Refining American Strategy in Africa

  • February 01, 2000
  • Dr Steven Metz

The author provides a broad overview of the African security environment as a basis for recommendations on the refinement of American strategy in that region. He assesses both the opportunities for positive change which exist today, and the obstacles. While only Africans themselves can determine the future of their region, an American strategy which discourages proxy aggression, encourages private initiatives in the economic and political spheres, and uses the U.S. military, particularly the Army, to engage its African counterparts could pay great dividends. American defense strategy calls for using the military to help shape the global security environment, preempting and deterring conflict and building regional mechanisms for security. This is a particularly wise approach to Sub-Saharan Africa.