More Systematic and Less Episodic

US national security interests in Africa are best served if the US military not only works to build the capacity of African partner nations, but also applies US capability in limited, albeit meaningful ways that are consistent and well understood by the Africans, William Bellamy, head of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, a DOD regional center, said Tuesday. African nations aren’t asking for US intervention in hot spots like Somalia and Sudan’s volatile Darfur region and appear capable of addressing them via African Union peacekeeping missions, he told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. “But our African partners do hope and expect that when the chips are down, when they are being asked to deploy in difficult missions in any of these places, that we will be there, if needed, to offer something more than just encouragement from the sidelines,” he said. Assisting the Africans in airlift is a prime example, since they are deficient in transports and helicopters, which are critical for moving peacekeepers around the vast continent. “There is a lot more that we can and should be doing to help the Africans” in that regard, Bellamy said.