Pentagon To Establish An Africa Command

Pentagon To Establish An Africa Command
February 7th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Pentagon To Establish An Africa Command

Pentagon To Establish An Africa Command
Miami Herald
February 7, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that the Pentagon will set up a new command to oversee its operations in Africa.
Appearing before a Congressional committee, Gates announced that President Bush approved a Defense Department recommendation that a military structure be set up to oversee missions on the continent, which U.S. officials now believe has greater strategic importance to the United States than it had before.
''The president has decided to stand up a new unified combatant command, Africa Command, to oversee security, cooperation, building partnership capability, defense support to nonmilitary missions, and, if directed, military operations on the African continent,'' Gates told a Congressional hearing on the defense spending that Bush proposed Monday for budget year 2008, which starts in October.
The U.S. military has a system under which each region of the world is overseen by a specific command -- essentially a regional headquarters -- such as the Pacific Command, Central Command and so on. Africa is now split among commands, which have been greatly increasing activities on there in recent years.
The Central Command, which controls the Horn of Africa, set up a task force there in an attempt to catch any al Qaeda terrorists escaping from Afghanistan after the war started in late 2001. It since has expanded to humanitarian and other missions.
The European Command has sent Special Forces to do training exercises in North African countries and done humanitarian projects, medical training and other missions such as harbor maintenance in oil-producing nations in the Gulf of Guinea.
Officials say that Africa also is strategically more important because of increased efforts by China to involve itself and gain influence on the continent.
Gates gave no details on the new command, but a military official familiar with planning for it said personnel, location of the headquarters and other details have not been finished. A transition team soon will begin working from Stuttgart, Germany, the European Command headquarters; but ultimately officials want the headquarters somewhere in Africa.

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