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  • Author: Michael Miklaucic
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: For centuries Africa has provided the stuff of dreams for explorers, adventurers, conquerors, colonizers, soldiers, plunderers, and state-builders. It has also been the backdrop for the nightmares of slavery, famine, war, genocide, and other tragedies. Africa is at once a geo-graphical illusion and a potent political symbol. Its emergence and recent impressive economic growth have altered the geo-strategic calculations of all the global powers. With its abundant natural and human resources generating increasing political and economic capital, Africa's importance on the global stage will only continue to grow. However this growth will be conditioned by how African states individually and collectively respond to the myriad challenges and opportunities facing the continent.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jeffrey Herbst, Alan Doss, Greg Mills
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The African development and governance picture is today highly differentiated with some countries developing successful democracies while riding a wave of growth, others facing outright institutional failure, and a great number in-between. Critical to understanding the different paths that countries have taken, and the likely even greater divergences in the future, is the relationship between civilians and soldiers. Starting soon after independence in the early 1960s, the seizure of power by soldiers was emblematic of the problems African states faced in promoting good governance. Now, at a time when most soldiers are back in their barracks, economic growth has accelerated and democratization has progressed. However, the picture varies greatly from country-to-country. In this paper, we develop a taxonomy of African militaries to understand why some countries have better civil-military relations than others, what is the likely path in the future, and the potential role, if any, for outsiders. African militaries are characterised, just as African states themselves, by different capacities and civil-military records.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Sierra Leone
  • Author: John Mackinlay
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The great international intervention in Afghanistan is due to run down to a token presence by 2014. Foreign troops are returning home already, and their continued reduction will change the nature of the operation there. Closer to Europe, the Arab Spring has displaced more than a million people along the north coast of Africa. The efforts of those refugees to migrate toward Europe could begin to unsettle the region. Meanwhile, the European economy seems to be heading for long-term decline, and last summer's rioting in the United Kingdom (UK) has alarmed politicians and damaged British urban areas. Looking ahead, this article argues that 2015 may mark the start of a rather different security era, one in which the British government may have to determine whether the safety of its own population takes priority over supporting U.S. operations overseas.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, Africa, United Kingdom, Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Joe Quartararo, Sr., Michael Rovenolt, Randy White
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) was established in 2008 as a new kind of geographic combatant command, one focused primarily on stability and engagement operations rather than warfighting. As such, many of its key leadership positions were filled by non–Department of Defense (DOD) personnel, and its civilian manning was proportionately larger than at other commands.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Bruce Baker
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Postconflict is, unfortunately, not always a suitable descriptor of societies where a peace agreement has been signed and a transitional government installed. Violence does not stop on the day of the public signing of the treaty. Large numbers of unemployed and (in the short term) unemployable youths, often armed or with access to arms, loiter on the streets. They have had little opportunity to gain education in the preceding years, but have learned that violence is the key to accessing resources and status. The former security forces or informal armed groups and militias that they have been part of have, over many years, provided a whole range of roles: social support group, family, employer, provider, escape ladder from rural poverty, and source of status. Hence, whether these groups are officially disbanded or not, the youths look to their former general-patron and their ex-fighting colleagues as their surrogate “clan” in times of trouble. Violence may well live on in their minds, dreams, responses to conflict resolution, attitudes toward women, and methods of securing resources. No wonder, then, that the crime rates escalate in the cities where they now live, and no wonder that some militias remain in the countryside, looting and robbing, despite the official end of the war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Laura R. Varhola, Christopher H. Varhola
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The East African Standby Force (EASF) is East Africa's contribution to the African Union's African Standby Force, which is an international and continental military force with both a civilian and police component to be deployed in Africa during times of crisis. Although the EASF is still under development and in need of capacity-building assistance, the United States does not have the authorities to provide direct assistance to this regional force. Instead, Washington must rely on bilateral assistance mechanisms that are cumbersome and less efficient than dealing directly with the EASF.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Washington
  • Author: Birame Diop
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: For the last two decades, African states have been facing more internal threats than external ones. In fact, the African continent is now dealing with ethnic-based conflicts, poverty, health issues, hunger, and, most recently, radicalization and violent extremism.
  • Topic: Health
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Frank K. Rusagara
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The circumstances of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and its aftermath presented hitherto unconventional challenges to the African nation. The strategies that Rwanda adopted to cope necessitated, among others, nontraditional roles by the military that continue to inform national development. The aftermath of the genocide entailed more than 1 million people dead and an entire population either displaced internally or having fled as refugees. It also entailed a divided society with a collapsed socioeconomic infrastructure. Meanwhile, even as the perpetrators of genocide were defeated, they relocated in the neighboring countries with entire state institutions, including the military, from where they reorganized and attempted an armed return to Rwanda to resume where they stopped with the genocide.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: As the first combatant command to embed the 3D [diplomacy, defense, development] concept in your structure, what would you say are the impediments to better integration between civilian and military agencies?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Blaney
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The ending in 2003 of the 14-year civil war in Liberia and the subsequent progress made there is a 21st-century success story not only for Liberians, but also for Africa, the United Nations (UN), the United States, and many others. Over 50,000 people lost their lives during this struggle, with great suffering endured elsewhere in West Africa as well. economically and socially, the country of Liberia, historically long renowned as sub-Saharan Africa's shining example, was decimated by this conflict and by rampant mismanagement and corruption. Today, Liberia still has serious problems, but under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, impressive progress continues. There is stability, basic living standards are up, children go to school, development assistance projects blossom from many quarters, new Liberian security institutions are matriculating, and even private sector investment is responding with additional badly needed jobs. How was Liberia afforded the priceless opportunity of becoming one of the greatest turnaround stories of the 21st century?
  • Topic: Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Liberia
  • Author: Frederik Rosen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The U.S. elevation of security assistance to a core military capability has divided the waters between those who believe the military should stick to preparing strike capability and fighting wars and those who believe the world needs much broader forms of military engagement. Recent developments in strategy indicate that the latter opinion will prevail. The commencement of U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in 2007 with its civilian command, interagency modalities, and soft power mandate reflects that an amalgamation of military and civilian capabilities is viewed at the highest levels as the way forward for realizing U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Andre Le Sage
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: This article provides an overview of Africa's irregular, nonstate threats, followed by an analysis of their strategic implications for regional peace and stability, as well as the national security interests of the United States. After reviewing the elements of the emerging international consensus on how best to address these threats, the conclusion highlights a number of new and innovative tools that can be used to build political will on the continent to confront these security challenges. This article is intended as a background analysis for those who are new to the African continent, as well as a source of detailed information on emerging threats that receive too little public or policy-level attention.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States