US Uses Holistic Approach In Africa Relations, General Says
By DoD News
By David Vergun
The U.S. is using a whole-of-government approach in its relationship with nations in Africa, said the commander of U.S. Africa Command.
Marine Corps Gen. Michael E. Langley spoke Thursday to the press from Rome, Italy, on a State Department-hosted website.
That approach, which he called “the 3D,” is diplomacy, led by the State Department; development, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development; and the Defense Department, which hosts multinational exercises and helps nations strengthen their militaries in the face of terrorist threats.
Langley addressed Wagner Group activities in Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic. Wagner is a Russian paramilitary organization, which is also fighting in Ukraine.
“[The Wagner Group has] destabilizing effects in every country that they have set foot on,” he said.
Wagner uses brutal tactics, engages in human rights abuses, and gains wealth through predatory practices, he said.
Langley said the U.S. response to Wagner’s infiltration is to bolster African nations through the whole-of-government approach.
“I think collectively with all those operations and investments and activities, we can achieve long-term goals for these countries,” he said.
Langley said some of the recent military efforts around the continent include:
- Military leaders from 43 African nations and 15 U.S. National Guard units met in Rome this week to collaborate and learn from each other.
- The U.S. is supplying the Somalia military with AK-47 variants and ammunition as it battles al-Shabaab insurgents.
- Exercise Flintlock has 29 nations participating in crisis response and counterterrorism.
- Exercise Obangame Express 23 is aiding maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and building military capacity in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. U.S. forces participating are the Army, Navy and Coast Guard.
- Exercise African Lion is addressing transregional threats and interoperability.
- Kenya is hosting Cutlass Express, a maritime exercise.