John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "AFRICOM"

Reactions to the U.S. Strike in Somalia

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A Somali government soldier holds his fighting position against suspected militants during an attack at the Jilacow underground cell inside a national security compound in Mogadishu, August 31, 2014. (Feisal Omar/Courtesy Reuters) A Somali government soldier holds his fighting position against suspected militants during an attack at the Jilacow underground cell inside a national security compound in Mogadishu, August 31, 2014. (Feisal Omar/Courtesy Reuters)

 

This is a guest post by Alex Dick-Godfrey, Assistant Director, Studies administration for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies Program.

Last week, the United States conducted an airstrike on an al Shabaab target in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in the attack. Read more »

United States Military to Train Nigerian Rangers?

by John Campbell
A U.S. Special Forces trainer supervises a military assault drill for a unit within the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) conducted in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio, November 29, 2013. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters) A U.S. Special Forces trainer supervises a military assault drill for a unit within the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) conducted in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio, November 29, 2013. (Andreea Campeanu/Courtesy Reuters)

In the March 5 New York Times, Eric Schmitt’s article “U.S. Takes Training Role in Africa as Threats Grow and Budgets Shrink,” reviews U.S. military assistance and training to the weak states of the Sahel that are confronting jihadi militantsHe discusses the constraints on what the U.S. is willing and able to do in a context of domestic budget cuts and a general war-weariness in the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more »

Is the U.S. Strategy in Somalia Working?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle assigned to the California Air National Guard's 163rd Reconnaissance Wing flies near the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California in this January 7, 2012 USAF handout photo obtained by Reuters, February 6, 2013. (U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Effrain Lopez/Courtesy Reuters) A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle assigned to the California Air National Guard's 163rd Reconnaissance Wing flies near the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California in this January 7, 2012 USAF handout photo obtained by Reuters, February 6, 2013. (U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Effrain Lopez/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. Allen is currently an officer in the Army National Guard. His interests are in Africa, conflict, and conflict resolution.

In the last week of January news outlets reported that an American drone had conducted an unsuccessful strike against a high level al-Shabaab leader in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. Later reports stated that the target of the strike was Ahmed Abdi Godane, the presumed current head of al-Shabaab. While the strike failed in its main mission to eliminate Godane, it and other such strikes may represent greater success for American and Somali strategies against the terrorist organization than this single unsuccessful strike. Read more »

U.S. Nigeria Relations and the State of Emergency

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno May 13, 2013. (Tim Cocks/Courtesy Reuters) A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno May 13, 2013. (Tim Cocks/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jacob Zenn, an analyst of African Affairs for the Washington D.C.-based think tank, The Jamestown Foundation, and a contributor for the West Point CTC Sentinel.

After Boko Haram launched major attacks on the rural border towns of Baga, Monguno, Bama, and Marte in Borno State, in April and May, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno and neighboring Adamawa and Yobe states on May 14, 2013. Soon after, more than two thousand Nigerian troops were deployed to Borno, which shares borders with Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Read more »

Why the U.S. Military Should Care About African Opposition Parties

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A general view shows the eight Kenyan presidential candidates (L-R) James Ole Kiyiapi, Musalia Mudavadi, Paul Muite, Martha Karua, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Mohammed Dida, Uhuru Kenyatta and Peter Kenneth attending the second presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Kenya's capital Nairobi, February 25, 2013. (Joan Pereruan/Courtesy Reuters) A general view shows the eight Kenyan presidential candidates (L-R) James Ole Kiyiapi, Musalia Mudavadi, Paul Muite, Martha Karua, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Mohammed Dida, Uhuru Kenyatta and Peter Kenneth attending the second presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Kenya's capital Nairobi, February 25, 2013. (Joan Pereruan/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Catherine Kelly, a Ph.D. candidate in Government at Harvard University; and Jason Warner, a Ph.D. student in African Studies and Government at Harvard University.

Sub-Saharan Africa is an increasingly important theater of operation for the U.S. military. From al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and Ansar Dine, the Department of Defense is recognizing that Africa will be a vital strategic battlefield in the next century. Read more »

AFRICOM to Stay in Stuttgart

by John Campbell
Kampala, Uganda
U.S. General Carter F. Ham, Commander of the U.S. Africa Command addresses a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Uganda's capital Kampala, May 11, 2011. (Edward Echwalu/Courtesy Reuters) Kampala, Uganda U.S. General Carter F. Ham, Commander of the U.S. Africa Command addresses a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Uganda's capital Kampala, May 11, 2011. (Edward Echwalu/Courtesy Reuters)

The Department of Defense announced on Feb 5 that the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquarters will remain in Stuttgart, Germany.

According to Stars and Stripes, the decision to stay in Germany rather than relocate to the United States was based on “operational needs.” Read more »

French Enter Mali But How Will It End?

by John Campbell
People walk past the Grand Mosque of Djenne, a UNESCO World-Heritage listed site, in Djenne 17/09/2012. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) People walk past the Grand Mosque of Djenne, a UNESCO World-Heritage listed site, in Djenne 17/09/2012. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

According to the New York Times, the French intervention in Mali to halt the southern march of Islamist forces has gone well. Franco-Malian recovery of the fabled cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal can be foreseen, though the fighting may be very bloody. That will mean fewer amputations and stonings, but it will not resolve the fundamental issues: a detached and discredited government in Bamako, an alienated north, and a fierce popular anger that expresses itself in Islamic terms. All of this against a background of recurrent food insecurity related to desertification. As the earlier example of the Polisario shows, a desert based insurgency can last a long time, perhaps longer than a French commitment to a country that is marginal to its fundamental interests. Read more »

AFRICOM: No Plans for an Africa Base

by John Campbell
General Carter F. Ham, commander of the U.S. military's Africa Command, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers June 1, 2011. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) General Carter F. Ham, commander of the U.S. military's Africa Command, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers June 1, 2011. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham has again stated that there are no U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) plans to move its headquarters to Africa. He repeated what has been said by U.S. officials before: AFRICOM’s headquarters will remain in Stuttgart. Gen. Ham added that there would be “financial issues” in any location. Read more »