AFRICOM Moving Away From Development Assistance?
On Thursday, General William Ward, Commander of AFRICOM, testified on Capital Hill. According to J Stephen Morrison from CSIS, they takeaway seems to be that AFRICOM is moving away from the development and humanitarian assistance space, and focusing on the more traditional bilateral military partnerships and emergency relief matters where they have unique capacity.
This statement may placate much of the development community who worried about massive Pentagon budgets usurping their turf, but I'm still wondering where AFRICOM will fit into the US counter-terrorism policy that is explicitly about "capturing or killing terrorists and countering the conditions that breed violence and extremism."
Can AFRICOM be a force for good towards the latter goal? For those interested in seeing where the U.S. currently focuses most of its counter-terrorism efforts, check out Al-Qaida's (Mis)Adventures in the Horn of Africa. Spoiler: it's not Somalia.