May 18, 2007

HARRISONBURG—Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, was cited in a report to Congress on the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) which was released earlier this week. The study prepared by Lauren Ploch, an Africa analyst for the Foreign, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service, Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa, quotes Dr. Pham, described as a “foreign policy expert,” as arguing that:

The mission of AFRICOM will necessarily require a major break with conventional doctrinal mentalities both within the armed services themselves and between government agencies.

Dr. Pham was the only person cited in the report’s section on the unified combatant command who is not a government or military official.

In recent months, writing in World Defense Review and The National Interest Online among other publications, Dr. Pham has advocated for the creation of AFRICOM, hailed the initiative when the announcement finally came, outlined the challenges facing the new command, and called for using the opportunity to cultivate new military capacities. The Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs, in collaboration with the Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance, has also published a booklet by me on America in Africa: Securing U.S. Interests and Promoting a Continent’s Development. The current issue (volume 27, number 1) of Comparative Strategy will feature a rather lengthy study which he penned entitled “Next Front? Evolving U.S.-African Strategic Relations in the ‘War on Terrorism’ and Beyond.”

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of the United States Congress. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis.