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AFRICOM

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christina zayas

on 29 October 2009

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Transcript of AFRICOM

AFRICOM THE MISSION & THE OPPOSITION. THE MISSION THE OPPOSITION THE VERDICT "Africom is a creation of the Bush administration to expand the power, the outreach and the resources of the department of defense."
"The goal is to provide military programs that enhance security and stability on the continent." p - Emira Woods
Co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus -General William Ward
Commander of Africa Command Africa Command, also known as Africom, was established in 2007 by the Bush administration. The organization was formed to enhance security and stability on the continent. There are suspicions that the organization is a humanitarian front for other U.S. interests. Because of the strong resistance against Africom, public diplomacy is at the forefront of the organizations agenda. The U.S. government is using Public Diplomacy to gain trust, support and backing by citizens of both Africa and America. The question is, are their efforts working? Background A key goal for the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is to facilitate information sharing between the continent’s militaries and governments. The command seeks to ensure the interoperability of national communications systems, such as this Ugandan officer’s radio, with other nations’ equipment for humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. The resistance against Africom is strong and still growing. Groups such as In Focus and Africa Faith & Justice Network are using activism to create awareness and stop the command from taking over this sovereign nation. Many are still unconvinced. Africa has surpassed the Middle East as a supplier for U.S. oil, and history has shown us that “Where there’s oil, there’s military might,” says Emira Woods. It is also suspected that the U.S. is trying to contain China through Africom. The growing super power is a threat to the United States and their quest for empire. Is it good public diplomacy or do their efforts fall short? “It looks like you are going over there to protect oil and fight terrorists in the same misguided way we fought terrorists in the past.“ “Hunger, disease, warfare, pressure regimes, poverty, suppression. Those are not military focused items. So the question remains what the heck are we doing there?” Since 2007 there have been dozens of appearances and campaigns launched to improve the image of Africom. The most effective use of public diplomacy yet has been Operation Survive & Thrive. It embodies all of the major principles of public diplomacy such as, news management, strategic communication and relationship building. Operation
Survive & Thrive POLITICAL &
ECONOMIC GROWTH STRENGTHEN
SECURITY PEACEKEEPING DEVELOPMENT U.S. Africa Command better enables the Department of Defense and other elements of the U.S. government to work in concert and with partners to achieve a more stable environment in which political and economic growth can take place. U.S. Africa Command is consolidating the efforts of three existing headquarters commands into one that is focused solely on Africa and helping to coordinate U.S. government contributions on the continent. The United States Africa Command, also known as AFRICOM, is a new U.S. military headquarters devoted solely to Africa. It is one of the Defense Department's six regional headquarters. Africa Command is the result of an internal reorganization of the U.S. military command structure, creating one administrative headquarters that is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for U.S. military relations with 53 African countries. How is it
Public Diplomacy? Making testing voluntary and not mandatory reinforces the humanitarian aspect of the campaign and minimizes the military presence. Festivals that are comprised of native music rituals and dances are inviting and disarming. African Army Generals and other high-ranking officials encourage free HIV testing.They have long and short-term goals for the campaign such as more repeat test takers and an increase in first time test takers. Strategic Communication News management Building Long-term Relationships The campaign is intelligently put together because it encompasses culturally and globally sensitive efforts. It uses strategic communication to influence people and improve the perception of the U.S. Effectively managed negative press through news management. And is building a long-term relationship with the continent. The aids epidemic in African has been a hot issue for decades. It is clear that, as a continent, Africa needs the assistance of other nations to arrest it. Africom understands that this is a common cause for the African people, which is why Africom is using it as the central focus in their public diplomacy agenda In the beginning of Africom there was a lot of resistance and questions as to why there needed to be a military presence if their mission was a peaceful humanitarian one. The response to all this negative press resulted in more humanitarian efforts and more importantly Operation Survive & Thrive, which is designed to increase awareness about HIV and decrease the spread of the disease. Africom/
Operation
Survive &Thrive Botswana Festival
6,000 Soldiers Tested Annual HIV Campaign Free Volentary
HIV Testing -Representative John Tierney - Representative John Tierney FRANCISTOWN, Botswana - Major General Tumelo Paledi, commander of the Botswana Defence (BDF) Force Air Arm, addresses members of 2 Brigade during his remarks at the launch of an annual HIV/AIDS counseling and testing campaign, October 22, 2009. Operation Survive & Thrive is a voluntary program designed to make BDF soldiers aware of their HIV/AIDS status. Events are scheduled to take place at all major BDF installations in Botswana, where the HIV prevalence is among the highest worldwide. The U.S. Department of Defense and Africa Command, through the Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, contributes nearly $2 million annually in financial support to the BDF HIV/AIDS Program
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