August 13, 2007

HARRISONBURG—Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, was cited in a Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) policy brief on the new United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), which was released last week. The report prepared by Marnina Cowan, an assistant at JINSA, AFRICOM is the Newest U.S. Combatant Command, quotes Dr. Pham as arguing that support for the command would grow as African leaders have come appreciate its “integrated approach as a more constructive way for the Department of Defense to partner with African organizations and help bring about long-term peace and stability,” and noting that its stand-up would be

an important step towards achieving more active U.S. engagement in an important strategic space that can neither continue to be relegated to tertiary status in the strategic calculations of our national security, political and economic interest nor be parceled out to several combatant commands in a dysfunctional arrangement.

Also quoted in the report were Rear Admiral Robert Moeller, Executive Director of the AFRICOM Transition Team who was recently nominated last week for promotion to vice admiral and assignment as AFRICOM’s Deputy Commander for Military Operations; Ryan Henry, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and Theresa Whelan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs.

In recent months, writing in World Defense Review and 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, called for using the opportunity to cultivate new military capacities, examined the maritime issues it will face in the Gulf of Guinea, highlighted the increased drug trafficking in its area of responsibility, raised “Total Force” doctrine’s applicability to the new command, and suggested how greater support might be garnered for AFRICOM in Africa. On August 2, he also testified before the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health on “Africa Command: A Historic Opportunity for Enhanced Engagement—If Done Right.”

JINSA is “a non-profit, non-partisan and nonsectarian educational organization committed to explaining the need for a prudent national security policy for the United States, addressing the security requirements of both the United States and the State of Israel, and strengthening the strategic cooperation relationship between these two great democracies.” Based in Washington, D.C., its board includes present and former members of Congress, several former ambassadors, and a number of retired generals and admirals, as well as members of the business and philanthropic communities.