Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts AFRICOM’s Relationship to Oil, Terrorism and China

AFRICOM’s Relationship to Oil, Terrorism and China


Why a combatant command for Africa? I argue that AFRICOM was formed to implement the U.S. national security strategy that seeks to strengthen states and eliminate ungoverned space, as well as establish relationships with African states that offer a means to greater state stability and foster economic development. In so doing, it counters global jihadist by denying them haven among weak governments or in ungoverned areas. It protects U.S. interests in resources by helping governments become more stable. And it competes with the Chinese approach that could worsen the status quo of ineffective states and ungoverned space. Indeed, the U.S. approach of increasing state effectiveness makes African countries less susceptible to the problems that may arise from the Chinese approach and so serves China’s interests in access to natural resources.

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