Newspaper article Roll Call

Administration Security Message Pre-Africa Summit: Not Just Military

Newspaper article Roll Call

Administration Security Message Pre-Africa Summit: Not Just Military

Article excerpt

Over the past couple days, including again Thursday, Obama administration officials previewing next week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit have been reinforcing the following message about a continent with a number of national security hotspots right now: The answer isn't just the military.

"On foreign assistance, I think we will be looking at the broad range of foreign assistance, not just the military side," Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of State for Africa affairs, said Thursday at an Atlantic Council event previewing the summit. "We did hear in consultations with African governments that they wanted to take about peace and security, how they can better fill the capacity to respond to securtiy challenges on the continent. It is multifaceted. It is not just the U.S. military involved in that."

Thomas-Greenfield touted State Department training and the work of State contractors as being "very successful."

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace Wednesday, national security adviser Susan Rice highlighted security progress in places like Angola and Liberia, but increased conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Sudan, with weak governments in Mali and Somalia letting those countries become havens for terrorists.

In light of that, Rice said:

Contrary to some claims, the United States is not looking to militarize Africa or maintain a permanent military presence. But we are committed to helping our partners confront transnational threats to our shared security. …

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