Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What Would AFRICOM Do?

Here lies one of the better stories about AFRICOM to come out of the United States. If According to AFRICOM’s commander Gen. William “Kip” Ward, the new command is designed to bring stability to Africa. The question remains: What does that mean?

Using the chaos and violence of post-election Kenya as a backdrop, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius ponders what the U.S. Africa Command would do if it had soldiers based in Africa: Would the U.S. military intervene to halt the violence? If so, would it go in alone, or work with the Kenyan military? Would it assist NGOs with relief work?

If the U.S. military stays put on that to-be-decided base, what happens if the violence in Kenya began spinning out of control?

These questions are important because nobody at the Pentagon – or the White House – has gotten around to answering them using real-world scenarios. Sadly, Kenya provides us with one. Ignatius’ argument is simple: “Before America sends its soldiers marching off to save Africa, we need more discussion about what this mission is all about.”

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