America's security interests in Africa are very limited. At present we have no permanent or significant military presence anywhere in Africa: We have no bases; we station no combat forces; and we homeport no ships. We do desire access to facilities and material, which have been and might be especially important in the event of contingencies or evacuations. But ultimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa.
In a global context, American economic interests in Africa are limited. While not a substantial overall percentage of total American exports, Africa purchased $4.4 billion of U.S. goods and services in 1994, accounting for more than 80,000 American jobs. These exports exceed those to the former Soviet Union by nearly a quarter and can be increased. Although the rise in oil prices in the 1970s temporarily increased the overall percentage value of U.S. imports from Africa, economic activity in general has remained consistently low.
What activity exists is concentrated in a very few countries, with South Africa and Nigeria accounting for over half of the total. Still, important new economic ties may emerge. Chad, for example, has vast untapped oil reserves.
A population of over 800 million, 20 percent of the world's land area, and a wealth of natural resources and biological diversity cannot and should not be ignored. Staying economically engaged with Africa is in America's interest. Today, sub-Saharan Africa comprises an emerging market. Economic growth and expended U.S. activity, though, will require that stability take hold and democracy take root throughout the continent. Africa has always been a steady supplier of crude oil. During the 1973-74 oil crunch, our largest supplier of oil was Nigeria. Sub-Saharan crude accounts for nearly 10 percent of our daily imports.
The administration is committed to maintaining a leading role in Africa despite the lack of vital interests. Progress and stability, however, will require long-term support by international donors and the efforts of Africans themselves. Adequate diplomatic and financial resources will be needed to promote peaceful change, conflict resolution, stable democratic pluralism and sustainable development.
In this context, the Clinton administration has set out the following specific Africa policy goals:
q Promoting peace by preventing, managing or resolving conflicts;
q Providing humanitarian assistance to alleviate suffering and hunger;
q Fostering democracy and respect for human rights;
q Supporting economic growth and sustainable development.
Of these goals, DoD priorities focus on conflict prevention, management and resolution. While conflict is raging, none of the other goals are achievable. DoD actively supports the nascent efforts of Africans to take the lead in resolving conflicts and peacekeeping efforts in the region. We are also willing to play the role of catalyst, technical adviser and honest broker to resolve conflicts, and further, we will maintain our regional diplomatic efforts and will support African initiatives through the Organization of African Unity and subregional organizations.
Humanitarian assistance is intended to enhance the stability of countries by strengthening local institutions and the ability of people to meet their own needs. Humanitarian assistance also furthers U.S. policies intended to assist newly independent and developing countries in incorporating democratic ideals, economic development and rule of law.
DoD's global reach, unrivaled infrastructure and highly trained personnel allow the United States to respond rapidly and effectively to meet humanitarian assistance requirements. The Department of Defense has many unique operations, materiel, logistics and organizational capabilities to provide such humanitarian assistance worldwide. One initiative demonstrating these capabilities is the Humanitarian Assistance Program, which can provide initial and rapid short-term response in support of activities related to the transportation and distribution of humanitarian relief and nonlethal excess DoD property (past shipments have included field hospitals and trucks).
Democratic systems that respect human rights and seek equitable economic growth are the best guarantors of peaceful change and stability. They provide the peaceful, stable environment essential to sustained development. The U.S. seeks greater respect for human rights, the rule of law, accountable and honest government and democratic political pluralism for African governments.
We do not wish to impose any particular system but rather support what Africans themselves increasingly demand: an effective voice in their own affairs and an end to corruption and abuse of power. DoD has a role in demonstrating a system founded on civilian control of the military.
The U.S. will work for sustained equitable development through market-based reforms that rely more on the private sector and promise to reduce dependence on external aid. Ensuring access to markets, investment opportunities and resources in Africa is the most effective way to sustain growth and U.S. involvement.
U.S. assistance programs support reform; aid criteria include good governance and structural reform goals, along with respect for political and human rights. DoD, though having no direct role, supports the concept of good governance through International Military Education and Training, for example. Additionally, DoD can encourage shaping of African militaries to more efficient force structures aligned with legitimate security requirements to make them more responsive as to democratic values and to shift resources to developmental needs.
In addition to these Africa-specific goals, the United States has other worldwide security policy objectives which affect our interaction with Africa, most notably preventing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic missile systems. Since 1964, we have supported United Nations General Assembly resolutions urging the denuclearization of Africa and have committed ourselves to supporting the concept of an African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
We have also long encouraged African nations to support the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and several -- most notably South Africa -- were particularly helpful in the administration's successful campaign to extend the treaty indefinitely. To combat missile proliferation, the U.S. seeks to prudently broaden membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime. The administration also supports African membership in the Chemical Weapons Convention, as well as new measures to deter violations of and enhance compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention. The U.S. also discourages conventional arms transfers on the continent.
Africa is beset by a variety of other transnational problems which we are helping to address. With both bilateral programs and support for international efforts, the U.S. is working to ameliorate the devastation caused by AIDS and other diseases, as well as environmental degradation in Africa. The U.S. also seeks to curb population growth and uncontrolled refugee flows. The U.S. and the world community have a strong interest in preventing the spread of terrorism and countering drug trafficking. Subversion by radical regimes (be they secular or theocratic) on the periphery of the region also must be countered.
The multifaceted realities of post-Cold War Africa have sparked an active debate about its future. Pessimists emphasize Africa's continuing economic difficulties, recurrent ethnic and social conflicts, political corruption, environmental and population pressures, and extremist groups and ideologies. Optimists highlight the growing number of democratic governments and market economies, the end of Soviet and Cuban military and political interventions and the negotiated resolution of numerous regional conflicts.
Realistically, these trends will continue to coexist and characterize Africa for the foreseeable future. At times, damaging trends may become self-reinforcing and appear ascendant in some states; for example, economic problems exacerbate ethnic or other conflicts, which then create further economic decline. At other times and in other places, positive trends may also become mutually reinforcing, with economic growth ameliorating conflicts and stimulating democratization. In the long run, Africa's fate will be decided not by any one set of events, but by the persistent efforts of Africans to create a better future for themselves.
The complexity and diversity of the fundamental security problems in Africa are daunting. Many of Africa's national and administrative borders are the product of its colonial heritage, and often they do not reflect cultural, religious or historical connections. The colonial boundaries ignored the cultural cohesion of tribal Africa and separated the peoples of ethnic mininations held together for centuries by their common heritage and language.
This artificial political map has left great disparities among the African countries in their potential for nation-building, economic development and stability. Further, colonial economic strategies, especially the introduction of cash crop economies (for export) and emphasis on extraction of natural resources, left many Africa states without well-rounded modern economies.
In the 1960s, major conflicts occurred in the then Congo, Nigeria and Sudan. In the 1970s, war came to Ethiopia, Angola, Somalia, Mozambique, then Southern Rhodesia, and the Western Sahara. In 1979, Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles invaded Uganda to overthrow Idi Amin. In the 1980s, seven independent countries were seriously affected by war, including Angola, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique and Chad, with Sudan and Uganda also falling into renewed violence.
The late 1980s and early 1990s witnessed violent internal conflicts, including those in Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Djibouti and Angola. At the same time, the end of the Cold War and the withdrawal of Soviet and Cuban troops allowed total resolution of several regional conflicts and partial resolution of others.
In particular, the U.S.-brokered withdrawal of Soviet-backed Cuban troops allowed Angola to move closer to ending its 20 years of civil war and led to independence and free elections in Namibia. Similarly, the Soviet and Cuban withdrawal has allowed Ethiopia to address its internal conflicts and move toward democracy.
Perhaps most important, the end of apartheid may allow for South Africa to defuse its tremendous potential for violence; it has certainly imparted a powerful momentum for peace throughout southern Africa. For example, together with the withdrawal of Soviet influence, the end of apartheid contributed to the end of Mozambique's civil war and the success of its recent elections.
The end of the Cold War has had mixed effects on African economies. Private sector investment has increased rapidly in recent years in emerging markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and developing countries that have moved from centralized economies to market reforms. To some extent, this redirection of investment has come at the expense of Africa, which has relatively fewer emerging markets than other regions.
For example, U.S. exports to Africa as a percentage of total trade dropped by half from 1985 to 1993, while the flow of foreign capital and technical expertise has barely remained constant. At the same time, high foreign debts, shortages of capital and austere structural adjustment policies continue to pose economic problems for many African nations.
On the positive side, post-Cold War market reforms and structural adjustment policies have laid the foundation for long-term economic growth in several African states, and some are already beginning to enjoy the benefits of these policies. Eritrea, Uganda, Mauritius and Madagascar have potential for future growth, as do two of Africa's largest economic powers, South Africa and Nigeria. Ghana's market reforms have led to growth rates of 4-5 percent in recent years, while Botswana has grown at annual rates on the order of 10 percent since 1980.
Africa has experienced an unprecedented wave of political reform. While Africa faces continuing obstacles in the movement towards democratic processes and institutions, this movement is deeply entrenched and in many nations throughout the region has gained momentum. Still, democratization is likely to encounter occasional setbacks in individual countries, as the recent coup in the Gambia demonstrates.
A second trend has been the rise of Islam as a political force. Islam has long been a major political and social force in Africa. More recently, Islam has expanded into sub-Saharan Africa from both the north and the east. The character of this movement has yet to be fully determined. While Islamic regimes are not inherently anti-Western in a political sense, U.S. policy makers may need to come to terms with those regimes that demonstrate anti-Western tendencies.
Political and economic trends in contemporary Africa have profoundly affected national military force structures. Many ruling elites have used military organizations as a domestic enforcement apparatus, leading these organizations to grow and become powerful political entities. While security threats will continue to be predominantly internal rather than external, democratic and economic reforms in many African states may lead to drastically different consequences for the armed forces of the continent.
Legalization of political opposition and movement away from one-party states may lead to more limited roles for security forces. Comprehensive economic reforms may also require the slashing of defense budgets and trimming manpower.
Western aid donors are demanding military downsizing programs. Just as the American defense establishment faces an evolving political landscape and harsh budgetary realities, the changing nature of the political and economic environment in Africa may demand defense posture changes which de-emphasize the size and role of African forces.
However, some African militaries foresee a new mission in contributing to economic development in their nations, a goal that the U.S. government continues to support. The danger remains that in some cases, economic stagnation and ethnic strife during times of heightened expectations could lead African military organizations to intervene in domestic politics, as they have in the past.
Africa is experiencing a variety of environmental challenges. Over 75 percent of Africa lies within the tropics. Unfortunately, despite their often lush appearance, tropical environments are generally unsuitable for intensive agricultural development. Outside tropical regions, much of the land is extremely dry and includes the Sahara Desert, covering much of the north, and the Kalahari Desert, covering much of southern Africa. Rainfall is sparse, and long, harsh droughts are frequent.
Sub-Saharan Africa also suffers from problems of deforestation. About 90 percent of the population uses firewood for cooking, yet there are few comprehensive programs for restoring the stock of trees. Associated with deforestation is the further complication of decertification or the loss of land suitable for agriculture and grazing to the desert. Other natural results of deforestation are soil erosion and degradation. Furthermore, Africa has begun to experience many of the same environmental problems that are endemic to the Western industrialized nations, including toxic waste dumping and oil spills.
Widespread drought conditions have led to food shortages in every region of Africa. In the 1980s, famine occurred in 22 African countries. These conditions led to mass migrations, posing problems for neighboring nations. Living conditions and generally poor nutrition have led to other health problems, especially disease. Once-conquered diseases are reappearing. There are few countries with any integrated health development strategies, and health care infrastructure is sadly lacking. AIDS has become a major problem. Sub-Saharan Africa, with only about 10 percent of the world's population, has at least a quarter and perhaps even half of the world's reported AIDS cases.
The population of sub-Saharan Africa is growing at a rate of 3.1 percent a year, the highest in the world. It is projected that all sub-Saharan African countries will at least triple in size between 1980 and 2025. This population growth inevitably places serious demands on food production, jobs and other elements of already fragile economies. The World Bank now places population "assistance" as its highest priority in Africa.
The Department of Defense has focused its efforts in support of the new security agenda on three major areas: conflict prevention and conflict resolution; humanitarian assistance; and support for democratization.
Multilateral peacekeeping is an essential element of our strategy for promoting peace abroad. It allows us to leverage our capabilities and resources, and to share security responsibilities and burdens with others.
The president has made clear that multilateral peacekeeping must be employed only to advance clearly defined objectives and that the United States will insist that any potential operation be subject to careful assessment and planning. End points for our participation must be identified, domestic support must exist, and the command and control arrangements must be acceptable to the U.S.
We are working closely with the U.N. and other member nations to improve the efficiency and utility of peacekeeping operations and the organization's ability to manage them. The U.S. recently sponsored a conference for potential donors to peace operations in Africa in an attempt to better coordinate those efforts. A number of African countries have contributed military personnel and units for duty in international peacekeeping operations. Additional African states have also expressed the desire to participate in international peacekeeping but have lacked appropriate equipment and specialized training.
We seek to assist selected African militaries to develop and maintain personnel and organizations that would be identified for use in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity or other subregional organizations. Current programs plan for the provision of requisite peacekeeping materiel and training assistance to selected countries to enhance their abilities to participate in international and regional peacekeeping operations.
We will continue to support the Organization of Africa Unity in its own peacekeeping efforts and assist African states committed to participation in international peacekeeping operations. The OAU is arguably in a unique position to defuse conflicts before they start or to intervene in their early stages, thereby reducing the magnitude of human suffering and level of destruction.
In November 1993, the OAU formally established a conflict resolution and peacekeeping mechanism within its secretariat. We are assisting the secretariat by helping to provide the necessary infrastructure and sharing with them U.S. standards and principles for the establishment and planning of peacekeeping operations.
Congress has also supported efforts to strengthen OAU capabilities; in the fall of 1994, President Clinton signed into law the African Conflict Resolution Act. This legislation calls for U.S. financial and technical support of the conflict resolution mechanism and authorizes funding to support subregional organization and nongovernmental organization efforts at conflict resolution. It also calls for support of Africa military demobilization and reintegration programs.
The U.S. has a long and proud history of humanitarian assistance to those in need. Whether it is the Berlin Airlift of 1947 or the Bosnia or Rwanda of today, DoD has played a key role in meeting humanitarian needs that have touched the hearts of all Americans.
Humanitarian concerns are playing an increasingly central role in world events. DoD possesses a unique capability for providing critical, specific assets while working as part of a U.S. coordinated interagency, international effort. DoD efforts must act within clearly defined mission limits and with an up-front, accepted exit strategy. In many situations, DoD has been a key actor in the provision of international humanitarian assistance.
DoD can, at times, assist by making available and transporting excess nonlethal property such as medical supplies, blankets, food, tents, school supplies, and vehicles and transporting privately donated relief supplies. DoD also makes training and equipment resources available for land mine clearing programs to assist African countries in developing their own demining capabilities.
DoD humanitarian assistance succeeds by augmenting international efforts to help people worldwide and by exemplifying the U.S. civilian and military commitment to the realization of basic humanitarian values.
Our commitment to democracy is being implemented through policy dialogue and a strategic approach to resource allocation. Multilateral, regional and bilateral approaches are being combined to maximize the effectiveness of U.S. efforts. On the multilateral level, for example, the U.S. and other donors are effectively pressing heads of state toward democratic reform through international financial institutions and joint policy dialogue.
Within the context of the administration's policy goals for Africa, the International Military Education and Training program provides one of the most economical and effective uses of DoD funds in the long term. With few exceptions, IMET graduates have positive experiences in the U.S. and return to their countries with a better understanding of the proper role of a nation's military in a democratic civil society. At a minimum, IMET graduates have tools to cope with the problem of peacefully resolving conflicts at home.
Other in-country programs also contribute to U.S. national objectives in Africa. The U.S. Navy Justice School conducts programs on military law, respect for human rights and the role of the military in a democracy. Expanded IMET programs also provide this type of exposure.
For example, the 353rd Civil Affairs Command (USAR)[U.S. Army Reserve] conducts a training program designed to create an environment in which indigenous governments can make democracy work and teach the host nation military to play a positive role in the democratization process. African militaries will play an important role in the transition to, and stability of, democratic governments.
If the interests of African militaries are not addressed, they are likely to undercut prospects for successful transitions. A modest defense training program exposes selected officers to U.S. traditions of respect for human rights and civilian control of the military. The current program calls for providing professional military education, management courses, human rights training, education on the role of the military in democracy and technical training to 31 African countries.
Current programs envision assistance for 12 African governments in support of their military downsizing efforts. The downsizing effort is in direct support of efforts to enhance stability and democratization in Africa in two ways. First, politicized militaries are often the greatest threat to democracy in African states, and the military will remain an important political actor in most African countries. Secondly, in many countries, the military establishment is oversized, far exceeding the legitimate security needs of the state and acting as a brake on the economy.
The administration believes that providing nonlethal materiel (primarily communications equipment and vehicles) to enhance operational capabilities may assist downsizing efforts among African countries by reducing personnel requirements.
As there is no permanent stationing of U.S. forces (other than defense attaches, security assistance officers and Marine embassy guards) in Africa, Department of Defense support of U.S. national objectives in the region is for the most part limited to a vigorous exercise and training program, along with ship visits and various mobile training team activities.
The 3rd and 5th Special Forces groups manage and implement a robust Joint Combined Exchange Training program in support of national objectives. Approximately 20 exercises per year are conducted in Africa, under CinCEUR [commander in chief, U.S. European Command] and CinCCENT [commander in chief, U.S. Central Command] guidance, which calls for provision of national assistance, maintenance and expansion of strategic access, the fostering of a professional military ethic, encouragement of regional cooperation, and the rewarding of positive steps toward democratization and an understanding of the importance of human rights. JCETs also provide the U.S. military with valuable in-country operating experience.
USEUCOM also manages the MEDFLAG program, medical exercises designed to conduct joint medical training with the host nations. Averaging three per year in Africa, the MEDFLAG programs provide medical training, an interchange of medical information with medical personnel of host African countries, and humanitarian and civic assistance visits to the rural populace.
The National Guard Bureau also conducts an International Training Activities Program in Africa. With its varied terrain and austere conditions, Africa provides Army and Air National Guard units unique opportunities to train and sustain their mobilization readiness under very realistic conditions. These assets can then be used to perform humanitarian and civic action projects.
The West African Training Cruise is the U.S. Navy's annual naval presence mission to African coastal nations. WATC provides opportunities for professional interaction and training between U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps personnel and the maritime forces of the countries visited. WATC also increases U.S. Navy familiarity with the maritime operating environment of the area and promotes goodwill through community relations work projects, donated medical and hygiene supplies, and more extensive construction and/or repair projects performed by the Seabees.
Closer cooperation with African militaries is clearly desirable. In July 1995, the White House announced its intention to establish a joint U.S.-Benin Military Commission. This commission would be the first of its type with a sub-Saharan African country.
Rwanda. On April 6, 1994, the plane carrying the Hutu president of Rwanda and his Burundian counterpart was shot down. The president was killed, and since then, by some estimates as many as 1 million people, the vast majority of them Tutsis and moderate Hutus, have been killed.
The magnitude of the Rwandan massacres and the subsequent refugee crisis overwhelmed the U.N. and nongovernmental relief agencies already operating in Rwanda and Zaire. President Clinton consequently pledged American assistance to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The role of U.S. military forces was to rapidly reinforce relief agencies in place until they could recover and resume effective operations.
U.S. military forces began deploying on July 22 to Central Africa. At Goma, Zaire, the point of greatest need, a U.S. Army water purification unit began pumping pure water on July 26 and the next day produced 24,000 gallons of water. Production continued to increase as airlift, substantially assisted by the U.S. Air Force, brought in donor-nation assets that by Aug. 1 were producing 431,000 gallons per day. By Aug. 12, water systems were saturated and U.S. production was taken off line. On Aug. 13 the U.N. announced that water production and distribution exceeded consumption.
The Joint Task Force also rapidly responded to emergency requests for air movement of humanitarian supplies, expanding airport capabilities at Goma and Entebbe, and later Kigali. As a result of expanded logistics and air movement capabilities, on Aug. 14, UNHCR requested that all agencies stop airlifting food to Goma.
The result of JTF operations in support of UNHCR and in close coordination with NGOs has been to substantially reduce the number of deaths in the refugee camps, provide needed crisis humanitarian assistance to the several million Rwandan refugees and displaced persons, and allow UNHCR and NGOs to gain breathing space in which to establish the long-term infrastructure necessary to deal with refugee management in the ensuing months.
Air Mobility Command, the air component of U.S. Transportation Command, flew over 1,200 airlift sorties, delivering almost 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid in Operation Support Hope. President Clinton authorized the Department of Defense to bring Operation Support Hope to a close on Sept. 30, 1994, thereby completing the U.S. military's emergency logistical assistance effort on behalf of millions of Rwandan refugees.
Somalia. In mid-1992, humanitarian conditions in Somalia had deteriorated horrifically. The effects of the drought of the early 1990s were exacerbated by the outbreak of civil war between warlords fighting for control of Somalia after the fall of dictator Siad Barre.
Food supplies became a weapon of war. Foodstocks were destroyed, markets disrupted and shipments hijacked. Farmers abandoned the few productive fields, and herdsmen fled to safer areas with their remaining livestock. The resulting famine led to over 300,000 deaths, including almost half of all Somali children. Relief agencies were severely hampered by the lack of security.
On Aug. 28, 1992, the United States launched a military airlift, known as Operation Provide Relief, from Mombasa, Kenya, to deliver food to Somali refugees. Before ceasing humanitarian operations in March 1993, U.S. military aircraft had flown over 2,000 sorties, including 875 cargo sorties carrying 28,727 metric tons of food.
USG [U.S. government]-funded civilian aircraft carried another 19,435 metric tons to Somalia and northern Kenya. The U.S. also delivered another 338,000 metric tons of relief supplies by 15 common-use ships and two fast sealift ships.
American involvement, however, was not without other costs. Perhaps the most visible was the death of 18 U.S. Army Rangers. In total, 44 American soldiers lost their lives and 175 were injured or wounded in the humanitarian effort in Somalia.
Early on, the humanitarian effort was clearly in danger of failing due to interference from the warlords at ports and on the highways, which prevented food from getting through in large quantities. From December 1992 to May 1993, the U.S. led the Unified Interim Task Force, a large-scale coalition effort to relieve this crisis. UNITAF succeeded in its assigned tasks quickly. Within only a few weeks, Mogadishu port was open, as were major highways. Food and medicines began to flow. The humanitarian aspect of operations in Somalia was a success.
South Africa. In 1994, an assistant secretary and an undersecretary of defense visited South Africa, the highest ranking U.S. defense officials to visit that country in almost 30 years. South Africa has the strongest, most professional military in sub-Saharan Africa. DoD applauds efforts to make these forces more broadly representative of society and supports progress toward more effective civilian control of an even more professional force by offering to share our own experience with similar transitions.
South Africa's greatest need is not training in the traditional military disciplines, but in resource management, personnel management, human rights and the proper role of a military in a democracy. DoD has the potential to very positively contribute to the success of this transition.
DoD has developed a number of training programs under our Expanded International Military Education and Training program, which specifically address the needs of the new South African National Defense Force. Military-to-military contacts at several levels are laying the groundwork for gradual normalization of military relations as the integration process proceeds. Such contacts, by example, will also help to reinforce concepts of racial equality, tolerance, human rights and democracy within the South African military.
From a parochial point of view, training and military-to-military contacts will foster operational and tactical familiarity that would prove valuable if we ever need to conduct joint or multilateral operations with the South Africans (for example, humanitarian or peacekeeping operations). Down the line, if South Africa remains stable and military integration proceeds smoothly, we can use our small Africa military exercise programs as a catalyst for greater regional military cooperation.
DoD began to assist South Africa's military integration efforts in November 1993 by working with the United States Information Agency on a joint South African Defense Force/Umkhonto we Sizwe (the African National Congress' military wing) visit to the United States. In addition, the commandant of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute made an official visit to South Africa in January 1994.
South Africa's signing of an IMET agreement officially opened the door for training in the U.S. and the Defense Security Assistance Agency set aside $120,000 for FY 94 [fiscal year 1994] to fund two South African slots in the Naval War College. South Africa received $250,000 for FY 95, focusing mainly on professional military education.
Other options (beyond the usual menu of IMET courses) are the Naval Justice School's Military Justice Seminar, the Air Force's Aviation Leadership Program, student slots in the military academies and war colleges, mobile training teams from DEOMI, special MTTs on recruiting techniques for an all-volunteer multiracial military and provision of guest lecturers for South Africa's own fledgling Defense Management Program.
Other efforts toward normalization of relations and professional development began in 1993 when the Navy invited the chief of staff of the South African navy to participate in the annual worldwide Naval Seapower Symposium.
A number of other constructive options are also available in this arena, should resources be provided, including senior and midlevel exchange visits sponsored by EUCOM, SOCOM [U.S. Special Operations Command] and the services; establishment of small liaison teams in the Army, Navy and Air Force chief of staff offices; inclusion of South Africa in the Army's Senior Land Commander Exchange Program; inclusion in the Air Force's C-130 officer exchange program; establishment of a South Africa foreign area officer position; establishment of "sister unit" programs with the National Guard and/or reserves; small unit exchanges; officer exchanges; military academy and war college instructor exchanges; and occasional port visits. Additionally, South Africa could be invited to observe FMS-eligible CONUS [continental United States]exercises.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces a myriad of both promising and dangerous trends. The post-Cold War era has presented numerous opportunities, yet the obstacles to peace and prosperity are many. While the U.S. has no direct vital security interests in the region, the administration is committed to helping to empower African states and organizations to resolve conflicts and achieve the democratization and economic growth essential to long-term stability.
Helping to empower Africans in these times of limited resources will require that the U.S., the international community and the Africans themselves search for innovative and creative ways to attack these serious problems. A premium must be placed on cooperation, avoiding duplicating efforts and an effective understanding of comparative advantage by potential contributors. Most importantly, it must be recognized that conflict resolution and economic progress cannot be imposed from outside the continent; Africans themselves must take the lead.
The Department of Defense is playing a role in helping Africans find African solutions to their problems. DoD is using its capabilities and expertise to help create and nurture an "enabling environment" which is conducive to democratization, human rights, conflict resolution, and economic and social prosperity.
With humanitarian and conflict resolution assistance we can help to create an environment which is conducive to the development of democratic ideals. By developing close and professional military-to-military relationships, we can expose African militaries to our own notions of discipline, professionalism, and perhaps most importantly, the role of a military in a democracy and civilian control of the military establishment.
It is also important to recognize the limitations of America's ability to influence events on the continent. Again, the true solutions to the dilemmas facing sub-Saharan Africa must come from within. But Africans will need assistance as they struggle with their difficult challenges. The United States will remain engaged in the region, providing help when and where we can.
Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes; bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission. Defense Issues is available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/index.html