The Place of Diplomacy is U.S. Africa Policy
U.S. diplomacy in Africa is at a crossroads. New challenges and opportunities are emerging in Africa that require new approaches. At the same time, the United States is grappling with how best to coordinate its overall policy toward Africa and integrate a number of major new Africa related initiatives launched in the last decade. In particular, the newly established U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) continues to raise questions about the balance of tools and resources available to policymakers; the appropriate division of labor among civilian and military institutions; and the much broader global U.S. foreign policy challenge of effectively integrating diplomacy, development, and security.
Today’s Most Salient Hot Spots
The second panel sought to apply the broad themes outlined in the opening section to three regions of Africa that will perforce figure on the United States’ Africa policy agenda. Princeton Lyman, former ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa, discussed Nigeria, a continental powerhouse in which the United States has significant energy stakes. David Shinn, former ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso described the Horn of Africa, where a web of national and transnational conflicts has had devastating humanitarian impacts and has security implications for the United States in violent extremism, piracy, and regional destabilization. And former assistant secretary of state for African affairs Herman Cohen discussed the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has at times involved seven neighboring states, has left some 5 million people dead since 1998, and has seen horrific (and rising) levels of sexual violence and brutality against civilians in its eastern region.
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