
been stretched by major theater operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, making troop readiness and 103
costs associated with standing up a new command a critical issue for Congress. Staffing the
command at the interagency level may also require additional resources from Congress—some
officials at the State Department and USAID have expressed concern about their departments’
inability to provide the number of civilian staff requested by the command, and that concern that
101 Authorities provided to DOD under Title 10, USC, cannot be generally used for training or equipment programs,
whereas Title 22 funds, which are controlled by the State Department, but which include some DOD-implemented
programs like FMF and IMET, cannot be used to fund military operations. In the FY2006 Defense Authorization Act
(P.L. 109-163), Congress gave DOD expanded funding and authorities under Title 10, USC, Section 1206 and 1207 to
address lengthy administrative and procurement delays. Section 1206 authorities allow DOD to directly fund some
security cooperation activities. In FY2006, DOD obligated $13 million in Section 1206 funding to African countries. In
FY2007, over $47 million was obligated for African recipients, and in FY2008 approximately $62 million was
obligated. At the request of Senator Richard Lugar, the GAO compiled a report, Section 1206 Security Assistance
Program—Findings on Criteria, Coordination, and Implementation, in February 2007.
102 In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 17, 2007,the EUCOM Commander
expressed concern that Article 98 restrictions could affect long-term U.S.-African security relationships and hinder the
logistical capability of countries that do not sign Article 98 agreements to participate in regional peacekeeping efforts.
103 Congress has, in the past, prohibited funding for combatant commands. For example, under the FY1982 DOD
Authorization Act (P.L. 97-252), Congress prohibited the use of funds for the integration of the Army’s Military Traffic
Management Command and the Navy’s Military Sealift Command into a new unified transportation command, at the
request of the Army and Navy Chiefs of Staff.
has been echoed by DOD.104 The State Department requested funding for FY2009 to increase the
number of diplomatic and development personnel at State and USAID to allow the agencies to
focus greater effort on meeting national security goals. The Secretary of Defense has also
advocated on behalf of the civilian agencies, emphasizing that the State Department is critically 105
The development of AFRICOM’s interagency staffing has been of particular interest to Congress.
In the House Report to accompany H.R. 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act of FY2008, the
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence expressed concern with interagency coordination on
Africa, calling it “flawed” and suggesting that the intelligence community needed to realign its
resources to “better understand the threats emanating from this region.” DOD officials point out
that there are no legally binding requirements for agencies to coordinate their activities, which
could make AFRICOM’s “pioneering” interagency process more challenging, should other 106
agencies not have the resources to participate adequately. Because the command’s role is to
support U.S. foreign policy objectives in Africa, close coordination with the State Department
will be critical to the success of AFRICOM. Some have suggested that because the State
Department organizes its efforts bilaterally while DOD organizes regionally, that coordination
may be challenging and may require some “internal bureaucratic changes” within the State 107
Observers have expressed concern that U.S. military efforts on the continent must not be allowed
to overshadow U.S. diplomatic objectives. A 2006 Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Report
As a result of inadequate funding for civilian programs... U.S. defense agencies are
increasingly being granted authority and funding to fill perceived gaps. Such bleeding of
civilian responsibilities overseas from civilian to military agencies risks weakening the
Secretary of State’s primacy in setting the agenda for U.S. relations with foreign countries 108
and the Secretary of Defense’s focus on war fighting.
Senator Feingold, in a speech before the Senate, expressed his support for the Africa Command,
but cautioned that it must “contribute to, not define, the U.S. Government’s overall strategy and 109
objectives for the continent.” Likewise, Senator Richard Lugar has suggested that AFRICOM
could help the U.S. military develop a “more sophisticated understanding of a region that is ever-
changing and highly complex,” but has also cautioned, “with greater expertise created within a
new regional command, the hope is that there would be few disagreements between the two
104 EUCOM Commander Bantz Craddock told a Defense Writers Group forum on May 18, 2007, “It will be difficult
to get subscription and participation by the interagency.” Other concerns have been expressed to the author in
interviews with Administration officials.
105 See, for example, the speech delivered by Secretary Gates to the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign in Washington,
DC, on July 15, 2008.
106 Some of the challenges in coordinating a more effective interagency process were outlined by John Hamre,
President of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in a hearing, “Organizing Department of Defense
Roles and Mission Requirements,” held by the House Armed Services Committee on June 20, 2007.
107 Statement of Senator Russ Feingold, “Creation of a U.S. Africa Command,” before the Senate on January 10,
108 Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Embassies as Command Posts in the Anti-Terror Campaign, December 15,
109 Statement of Senator Russ Feingold, “Creation of a U.S. Africa Command,” before the Senate on January 10,
Departments on the appropriateness of security assistance to specific African nations. But 110
undoubtedly, some differences of opinion will occur.” As AFRICOM develops, Congress may
exert its oversight authority to monitor the command’s operations to ensure that they support,
rather than guide, the United States’ political, economic, and social objectives for the continent.
CRS Report RL34455, Organizing the U.S. Government for National Security: Overview of the
Interagency Reform Debates, by Catherine Dale, Nina M. Serafino, and Pat Towell.
CRS Report RL32773, The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues for
Congress, by Nina M. Serafino.
CRS Report RL32238, Defense Transformation: Background and Oversight Issues for Congress,
by Ronald O'Rourke.
CRS Report RS22373, Navy Role in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) - Background and Issues
for Congress, by Ronald O'Rourke.
CRS Report RL34253, Weak and Failing States: Evolving Security Threats and U.S. Policy, by
Liana Sun Wyler.
CRS Report RL33769, International Crises and Disasters: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance, Budget
Trends, and Issues for Congress, by Rhoda Margesson.
110 Opening Statement at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing “Exploring The U.S. Africa Command and
A New Strategic Relationship With Africa,” August 1, 2007.
Figure 1. Proposed Area of Responsibility for Africa Command
Source: Department of Defense, adapted by CRS.
The United States maintained Wheelus Air Base near Tripoli, Libya from the 1940s until 1971 111
with an estimated 4,000 American personnel. Wheelus served primarily as a bomber base for
missions to Europe and as an Air Force training location, although U.S. forces from the base did
provide emergency humanitarian assistance to earthquake and flood victims in Libya and Tunisia
in the 1960s.
Africa was not included in the U.S. military command structure until 1952, when several North
African countries, including Libya, were added to the responsibilities of U.S. European
Command because of their historic relationship with Europe. The rest of the continent remained
outside the responsibility of any command until 1960, when Cold War concerns over Soviet
influence in newly independent African countries led DOD to include Sub-Saharan Africa in the
Atlantic Command (LANTCOM), leaving North Africa in EUCOM. The Unified Command Plan
was revised again in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and responsibility for Sub-Saharan
Africa was transferred to a newly-created Strike Command (STRICOM), which was responsible
for operations in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia and located at McDill Air
Force Base in Tampa, Florida. STRICOM was redesignated as Readiness Command (REDCOM)
in 1971, and its responsibility for Africa was dissolved, leaving Sub-Saharan Africa out of the
combatant command structure until 1983. Under the Reagan Administration, U.S. military
involvement in Africa was largely dominated by Cold War priorities, and the Administration’s
“containment” policy led DOD to divide responsibility for Africa into its current configuration.
In the 1980s, the U.S. military was involved in repeated skirmishes with Libyan jets in territorial
disputes over the Gulf of Sidra, and those engagements later escalated as Libya was implicated
for supporting international terrorism. On April 15, 1986, the United States initiated air strikes
against multiple military targets in Libya under the code name Operation El Dorado Canyon to
“inflict damage to Qadhafi’s capability to direct and control the export of international terrorism;” 112
several civilian targets including the French Embassy in Tripoli were also inadvertently hit.
After the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy toward Africa was driven by President George H. W. 113
Bush’s vision of a “New World Order” and later by President William J. Clinton’s policy of 114
“assertive multilateralism.” U.S. military involvement in Africa was dominated by the
deployment of U.S. forces to Somalia to secure humanitarian operations, first in 1992 under the
U.S.-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF), also known as Operation Restore Hope, and later under 115
the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) II. U.S. military efforts in Somalia were
111 Other former U.S. military installations in North Africa included Kenitra Naval Air Station, also known as Port
Lyautey, and several Naval Communication Relay Stations in Morocco, as well as three airbases: Nouassur, Sidi
Slimane, and Ben Guerir.
112 The White House, “Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the United States Air Strike Against
Libya,” April 15, 1986.
113 See the speech of President George H.W. Bush before a Joint Session of Congress, “Toward a New World Order,”
September 11, 1990.
114 See the statement of then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeline Albright before the House Foreign
Affairs Committee, “Myths of Peacekeeping,” June 24, 1993.
unprecedented on the continent—over 25,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed by President George
H.W. Bush under UNITAF, which was led by CENTCOM and included forces from 24 other
The number of U.S. troops was significantly reduced under President Clinton as operational
responsibility was shifted from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. In October 1993, U.S. Special
Operations soldiers in the U.S.-led Task Force Ranger engaged Somali militia forces in the battle
of Mogadishu, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of 18 American soldiers and hundreds of 116
Somalis. President Clinton ultimately ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia in
March 1994, the same month that a limited U.S. deployment of 3,600 soldiers was dispatched to
Central Africa to assist in humanitarian efforts for Rwandan refugees and to provide protection 117
for humanitarian supplies in Rwanda.
In 1995, DOD outlined its view of Africa in its U.S. Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, 118
asserting that “ultimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa.” While the
U.S. military was deployed almost annually during the 1990s to conduct Non-Combatant
Evacuation and Repatriation Operations (NEO) in African countries that had become politically 119
unstable, other contingency operations involving U.S. forces in Africa in latter half of the
1990s were limited. In 1998, following the attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the
United States conducted retaliatory cruise missile attacks against a pharmaceutical factory in
Khartoum, Sudan that Clinton Administration officials initially contended was producing
precursors for chemical weapons for al Qaeda.
In 2003, the United States responded to calls to intervene in Liberia’s civil war by deploying a
U.S. Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) off the coast of Liberia to provide assistance to the
ECOWAS mission in Liberia (ECOMIL) through Joint Task Force Liberia, under the command of 120
EUCOM. Out of an estimated 5,000 U.S. forces deployed to the area under Operation
Sheltering Sky, only approximately 200 U.S. soldiers came ashore.
115 For more information, see CRS Report RL30065, Somalia: Background and U.S. Involvement Through the 1990s,
by Ted Dagneand CRS Report RL30184, Military Interventions by U.S. Forces from Vietnam to Bosnia: Background,
Outcomes, and "Lessons Learned" for Kosovo, by Nina M. Serafino.
116 Twenty-nine American soldiers ultimately lost their lives as a result of the conflict in Somalia.
117 Although the mission was deemed successful in alleviating the starvation and disease that threatened the refugees,
many have been highly critical of the United States, the United Nations, and others for not doing more to attempt to
avert the genocide that occurred in Rwanda that year. See, for example, Col. Scott R. Feil, “Could 5,000 Peacekeepers
Have Saved 500,000 Rwandans?: Early Intervention Reconsidered,” ISD Reports, Vol. III, No. 2, April 1997.
118 DOD Office of International Security Affairs, United States Security Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, August
119 According to DOD, a military operation that is either designated by the Secretary of Defense as a contingency
operation or becomes a contingency operation as a matter of law: title 10, United States Code (USC), Section 101
120 For more information, seeCRS CRS Report RL32243, Liberia: Transition to Peace, by Nicolas Cook.
1956 Egypt. A marine battalion evacuated U.S. nationals and other persons from Alexandria during the Suez crisis.
1964 Congo. The United States sent four transport planes to provide airlift for Congolese troops during a rebellion
and to transport Belgian paratroopers to rescue foreigners.
1967 Congo. The United States sent three military transport aircraft with crews to provide the Congo central
government with logistical support during a revolt.
1978 Zaire. From May 19 through June 1978, the United States used military transport aircraft to provide logistical
support to Belgian and French rescue operations in Zaire.
1981 Libya. On August 19, 1981, U.S. planes based on the carrier U.S.S. Nimitz shot down two Libyan jets over the
Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyan jets had fired a heat-seeking missile. The United States periodically held
freedom of navigation exercises in the Gulf of Sidra, claimed by Libya as territorial waters but considered
international waters by the United States.
1983 Egypt. After a Libyan plane bombed a city in Sudan on March 18, 1983, and Sudan and Egypt appealed for
assistance, the United States dispatched an AWACS electronic surveillance plane to Egypt.
1983 Chad. On August 8, 1983, President Reagan reported the deployment of two AWACS electronic surveillance
planes and eight F-15 fighter planes and ground logistical support forces to assist Chad against Libyan and
1986 Libya. On March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported to Congress that, on March 24 and 25, U.S. forces,
while engaged in freedom of navigation exercises around the Gulf of Sidra, had been attacked by Libyan
missiles and the United States had responded with missiles.
1986 Libya. On April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing
strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in Libya.
1989 Libya. On January 4, 1989, two U.S. Navy F-14 aircraft based on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy shot down two
Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The U.S. pilots said the Libyan
planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.
1990 Liberia. On August 6, 1990, President Bush reported that a reinforced rifle company had been sent to provide
additional security to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated U.S. citizens
1991 Zaire. On September 25-27, 1991, after widespread looting and rioting broke out in Kinshasa, U.S. Air Force
C-141s transported 100 Belgian troops and equipment into Kinshasa. U.S. planes also carried 300 French
troops into the Central African Republic and hauled back American citizens and third country nationals from
locations outside Zaire.
1992 Sierra Leone. On May 3, 1992, U.S. military planes evacuated Americans from Sierra Leone, where military
leaders had overthrown the government.
1992 Somalia. On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed U.S. armed forces to Somalia
in response to a humanitarian crisis and a U.N. Security Council Resolution determining that the situation
constituted a threat to international peace. This operation, called Operation Restore Hope, was part of a
U.S.-led United Nations Unified Task Force (UNITAF) and came to an end on May 4, 1993. U.S. forces
continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II), which the U.N.
Security Council authorized to assist Somalia in political reconciliation and restoration of peace.
1993 Somalia. On June 10, 1993, President Clinton reported that in response to attacks against U.N. forces in
Somalia by a factional leader, the U.S. Quick Reaction Force in the area had participated in military action to
121 Covert actions, disaster relief, and routine alliance stationing and training exercises are not included in this list.
Most instances listed since 1980 are summaries of U.S. military deployments reported to Congress by the President as a
result of the War Powers Resolution.
quell the violence. On July 1 President Clinton reported further air and ground military operations on June 12
and June 17 aimed at neutralizing military capabilities that had impeded U.N. efforts to deliver humanitarian
relief and promote national reconstruction, and additional instances occurred in the following months.
1994 Rwanda. On April 12, 1994, President Clinton reported that combat-equipped U.S. military forces had been
deployed to Burundi to conduct possible non-combatant evacuation operations of U.S. citizens and other
third-country nationals from Rwanda, where widespread fighting had broken out. By September 30, 1994, all
U.S. troops had departed from Rwanda and surrounding nations. In the Defense Appropriations Act for
FY1995 (P.L. 103-335, signed September 30, 1994), Congress barred use of funds for U.S. military
participation in or around Rwanda after October 7, 1994, except for any action necessary to protect U.S.
1995 Somalia. On March 1, 1995, President Clinton reported that on February 27, 1995, 1,800 combat-equipped
U.S. armed forces personnel began deployment into Mogadishu, Somalia, to assist in the withdrawal of U.N.
forces assigned there to the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II). This mission was completed
on March 3, 1995.
1996 Liberia. On April 11, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress that on April 9, 1996 due to the
“deterioration of the security situation and the resulting threat to American citizens” in Liberia he had
ordered U.S. military forces to evacuate from that country “private U.S. citizens and certain third-country
nationals who had taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound....”
1996 Liberia. On May 20, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress the continued deployment of U.S. military
forces in Liberia to evacuate both American citizens and other foreign personnel, and to respond to various
isolated “attacks on the American Embassy complex” in Liberia. The President noted that the deployment of
U.S. forces would continue until there was no longer any need for enhanced security at the Embassy and a
requirement to maintain an evacuation capability in the country.
1996 Central African Republic. On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress the deployment of U.S.
military personnel to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of
“private U.S. citizens and certain U.S. Government employees,” and to provide “enhanced security for the
American Embassy in Bangui.”
1996 Rwanda and Zaire. On December 2, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress that to support the
humanitarian efforts of the United Nations regarding refugees in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of
Eastern Zaire, he had authorized the use of U.S. personnel and aircraft, including AC-130U planes to help in
surveying the region in support of humanitarian operations, although fighting still was occurring in the area,
and U.S. aircraft had been subject to fire when on flight duty.
1997 Congo and Gabon. On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported to Congress that, on March 25, 1997, a
standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide
enhanced security for American private citizens, government employees, and selected third country nationals
in Zaire, and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.
1997 Sierra Leone. On May 30, 1997, President Clinton reported to Congress that on May 29 and May 30, 1997,
U.S. military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the
evacuation of certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens.
1998 Guinea-Bissau. On June 12, 1998, President Clinton reported to Congress that, on June 10, 1998, in response
to an army mutiny in Guinea-Bissau endangering the U.S. Embassy, U.S. government employees and citizens in
that country, he had deployed a standby
evacuation force of U.S. military personnel to Dakar, Senegal, to remove such individuals, as well as selected
third country nationals, from the city of Bissau. The deployment continued until the necessary evacuations
1998 Kenya and Tanzania. On August 10, 1998, President Clinton reported to Congress that he had deployed, on
August 7, 1998, a Joint Task Force of U.S. military personnel to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and
disaster assistance related to the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He also reported
that teams of 50-100 security personnel had arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to
enhance the security of the U.S. Embassies and citizens there.
1998 Afghanistan and Sudan. On August 21, 1998, by letter, President Clinton reported to Congress that he had th
authorized airstrikes on August 20 against camps and installations in Afghanistan and Sudan used by the
Osama bin Laden terrorist organization. The President did so based on what he viewed as convincing
information that the bin Laden organization was responsible for the bombings, on August 7, 1998, of the U.S.
Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
1998 Liberia. On September 29, 1998, President Clinton reported to Congress that on September 27, 1998 he had,
due to political instability and civil disorder in Liberia, deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of
30 U.S. military personnel to augment the security force at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and to provide for a
rapid evacuation capability, as needed, to remove U.S. citizens and government personnel from the country.
1999 Kenya. On February 25, 1999, President Clinton reported to Congress that he was continuing to deploy U.S.
military personnel in that country to assist in providing security for the U.S. embassy and American citizens in
Nairobi, pending completion of renovations of the American embassy facility in Nairobi, subject of a terrorist
bombing in August 1998.
2000 Sierra Leone. On May 12, 2000, President Clinton, “consistent with the War Powers Resolution” reported to
Congress that he had ordered a U.S. Navy patrol craft to deploy to Sierra Leone to be ready to support
evacuation operations from that country if needed. He also authorized a U.S. C-17 aircraft to deliver
“ammunition, and other supplies and equipment” to Sierra Leone in support of United Nations peacekeeping
2001 Terrorism threat. On September 24, 2001, President George W. Bush reported to Congress, “consistent with
the War Powers Resolution,” and “Senate Joint Resolution 23” that in response to terrorist attacks on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon he had ordered the “deployment of various combat-equipped and
combat support forces to a number of foreign nations in the Central and Pacific Command areas of
operations.” The President noted in efforts to “prevent and deter terrorism” he might find it necessary to
order additional forces into these and other areas of the world....” He stated that he could not now predict
“the scope and duration of these deployments,” or the “actions necessary to counter the terrorist threat to
the United States.”
2002 Terrorism threat. On September 20, 2002, President Bush reported to Congress “consistent with the War
Powers Resolution,” that U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the
Philippines since January 2002 to train with, assist and advise the Philippines’ Armed Forces in enhancing their
“counterterrorist capabilities.” He added that U.S. forces were conducting maritime interception operations
in the Central and European Command areas to combat movement, arming or financing of “international
terrorists.” He also noted that U.S. combat personnel had been deployed to Georgia and Yemen to help
enhance the “counterterrorist capabilities” of their armed forces.
2002 Cote d’Ivoire. On September 26, 2002, President Bush reported to Congress “consistent with the War Powers
Resolution,” that in response to a rebellion in Cote d’Ivoire that he had on September 25, 2002 sent U.S.
military personnel into Cote d’Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens and third country
nationals from the city of Bouake; and otherwise assist in other evacuations as necessary.
2003 Terrorism threat. On March 20, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress, “consistent with the War Powers
Resolution,” as well as P.L. 107-40, and “pursuant to” his authority as Commander-in-Chief, that he had
continued a number of U.S. military operations globally in the war against terrorism. These military operations
included ongoing U.S. actions against al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan; collaborative anti-terror operations
with forces of Pakistan in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border area; “maritime interception operations on the high
seas” in areas of responsibility of the Central and European Commands to prevent terrorist movement and
other activities; and military support for the armed forces of Georgia and Yemen in counter-terrorism
2003 Liberia. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress, “consistent with the War Powers Resolution,”
that on June 8 he had sent about 35 combat-equipped U.S. military personnel into Monrovia, Liberia, to
augment U.S. Embassy security forces, to aid in the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens if necessary. The
President also noted that he had sent about 34 combat-equipped U.S. military personnel to help secure the
U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to assist in evacuation of American citizens if required. They
were expected to arrive at the U.S. embassy by June 10, 2003. Back-up and support personnel were sent to
Dakar, Senegal, to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.
2003 Liberia. On August 13, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress, “consistent with the War Powers
Resolution,” that in response to conditions in Liberia, on August 11, 2003, he had authorized about 4,350 U.S.
combat-equipped military personnel to enter Liberian territorial waters in support of U.N. and West African
States efforts to restore order and provide humanitarian assistance in Liberia.
2003 Terrorism threat. On September 19, 2003, President Bush reported to Congress “consistent with the War
Powers Resolution,” that U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” continue to be deployed at a
number of locations around the world as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. American forces support anti-
terrorism efforts in the Philippines, and maritime interception operations continue on the high seas in the
Central, European, and Pacific Command areas of responsibility, to “prevent the movement, arming, or
financing of international terrorists.” He also noted that “U.S. combat equipped and support forces” had been
deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.”
2004 Terrorism/Bosnia and Haiti. On March 20, 2004, the President reported to Congress “consistent with the War
Powers Resolution,” a consolidated report giving details of multiple on-going United States military
deployments and operations “in support of the global war on terrorism (including in Afghanistan),” as well as
operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Haiti. In this report, the President noted that U.S. anti-
terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea. He further
noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the
NATO-led KFOR (1,900 personnel); in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO-led SFOR (about 1,100
personnel); and approximately 1,800 military personnel were deployed in Haiti as part of the U.N.
Multinational Interim Force.
2004 Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia/Iraq. On November 4, 2004, the President sent to Congress,
“consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United
States military deployments and operations “in support of the global war on terrorism.” These deployments,
support or military operations include activities in Afghanistan, Djibouti, as well as Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. In this report, the President noted that U.S. anti-terror related activities
were underway in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea. He further noted that U.S. combat-equipped
military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,800 personnel);
and in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO-led SFOR (about 1,000 personnel). Meanwhile, he stated
that the United States continues to deploy more than 135,000 military personnel in Iraq.
2005 Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia. On May 20, 2005, the President sent to Congress “consistent
with the War Powers Resolution,” a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States
military deployments and operations “in support of the global war on terrorism,” as well as operations in Iraq,
where about 139,000 U.S. military personnel were deployed. U.S. forces are also deployed in Kenya, Ethiopia,
Yemen, Eritrea, and Djibouti assisting in “enhancing counter-terrorism capabilities” of these nations. The
President further noted that U.S. combat-equipped military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as
part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,700 personnel). Approximately 235 U.S. personnel are also deployed in
Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo who assist in defense reform and
perform operational tasks, such as counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the
2005 Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia/Iraq. On December 7, 2005, the President sent to Congress
“consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United
States military deployments and operations “in support of the global war on terrorism,” and in support of the
Multinational Force in Iraq, where about 160,000 U.S. military personnel were deployed. U.S. forces were also
deployed in the Horn of Africa region—Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Djibouti—assisting in “enhancing
counter-terrorism capabilities” of these nations. The President further noted that U.S. combat-equipped
military personnel continued to be deployed in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led KFOR (1,700 personnel).
Approximately 220 U.S. personnel were also deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO
Headquarters-Sarajevo who assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as “counter-
terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia.”
2006 Terrorism threat/Kosovo/Bosnia/Iraq. On June 15, 2006, the President sent to Congress “consistent with the
War Powers Resolution,” a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United States military
deployments and operations “in support of the war on terror,” and in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
as part of the Multinational Force (M.F.) in Iraq. About 131,000 military personnel were deployed in Iraq. U.S.
forces were also deployed in the Horn of Africa region, and in Djibouti to support necessary operations
against al-Qaida and other international terrorists operating in the region. U.S. military personnel continue to
support the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). The U.S. contribution to KFOR was about 1,700 military
personnel. The NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo was established in November 22, 2004 as a successor to its
stabilization operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina to continue to assist in implementing the peace agreement.
Approximately 250 U.S. personnel were assigned to the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo to assist in defense
reform and perform operational tasks, such as “counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal
Court for the Former Yugoslavia.”
2006 Terrorism threat/Horn of Africa/Kosovo/Bosnia. On December 15, 2006, the President sent to Congress
“consistent with the War Powers Resolution,” a consolidated report giving details of multiple ongoing United
States military deployments and operations “in support of the war on terror,” in Kosova, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and as part of the Multinational Force (M.F.) in Iraq. About 134,000 military personnel were
deployed in Iraq. U.S. forces were also deployed in the Horn of Africa region, and in Djibouti to support
necessary operations against al-Qaida and other international terrorists operating in the region, including
Yemen. U.S. military personnel continue to support the NATO-led Kosova Force (KFOR). The U.S.
contribution to KFOR was about 1,700 military personnel. The NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo was
established in November 22, 2004 as a successor to its stabilization operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina to
continue to assist in implementing the peace agreement. Approximately 100 U.S. personnel were assigned to
the NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo to assist in defense reform and perform operational tasks, such as
“counter-terrorism and supporting the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia.”
Source: CRS Report RL32170, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2007, by Richard F.
ACBSP African Coastal and Border Security Program
ACOTA African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance
ACSS Africa Center for Strategic Studies
AFRICOM Africa Command
AMIS African Union Mission in Sudan
AOR Area of Responsibility
AU African Union
CENTCOM Central Command
CJTF-HOA Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa
CTFP Regional Defense Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program
COCOM Combatant Command
DOD Department of Defense
DOS Department of State
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
EDA Excess Defense Articles
EUCOM European Command
FMF Foreign Military Financing
FMS Foreign Military Sales
FOC Full Operating Capability
GPOI Global Peace Operations Initiative
GWOT Global War on Terrorism
IMET International Military Education and Training
IO Information Operations
IOC Initial Operating Capability
JCS Joint Chiefs of Staff
JFCOM Joint Forces Command
JIACG Joint Interagency Coordination Groups
LANTCOM Atlantic Command
MIO Maritime Interception Operation
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NEO Non-Combatant Evacuation and Repatriation Operations
NORTHCOM Northern Command
OEF-TS Operation Enduring Freedom—Trans Sahara
OMA USAID Office of Military Affairs
OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense
PACOM Pacific Command
POLAD Foreign Policy Advisor
REDCOM Readiness Command
SADC Southern African Development Community
SOCOM Special Operations Command
SOUTHCOM Southern Command
STRATCOM Strategic Command
STRICOM Strike Command
TRANSCOM Transportation Command
TSC Theater Security Cooperation
TSCTP Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership
UCP Unified Command Plan
UNITAF U.S. United Task Force
UNOSOM U.N. Operation in Somalia
USAID United States Agency for International Development
Analyst in African Affairs