This paper contains the reflections of an African researcher who has thought hard for some time about the latest US security initiative that is AFRICOM. The first part evaluates US foreign policy making towards Africa. Th e second part considers the starting point, design and activities of AFRICOM. The third part analyses the positive and negative implications of AFRICOM for the US and Africa. As such, this paper could add to the current state of knowledge about issues related to US policy towards Africa in general and AFRICOM in particular, as well as future trends. Accordingly, it could serve as a valuable source of information for civil and military officials of African governments, as well as those of the US government, African civil society organisations and academic specialists.
About the author
Berouk Mesfin is currently a senior researcher with the Conflict Prevention Programme at the Institute for Security Studies, based in Addis Ababa. He has worked as a defence analyst at the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defence, where he headed the North Africa Division of the Research and Analysis Directorate; and as political adviser to the US Embassy in Ethiopia. He has also held several positions at the Addis Ababa University: assistant dean of the College of Social Sciences; lecturer in political science and international relations; and as a research associate at the Institute of Development Research and the Institute of Federal Studies. His teaching and research interests are in international relations, with special emphasis on foreign policy, civil-military relations, conflicts and terrorism in Africa, and in comparative politics, with special emphasis on elections, political parties and federalism.