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Roundtable: US Army Africa

We spoke yesterday with MG William B. Garrett III, commanding general of United States Army Africa.  The transcript from the call is here.

US Army Africa reports directly to the Department of the Army, and as the newest Army Service Command, is assigned to USAFRICOM.  It therefore shares AFRICOM's basic model, the "by, through and with" model that aims at developing partnerships and training allies. 

I asked him a question based on al Qaeda's recent message to Islamic insurgents in north Africa, which asked them to "disinfect" north Africa of the French and Spanish and suggested that a move to recapture Spain for Islam was next.  Here's an occasion where a threat based in CENTCOM is trying to influence insurgents in AFRICOM with an eye toward eventual operations in EUCOM.  Not only does that cross several US combatant command seams, but it also puts us in the position of working with partner nations that may not necessarily have close relations themselves:  for example, Afghanistan and Pakistan may not have very close working relations with north African nations. 

We're the pivot point for making sure that all these partners are seeing the threat, understand the nature of the operation it represents, and are able to respond in a coordinated way.  How does US Army Africa help create the conditions for these partner nations and allies to respond with a coordinated vision?

See what he says.  It's a good answer.