Africa: U.S. Africa Command Plans to Move Headquarters, but Not to Africa

Africa: U.S. Africa Command Plans to Move Headquarters, but Not to Africa

New York — US President Donald Trump has ordered the US military’s Africa Command (Africom) to move its headquarters out of Germany, the force’s commander said on Thursday.

New basing options will include locations elsewhere in Europe as well as in the United States, Africom stated.

Africa itself, however, is not being considered as a site for hosting the command, Africom noted.

Some 1500 US military and civilian personnel have been situated at the force’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, since its inception in 2008.

AFRICA UNWILLING

The decision to base the Africa Command in Europe reflected a widespread unwillingness among African nations to serve as its host.

Liberia, founded by freed US slaves in 1847, was the only sub-Saharan state that publicly offered to house Africom.

The factors that militate against an African location for the US Africa Command appear to remain as strong today as 12 years ago.

Many African leaders privately expressed concern that their countries could become the targets of armed groups aiming to attack US interests and installations.

James Inhofe, the Republican head of the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee, suggested in 2018 that Africa’s reluctance to host a US military force was “about perceived colonialism.”

MILITARISATION

Critics also warned that locating Africom on the continent would show that Washington was militarising its relations with Africa.