The Annenberg Washington Series

AFRICOM, the American Military and Public Diplomacy in Africa

AFRICOM, the American Military and Public Diplomacy in Africa


In 2007, the U.S. established a new military command for the continent of Africa. According to the Department of Defense, AFRICOM recognizes “the emerging strategic importance of Africa, and recognizing that peace and stability on the continent impacts not only Africans, but the interests of the U.S. and international community as well.” This program offers the first thorough, independent examination of AFRICOM, which promises not only to reshape America's strategic approach to Africa, but also will redefine the role of the military in public diplomacy. Areas for discussion include soft power and American strategy in Africa, the relationship between the military and foreign policy agencies, and African responses to this initiative.

Panelists included:

Carola Weil, (moderator), Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives, USC Annenberg.

Philip Seib, USC Annenberg journalism and public diplomacy professor, and author of the forthcoming The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World.

Dr. Abiodun Williams, Associate Dean, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.

Nicole Lee, Esq., Executive Director, TransAfrica Forum



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