American Policy in Africa: Almost Absent Essay

American Policy in Africa: Almost Absent Essay

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In an article warning about a looming clash of civilizations, Huntington said “and possibly Africa”, when listing the eight civilizations he reckoned were in the world. But, if it is not a civilization in itself, he never suggested including Africa in any other one. As Huntington illustrated, the United States never historically regarded Africa as serious or significant. Thus, it never set Africa as a priority of its strategy or of its foreign policy, which hindered its actions and achievements on the continent. Consequently, the US military never had a strong footprint, and never did actually well there. Until the late 60s, internal racial tensions in the United States itself simply prevented policy makers from considering a change of priority with respect to Africa. After the 60s, the government had just too full an agenda with the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the two oil shocks and then the collapse of the USSR. Nonetheless, finally acknowledging Africa’s potential and taking advantage of a relatively quiet and favorable period, the United States chose to change its approach and consequently created Africom in 2007. Interestingly enough, not to say awkwardly, it based this Geographical Combatant Command in Europe. Even though it is already effective, Africom could do much better given some minor adjustments.
Understanding the tenets of American exceptionalism and the importance and challenges of cross-cultural communication should lead the US military to reconsider its basing in Africa, which will increase its military effectiveness on the continent in the short term. Two main arguments and a suggestion motivate this thesis. First, the current basing and behavior of US forces in Africa, stemming from a fundamental misunderstandi...

... middle of paper ... Political Thought 1, no. 1 (2012), p.10
ACSC-WS seminar discussion
ACSC CS Main Point 2 and ACSC-CS Lectures
ACSC-LW, Case Study General Petraeus and how he changed the approach and consequently the culture in OIF
ACSC-CS Seminar discussions
ACSC American Military Profession Lectures - Colin Powell: From Soldier to Statesman
ACSC-CS Lecture
ACSC-ELA Adaptive Conflict Management: Negotiation and Mediation Theory and Application, initiation to cross-cultural negociation
Experienced real life by the author who spent 4 years living in Africa among locals with his family
The way France is doing in Djibouti is a good example of it. An article confirms that the US military is thinking about doing the same way

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