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Sub-Saharan Africa - Recent


Research on Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on: (1) that region's involvement in the war on terrorism; (2) the role of the U.S. military in augmenting the capability of African militaries; and, (3) other security concerns shared by Africa and the United States.

New References from the Military Education Research Library Network

Transatlantic Policy Approaches for Assisting African Development and Security

(6/24/11) A State Department statement on the lack of a consensus at the Kimberly Process Intersessional, statements from the President and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations on Sudan, and a report from the German Marshall Fund of the United States with recommendations for a transatlantic policy approach for assisting Africa's development and security. (View it at NDU)

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    Added December 30, 2013

    Africa's Booming Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production: National Security Implications for the United States and China

    Authored by David E. Brown.
    View the Executive Summary

    Two key long-term energy trends are shifting the strategic balance between the United States and China, the world’s superpower rivals in the 21st century: first, a domestic boom in U.S. shale oil and gas dramatically boosting America’s energy security; second, the frenetic and successful search for hydrocarbons in Africa making it an increasingly crucial element in China’s energy diversification strategy.

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    Added November 20, 2013

    What Is Next for Mali? The Roots of Conflict and Challenges to Stability

    Authored by Dr. Dona J. Stewart.
    View the Executive Summary

    In 2012, Mali simultaneously faced a military coup, a Tuareg nationalist movement, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb control in the north, and a drought-fueled humanitarian emergency. Military intervention restored security; addressing the underlying factors of the crisis is key to achieving long-term stability.

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    Added November 14, 2013

    State Collapse, Insurgency, and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Somalia

    Authored by Dr. J. Peter Pham.
    View the Executive Summary

    After years as the world’s prime example of a failed state—one that gave rise to catastrophic humanitarian crises, a wave of maritime piracy, and Islamist militancy, including an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency that came close to toppling the internationally-recognized government—Somalia appears to be turning the corner. In this provocative monograph, Dr. Pham argues that there are indeed lessons to be learned from the insurgency and counterinsurgency in Somalia, but they are not the ones usually advanced by diplomats and soldiers.

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    Added November 12, 2013

    Building Better Armies: An Insider’s Account of Liberia

    Authored by Dr. Sean McFate.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph explains, step-by-step, how to demobilize militias and raise armies in conflict-affected states by someone who has done so successfully.

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    Added August 21, 2013

    2013-14 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by Professor John F. Troxell.
    For several years, the Strategic Studies Institute has annually published the Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL). The overall purpose of this document is to make students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are of special interest to the U.S. Army. Part I of KSIL is entitled "Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis" (APSA) and is a list of high-priority topics submitted by Headquarters, Department of the Army. Part II is entitled "Command Sponsored Topics" and represents the high-priority command-specific topics submitted by MACOMs and ASCCs. This KSIL provides military and civilian researchers worldwide a listing of the Army's most critical national security issues.

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    Added August 19, 2013

    The Causes of Instability in Nigeria and Implications for the United States

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    View the Executive Summary

    The political economy problems of Nigeria, the root cause for ethnic, religious, political and economic strife, can be in part addressed indirectly through focused contributions by the U.S. military, especially if regionally aligned units are more thoroughly employed.

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    Added August 08, 2013

    AFRICOM at 5 Years: The Maturation of a New U.S. Combatant Command

    Authored by David E. Brown.
    View the Executive Summary

    Created in 2007, the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has matured greatly over the last 5 years, overcoming much of the initial resistance from African stakeholders and the U.S. interagency about a “militarization” of U.S. foreign policy in Africa. This Letort Paper describes the geostrategic, operational, and intellectual changes that explain why AFRICOM was created, debunks three negative myths about AFRICOM’s current operations, and raises five issues important to AFRICOM’s future, including the need to carry out a “right-sizing” exercise at AFRICOM during a time of severe budget constraints and a real risk for the United States of “strategic insolvency.”

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    Added July 12, 2013

    Russian Interests in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Authored by Keir Giles.
    View the Executive Summary

    Russia is intensifying its engagement with Southern Africa to meet both foreign policy and long-term economic objectives. This presents both potential opportunities and challenges for U.S. policy in the region - especially in those states where a preference for U.S. presence and influence is not axiomatic.

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    Added June 14, 2013

    Nigerian Unity: In the Balance

    Authored by Gerald McLoughlin, Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    View the Executive Summary

    The existence of Nigeria as a unified state is in jeopardy. To counter this, the United States should better support Nigeria through some practical steps and thereby significantly advance both countries’ interests.

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    Added April 01, 2013

    From Chaos to Cohesion: A Regional Approach to Security, Stability, and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Authored by Diane E. Chido.
    View the Executive Summary

    African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are increasingly proving their ability and willingness to unite to halt and prevent conflict and to further regional economic and political objectives. USAFRICOM is uniquely positioned to strengthen REC capacity as a first step in a longer-term Pan-African integration process for enhanced continental stability and security.

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    Added September 17, 2012

    Hidden Dragon, Crouching Lion: How China's Advance in Africa is Underestimated and Africa's Potential Underappreciated

    Authored by David E. Brown.
    In 2010, China eclipsed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. Beijing has accomplished this by using a tied aid, trade, and development finance strategy to promote its commercial and political interests on the continent, and its status as a rising global power. This monograph examines the origins of China’s rapid economic advance in Africa; whether this advance will help or hurt Africa; and, the implications that this ecomomic advance will have for the United States.

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    Added August 01, 2012

    2012-13 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The purpose of the Key Strategic Issues List is to provide military and civilian researchers a ready reference for issues of special interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense.

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    Added March 09, 2011

    India in Africa: Implications of an Emerging Power for AFRICOM and U.S. Strategy

    Authored by Dr. J. Peter Pham.
    Little attention has been given to the fact that India is fast becoming one of Africa’s most important partners, not just in the economic realm but also in the political and security sectors. The author argues that, in the context of the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership as well as America’s specific interests in Africa, the United States should welcome India’s contributions to and engage with India on the African continent.

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    Added March 01, 2011

    Civilian Skills for African Military Officers to Resolve the Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Stability Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Authored by Diane E. Chido.
    Military retirees in many African countries face uncertain futures. The author suggests that USAFRICOM should include robust engineering programs as a part of its training approach for the region, thereby providing valuable opportunities for retiring service members, improving civil-military relationships, and enhancing economic development and stability.

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    Added October 15, 2010

    Operation EUFOR TCHAD/RCA and the EU's Common Security and Defense Policy

    Authored by Mr. Bjoern H. Seibert.
    In the post-September 11, 2001 security environment, the United States faces a complex combination of threats from state to nonstate actors, many with regional or even global reach. Weak and fragile states have become a U.S. security challenge because they provide breeding grounds for terrorism, weapons proliferation, and trafficking in humans and narcotics. How does the U.S. propose to answer this challenge?

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    Added September 09, 2010

    Somalia: Line in the Sand--Identification of MYM Vulnerabilities

    Authored by LTC Eloy E. Cuevas, Madeleine Wells.
    Continuing instability in Somalia has increased concern that terrorists who seek to establish a foothold in Africa may use such insecure places as a safe haven and launching pad for future attacks. Several attempts have been made to establish lawful governments in Somalia; however, warlord and clan interests have managed to take center stage among the population. The Somali-based al-Shabaab (also known as the Mujahidin Youth Movement [MYM]) is a militant organization born out of both successive regional turmoil and international salafi-jihadi ideology, which continues to actively undermine the United Nations (UN)-supported African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, the fledging Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and all UN efforts to support Somalis in creating a stable state.

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    Added May 17, 2010

    Sufism in Northern Nigeria: A Force for Counter-Radicalization?

    Authored by Dr. Jonathan N. C. Hill.
    This monograph examines the roles played by the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya Sufi Brotherhoods in countering Islamic radicalism in northern Nigeria.

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    Added April 23, 2010

    Shades of CORDS in the Kush: The False Hope of "Unity of Effort" in American Counterinsurgency

    Authored by Mr. Henry Nuzum.
    Counterinsurgency (COIN) requires an integrated military, political, and economic program best developed by teams that field both civilians and soldiers. This Paper describes the benefits that unity of command at every level would bring to the American war in Afghanistan.

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    Added March 04, 2010

    Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan

    Authored by Dr Idean Salehyan.
    Transnational insurgencies complicate traditional counterinsurgency operations in significant ways and can lead to conflict between states. This monograph examines several transnational militant groups, assesses the prospects for conflict and cooperation over cross-border violence, and discusses current issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    Added February 17, 2010

    Do Oil Exports Fuel Defense Spending?

    Authored by Dr. Clayton K. S. Chun.
    Rising oil prices facilitate the acquisition of greater resources and perhaps economic development. But oil revenues can also drive a government to finance massive military equipment purchases like Saudi Arabia did in 1979. The nature of governments that rely on raw material extraction and long-term development of military programs may affect how their current and future spending occurs regardless of oil prices. How nations decide to use their national wealth helps explain some of the perennial problems facing oil and commodity exporting nations and provides insights into their relations with other countries.

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    Added January 22, 2010

    Security and Stability in Africa: A Development Approach

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    The security and stability of Africa has recently become an important national issue. However, to be effective this growing interest must be rooted in the desire to overcome centuries of ignorance and misunderstanding about the conditions and people of Africa.

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    Added January 05, 2010

    Security Sector Reform: A Case Study Approach to Transition and Capacity Building

    Authored by Dr. Sarah Meharg, Ms. Aleisha Arnusch. Edited by Professor Susan Merrill.
    Security sector reform (SSR) has emerged since the end of the Cold War as an important tool for stabilizing and reconstructing post-conflict countries. It offers a means of arresting the failure process in failing states and supporting failed state recovery. The U.S. Government endorses the concept of SSR as a component of stabilization reconstruction in the new (October 2008) U.S. Army Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations.

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    Added January 01, 2010

    Security and Stability in Africa: A Development Approach

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    The security and stability of Africa has recently become an important national issue. However, to be effective this growing interest must be rooted in the desire to overcome centuries of ignorance and misunderstanding about the conditions and people of Africa.

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    Added June 25, 2009

    2009 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The purpose of the Key Strategic Issues List is to provide military and civilian researchers a ready reference for issues of special interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense.

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    Added June 24, 2009

    New Partnerships for a New Era: Enhancing the South African Army's Stabilization Role in Africa

    Authored by Professor Deane-Peter Baker.
    The author provides a critical analysis of the South African Army’s plans for its future structures and capabilities, and offers recommendations on how the United States can help enable the future South African Army to best contribute to efforts to address conflict on the African continent.

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    Added August 27, 2008

    U.S. Counterterrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding Costs, Cultures, and Conflicts

    Authored by Dr. Donovan C. Chau.
    The global conflict against Islamic terrorists and their perceived threat to the United States have propelled the African continent into U.S. counterterrorism policy. The challenges facing the United States are widespread and long term, requiring deep knowledge and understanding of sub-Saharan Africa.

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    Added July 16, 2008

    Key Strategic Issues List, July 2008

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The Key Strategic Issues List gives researchers, whether military professionals or civilian scholars, a ready reference of those issues of particular interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. Its focus is strategic, rather than operational or tactical. Every year, the KSIL helps guide research efforts to the mutual benefit of the defense community and individual researchers.

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    Added March 14, 2008

    Security Sector Reform in Liberia: Mixed Results from Humble Beginnings

    Authored by Mr. Mark Malan.
    The author describes the state of the armed forces and the police in post-war Liberia, evaluates the ongoing process of security sector reform, and makes recommendations to the United Nations and the U.S. Government on consolidating military and police transformation

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    Added November 21, 2007

    AFRICOM's Dilemma: The "Global War on Terrorism" "Capacity Building," Humanitarianism, and the Future of U.S. Security Policy in Africa

    Authored by Robert G. Berschinski.
    Africa is quickly emerging as a region of strategic importance. United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is charged with strengthening stability and security on the continent. The author argues that recent U.S. military operations in Africa have not bolstered U.S. interests, and should be reevaluated as AFRICOM reaches full operating capability.

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    Added July 18, 2007

    2007 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The Key Strategic Issues List gives researchers, whether military professionals or civilian scholars, a ready reference of those issues of particular interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. Its focus is strategic, rather than operational or tactical. Every year, the KSIL helps guide research efforts to the mutual benefit of the defense community and individual researchers.

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    Added March 26, 2007

    Political Warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. Capabilities and Chinese Operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa

    Authored by Dr. Donovan C. Chau.
    The United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), are vying for influence over African governments and people. Not unlike the Cold War, the primary means of exerting influence in Africa is through the use of nonviolent instruments of grand strategy.

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    Added July 17, 2006

    2006 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    In today’s dynamic strategic environment, political changes can become challenges very quickly. Any list of key strategic issues must, therefore, include the broadest array of regional and functional concerns. This is a catalogue of significant issues, arranged as potential research topics, of concern to U.S. policymakers. As such, the KSIL is a ready source of topics that members of the defense community and academia can use to focus their research efforts.

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    Added April 01, 2006

    Counterterrorism in African Failed States: Challenges and Potential Solutions

    Authored by Colonel Thomas A Dempsey.
    How serious is the threat posed by terrorist groups operating from failed states in Africa? This monograph asserts that the threat is very serious indeed, and presents alternative U.S. strategies to confront terrorist groups using failed states as sanctuaries and platforms for attacks on America and its partners.

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    Added September 01, 2001

    Funding Defense: Challenges of Buying Military Capability in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Authored by Dr. Martin Revayi Rupiya, COL Daniel W. Henk.
    Martin Rupiya, Director of the University of Zimbabwe's Centre for Defence Studies, and Daniel Henk of the Air War College provide one of the first comprehensive studies of defense budgeting practices in Africa. They assess both the problems with these practices and fruitful avenues of reform. By doing so, they provide a solid roadmap both for African leaders and for Americans concerned with the development of greater security in the region.

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    Added February 01, 2000

    Refining American Strategy in Africa

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    The author provides a broad overview of the African security environment as a basis for recommendations on the refinement of American strategy in that region. He assesses both the opportunities for positive change which exist today, and the obstacles.

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    Added May 01, 1998

    Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Sahel: The Tuareg Insurgency in Mali

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Kalifa Keita.
    June 27, 1990, is a significant date in the recent history of Mali. It marks the beginning of what Malians call "The Second Tuareg Rebellion." The first had been staged against the post-colonial Malian government in 1963. The national government had suppressed that rebellion with harsh coercive measures, and the Tuaregs continued to nurture grievances.

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    Added February 01, 1998

    World View: The 1998 Strategic Assessment from the Strategic Studies Institute

    Edited by Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
    World View presents the annual strategic assessments of the analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute. It is fifth in a series that reflects both our individual forecasts and collective review of the key security issues facing the United States. The process that produces World View also leads to our annual Research and Outreach Plan.

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    Added December 01, 1997

    The United States and the Transformation of African Security: The African Crisis Response Initiative and Beyond

    Authored by COL Daniel W. Henk, Dr. Steven Metz.
    Helping Africans develop a capability to avoid or solve their region's security problems has reemerged recently as an important goal of American strategy, and the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) is its centerpiece. Based on their testimony presented to the Africa Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, this study by Dr. Steven Metz and Colonel Dan Henk of the U.S. Army War College examines the ACRI. Significantly, it does so by placing the ACRI in a wider, long-term strategic context.

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    Added June 01, 1997

    Military Medical Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa: THE DoD

    Authored by LTC C. William Fox, Jr..
    Lieutenant Colonel C. William Fox, Jr., a physician who has had extensive experience in U.S. activities in Africa over the past two decades, has personally supervised operations that have considerable potential as models for future regional involvement. In this publication, he offers a rationale and vision for future DoD activities in Africa.

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    Added January 01, 1997

    World View: The 1997 Strategic Assessment from the Strategic Studies Institute

    Edited by Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
    In December of each year the analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) look to the year ahead to assess the strategic equation for their particular areas of interest. This is part of an effort to focus our priorities both corporately as well as individually.

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    Added June 01, 1996

    Reform, Conflict, and Security in Zaire

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    U.S. foreign policy in Sub-Saharan Africa seeks stability, democracy, and economic development. Despite recent positive trends, it is clear that not all African countries will move in this direction; some will sink into greater violence and misery. In the central part of the continent, Zaire is the linchpin. Because of its great size and natural wealth, Zaire has the ability to serve as either the locomotive of development or an agent of destabilization.

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    Added February 01, 1996

    World View: The 1996 Strategic Assessment from the Strategic Studies Institute

    Edited by Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
    The analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) annually assess the strategic equation for their particular area of interest. This year they were asked to consider not only the next 12-18 months, but also to look 10 years ahead and to think about the future as it might affect both the nation and the Army.

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    Added January 01, 1996

    Armies and Democracy in the New Africa: Lessons from Nigeria and South Africa

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Dr. Kent Hughes Butts.
    In October 1994, the Strategic Studies Institute sponsored a roundtable on democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Particular attention was paid to the role the U.S. military and Department of Defense played in democracy support. This study developed from a paper presented at the roundtable. Dr. Butts and Dr. Metz reject the notion that the political culture of African states allows or even encourages military intervention in politics.

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    Added February 01, 1995

    World View: The 1995 Strategic Assessment from the Strategic Studies Institute

    Edited by Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
    Every year the analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) prepare current assessments for their particular areas of interest. These assessments become the bedrock of the annual SSI Study Program. This year's assessments are crucial given the complexities of the post-Cold War world. Russia remains an enigma wrapped in a riddle with Russian national interests very much paramount in the Kremlin's thinking.

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    Added September 01, 1994

    Disaster and Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning from Rwanda

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Rwanda's horrific civil war suggests that human disasters requiring outside intervention will remain common in Sub-Saharan Africa. The American people want a prompt and effective response to human disasters when the United States becomes involved.

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    Added August 01, 1994

    U.S. Africa Policy: Some Possible Course Adjustment

    Authored by Ambassador Daniel H. Simpson.
    Ambassador Daniel H. Simpson addresses the question of U.S. interests in Africa and past, present, and future U.S. policy toward that continent of more than 50 countries and 800 million people on an analytic basis, followed by clear recommendations. His presentation of U.S. strategic interests in Africa permits clear analysis of the present and logical planning of future policy and actions.

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