March 6, 2008

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly “Strategic Interests” column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, provides updates on developments with some of the stories reported in earlier columns as well as discusses upcoming Senate hearings on the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The essay surveys developments in Sudan, Kenya, the Sahel, and Nigeria, as well as Somalia, where missiles fired by the U.S. military last weekend were aimed at a “known terrorist target,” before going on to note that “next week, the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Senate will be holding hearings to review the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2009 as well as programming for future years for the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) as well as AFRICOM, which is currently a subordinate command of EUCOM and expected to achieve full operational capacity as an independent combatant command (COCOM) at the end of the current fiscal year.” Dr. Pham concludes that “one can only hope that the Congress gives America’s newest COCOM the resources it needs for a mission that is not only conformity with our security strategy, but also represents the best ideals of our national tradition.”

To read the full text of the article, “An African Security Update and Why AFRICOM is Critical,” click here.