Advancing an Africa Command:

Voice of America reports that the Pentagon has formed an implementation planning team, with some 24 people solely aimed at figuring out how to create an Africa Command and develop security cooperation programs. The participants come from within the Pentagon and other US agencies. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter told VOA that US officials are consulting “key foreign security partners.” There is still the matter of Presidential approval to a change of the Pentagon’s Unified Command Plan, if, in fact, the final recommendation is to create a command equal to other regional commands. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), on the House International Relations Committee, believes creating an Africa Command is “overdue, but must be pursued with care and caution.” In a Christian Science Monitor op-ed, Royce writes: “Africa’s growing strategic importance is clear. Within a decade, 25 percent of US oil imports will come from Africa. … Several African countries are potential terrorist havens or targets. … Meanwhile, China is rapidly laying down stakes in Africa.”