May 23, 2007

HARRISONBURG—A new study by Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, explores the changing strategic relations between the United States and Africa.

The 15-page article, “ Next Front? Evolving United States–African Strategic Relations in the ‘War on Terrorism’ and Beyond,” appears in the current issue (volume 26, number 1) of Comparative Strategy, a peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the Center for Strategic Studies of the University of Reading and the National Institute of Public Policy. Drawing on historical perspectives and insights from leading international analysts, Comparative Strategy provides a contextual framework for considering the critical security issues of today and tomorrow. It is edited by Dr. Keith B. Payne and supervised by an international board of editors from Europe, America, and Asia.

In his article, Dr. Pham notes that recent years have seen a shift in United States foreign and security policy vis-à-vis Africa, a process that has been accelerated by the needs of America’s post-9/11 “global war on terrorism.” This evolution away from the “hands off” approach to the continent is a recognition of its geopolitical significance not only as a major front in the counterterrorism struggle, but also an increasingly important theatre for strategic competition for resources and influence between the U.S. and its near-peer competitors on the global stage, including the People’s Republic of China. The article also gives a preliminary assessment of the emergent policies and structures of U.S. military and security engagement in Africa which lay the foundations for a more comprehensive framework, including the unified combatant command for the continent announced earlier this year.

For the full text of the article, click here.