Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Thinking On How AFRICOM Can Help Increase Stability (Strategic Studies Institute)

The Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute has just published what I think is an extremely interesting and insightful monograph about the kinds of engagement activities AFRICOM needs to consider in order to help increase stability in sub-Saharan Africa.

Titled, "Civilian Skills for African Military Officers to Resolve the Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Stability Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa," and authored by Diane Chido, this 56 page monograph contains "a good bit of good thinking" and should be required reading for anyone in the defense cooperation, defense partnership or security assistance communities that support African missions.  

Intelligence professionals should find this volume interesting as well for its exploration, in case-study format, of previous stability efforts in Africa.  The author highlights a number of indicators that probably aren't normally considered but seem to be highly relevant to any peacekeeping and stability operations in which the US might participate in Africa.

It is free to download here.  Worth checking out. 

(Full disclosure:  Diane is a friend and frequent co-author of mine.  I had nothing to do with this monograph, however (she wouldn't even let me see a draft...).  I first took a look at it today and was, as I usually am, impressed with her grasp of the issue and the quality of her recommendations.  As someone who spent several years working defense cooperation issues, I think she has hit the nail on the head.  While I may be biased, I still think that, if you work African issues at all, you owe it to yourself to read this book.)