Africom Uses Whole-of-Government to Engage Nations

The commander of U.S. Africa Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that his command is engaged throughout the continent to encourage allies and partners and strengthen the rule of law.

Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said his combatant command is engaged in fulfilling the needs of the National Defense Strategy in Africa, especially in light of the main threat — the return of global competition from Russia and China.

Africa is a huge continent with diverse people. Overall, the continent suffers from a lack of infrastructure and development. In some countries, corruption is rampant and the basic needs of their citizens are ignored.

Extremism, Competition

Some countries on the continent — such as Somalia, Libya, Nigeria, Niger and others — suffer from the plague of violent extremism. The al-Shabab terror group in Somalia still controls areas in that unfortunate nation. Boko Haram in West Africa threatens Nigeria, Niger, Mali and the countries of the Lake Chad region. There are others.

Piled on top of this is the resurgence of great power competition and China is the most active participant on the continent, Waldhauser said.

“Taken comprehensively, the overall U.S. strategic interests in Africa are clear,” he said.” “Prevent the undermining of our alliances or destabilization of Africa nations, counter violent extremist organizations, decrease the potential for Africa…

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