USA/Africa: Military Programs, 03/07/03

USA/Africa: Military Programs, 03/07/03

AFRICA ACTION Africa Policy E-Journal March 7, 2003 (030307)

USA/Africa: Military Programs (Reposted from sources cited below)

This posting contains a background report from the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars on U.S. military programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Two other postings today contain excerpts from an interview with the outgoing ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, and a press release from Africa Action and TransAfrica Forum, along with other anti-war statements.

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Prepared by Daniel Volman, Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC []. Information from the U.S. State Department, Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2003, and from various U.S. Defense Department web sites and newspaper articles. Information is current as of 11 February 2003.

[excerpts only: full text, and PDF version with print-friendly tables available on the website of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars -]


Most African countries fall within the area of responsibility of the U.S. European Command (which also covers Europe and the former republics of the Soviet Union). However, a number of countries in northeast Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan, and Kenya) and the Seychelles are within the area of responsibility of the U.S. Central Command; the U.S. Pacific Command covers the Comoros, Madagascar, and the Indian Ocean, including the island of Diego Garcia. These commands (along with the U.S. Special Operations Command and the various branches of the armed forces, i.e. the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines) are responsible for conducting active military operations in Africa, including training exercises, humanitarian relief, peacekeeping, evacuating civilians from unstable countries, and other operations.

Most arms sales are conducted through the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which is falls under the authority of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Certain military hardware (including handguns, rifles, shotguns, electronics, police equipment and crowd control chemicals, and explosives) is sold under a licensing program administered by the Office of Defense Trade Controls under the authority of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.


The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program is the process used by the U.S. government to sell weapons and other military equipment to foreign governments through the through the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). The Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program is used by the DSCA to provide low-interest loans to foreign governments to finance arms purchases from the U.S. government or from private U.S. companies. In the case of all sub-Saharan recipients, the U.S. government waives the repayment of these loans. The Commercial Sales (CS) program is the process by which certain types of military and police equipment are sold to foreign governments under licenses issued by the Office of Trade Controls. Figures show the value of sales that have been licensed or approved by the State Department Office of Defense Trade Control in the given year. Even though these sales have been licensed or approved, they are not always completed.


[table for 2001, 2002, and 2003, by country, in on-line version] Total for sub-Saharan Africa

2001 Actual $21,151,000

2002 Est. $8,650,000

2003 Est. $7,744,000


Countries where the U.S. has conducted joint military training exercises in recent years:

Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda

U.S. troops are deployed to African countries to conduct joint military exercises through a variety of programs. African Contingency Operations Training Assistance (ACOTA) is the program created by the Bush Administration in the spring of 2002 to take the place of the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) to provide training in peacekeeping operations and regular military tactics in Africa to military units from selected countries. Since 1996, over 8,600 African troops from Senegal, Uganda, Malawi, Mali, Ghana, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, and Kenya have received training through the ACRI program; the training is conducted in the host country by 60-man units of U.S. Special Forces soldiers. In FY 2001, ACRI received $15.6 million in funding; during FY 2002, ACRI will receive an estimated $15 million; and for FY 2003, the Pentagon has requested $10 million to fund the new ACOTA program. The same countries that participated in ACRI will be the focus of the new program. The most significant difference between the two programs is that ACOTA will include training for offensive military operations, including light infantry tactics and small unit tactics, to enhance the ability of African troops to conduct peacekeeping operations in hostile environments; under ACOTA, African troops will also be provided with offensive military weaponry, including rifles, machine guns, and mortars.

The Africa Regional Peacekeeping (ARP) program is the program to equip, train, and support troops from selected African countries that are involved in peacekeeping operations. The main recipients in recent years have been Nigerian, Senegalese, and Ghanaian units serving in Sierre Leon and units of the Guinean army along the border with Liberia; funding has also gone to support African peacekeeping efforts in the DR Congo, Burundi, Sudan, and on the Eritrea- Ethiopia border. The training includes offensive military tactics and the transfer of weaponry to the forces involved. In the future, money from the ARP program will be used to supplement Defense Department funding of an annual U.S. European Command regional military exercise, to be known as "Shared Accord," to enhance the joint operating capabilities of the forces from different African countries that might participate in peacekeeping or disaster response operations. In FY 2001, the ARP program received $30.9 million in funding; during FY 2002, the ARP program will receive an estimated $41 million; and for FY 2003, the Pentagon has requested $30 million in funding for the ARP program

Along with the training provided in Africa through the ACOTA and ARP programs, U.S. troops also conduct joint training exercises in other African countries on a regular basis and in special exercises designed to prepare U.S. troops to operate in African environments and to work with African military forces. In April and May 2002, for example, two U.S. Navy hospital ships, the U.S.S. Dallas and the U.S.S. Minneapolis, conducted the regular West African Training Cruise and Medical Outreach Program mission, spending two-weeks stationed off Togo and Ghana. In May 2002, 1,000 American troops participated in a month-long joint amphibious assault exercise on the Kenyan coast with Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan troops. In August 2002, U.S. military medical personnel and Special Forces troops held a two-week medical training exercise, known as MEDFLAG 02, in Entebbe and Sorotti, Uganda. And in September 2001, 200 U.S. U.S. Air Force personnel went to the Waterkloof Air Force Base in South Africa to participate in the first bilateral training exercise with South African forces.


The International Military Education and Training (IMET) program is used to provide professional training to African military officers from forty-four countries at U.S. military colleges and other military facilities in the U.S. In FY 2002, IMET expected to provide training to more than 1,600 African officers (dollars in thousands).

African countries that are expected to participate in IMET in FY 2003: Angola, Benin. Botswana, , Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Pr!ncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierre Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia


[For full table see on-line version. Includes country-level data for Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.

Africa totals for 2001-2003 are

2001 Actual: $8,833,000 2002 Est. $10,185,000 2003 Est. $11,095,000


The United States maintains important military facilities at a base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. Although the U.S. government established these facilities under a treaty with Britain, which claims sovereignty over the island, the African country of Mauritius continues to assert that Diego Garcia and other islands of the Chagos archipelago are part of its territory.

The U.S. government uses the island to base a floating stockpile of tanks, armored vehicles, ammunition, and other military hardware sufficient to equip an Army brigade of up to 3,500 troops and a division of 17,300 Marines. The U.S. Air Force also bases B-52 and B-2 bombers at airfields on Diego Garcia. The facilities at Diego Garcia played a significant role in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 and U.S. military operations in Afghanistan; they are certain to play an equally significant role in the impending U.S. war with Iraq.

The United States does not possess its own bases on the African mainland, but relies on the agreement of African governments to use local bases and other military facilities in times of need. The only country that had concluded a formal agreement with Washington for the use of local military facilities is Kenya, which signed an agreement in February 1980. The Kenyan agreement allows U.S. troops to use the port of Mombasa, as well as airfields at Embakasi and Nanyuki. These facilities were used to support the American military intervention in Somalia in 1992-1994 and have been used in the past year to support forces from the United States and other coalition forces involved in counter-terrorism operations in the region.

After 11 September 2001, the Pentagon received permission from Djibouti to establish the headquarters for the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (its regional counter-terrorism command center) in that country. The principal mission of the Task Force is to monitor and interdict possible terrorist travel routes at sea and suspected terrorist activities in nearby countries, particularly in Somalia. The U.S. Task Force operates in coordination with military personnel from several European countries that are participating in the effort. Along with the headquarters element, 800 U.S. Special Forces troops have set up base at Camp Lemonier outside of the city Djibouti and the amphibious assault ship U.S.S. Mount Whitney, with 600 Marine on board, is stationed off shore. In December 2002, 2,400 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based on ships off shore, conducted military exercises in Djibouti in preparation for the impending war with Iraq. In addition, C.I.A. operatives are working out of Djibouti, from where they directed the flight of the Predator drone aircraft that was used to fire the missiles that killed an alleged al-Qaeda leader and four others in Yemen in November 2001.

The United States has not yet asked other African countries to use their military facilities. It is likely that other facilities, such as the recently expanded air base in Botswana, would be available for the use of U.S. troops if the United States wanted to use them in the future. But this would be up to the host country on a case-by-case basis. The West African country of S o Tom, and Pr!ncipe has attracted attention recently by offering to host an American naval base, but the Pentagon is unlikely to take them up on their offer because the facilities are inadequate and are not needed by U.S. forces.


Information on the Commercial Sales program, the U.S. government budget for foreign operations, and U.S. policy toward Africa can be obtained through the web site of the U.S. State Department: Information on the Foreign Military Sales program, military loans, military education and training programs, military exercises, and other military issues can be obtained through the web site of the U.S. Defense Department:


Note: these diverse links include news stories, articles, and official U.S. government sites, and are provided for background only.]

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Date distributed (ymd): 030307 Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +security/peace+ +US policy focus+


Message-Id: <> From: "Africa Action" <> Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2003 10:24:35 -0500 Subject: USA/Africa: Military Programs

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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