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Title The Africa command: how the Department of Defense has continued America’s ad-hoc foreign policies in Africa through neo-orientalism
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Publication Date
Discipline/Department International Studies
Degree Level thesis
University/Publisher Depaul University
Abstract The Africa Command (AFRICOM) was established in October 2008 on the premise of a partnership between the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and African militaries in which shared goals were to be pursued and each side was to learn from the other. However, no African counterparts were consulted during the processes leading up to the establishment of the Command. Notwithstanding the oft-repeated rhetoric of “partnerships” by the Bush Administration, in reality, AFRICOM was created to more effectively implement U.S. foreign policy in Africa, most notably containing terrorism after 9/11. This thesis examines the relationship between the U.S. and Africa and uses Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism as the basis for exploring their relationship in AFRICOM. I argue that DOD has, perhaps unwittingly, used what I call “Neo-Orientalism” to legitimize its actions in Africa through the institution of AFRICOM. This work also examines the unspoken American hegemonic motives for the establishment of AFRICOM and its predicted effects. Ultimately, AFRICOM will not be successful in combatting terrorism on the continent unless it addresses the underlying issues of reforming African governments and building/rebuilding institutions to better serve the interests of the people of this vast continent.
Subjects/Keywords AFRICOM; orientalism; Africa; Department of Defense; U.S. foreign policy
Country of Publication us
Record ID oai:via.library.depaul.edu:etd-1206
Repository depaul
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2020-01-02
Created Date 2015-11-01 07:00:00

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…influence on the continent and improving of the perception of the U.S military through “soft power”1. This research will explore the evidence for the claims made above in contrast with proponents of AFRICOM. It will address the larger questions of…

…where Africa fits in U.S foreign policy and in international relations. The focus will be placed on AFRICOM and the relationship it has in actuality versus the relationship it is projected to have with Africa. Despite declarations of a balanced and…

…Western (or in this case simply American) “Self”. The relationship between AFRICOM and Africa is unique in this history of “Us” versus “Them” insofar as AFRICOM goes to painstaking lengths to demonstrate that it is on the same level as Africa…

…while its actions and indeed the entire premise on which AFRICOM was founded relies on the same binary division that Said exposed in his work Orientalism. The West continues to be in a position of dominance over the rest of the world. No amount of well…

…as justification for the establishment of AFRICOM. A host of consequences accompany the act of dividing the world into two, opposing categories; as one seizes the position of dominance, the other is doomed to be subordinate. This research does not aim…

…to ask why these power dynamics have been and are continually constructed and reconstructed throughout history; rather it is the question of how they have been, and are continually, constructed (and reconstructed in the case of AFRICOM) that…

…is of greater concern. I hypothesize that DOD has taken advantage of the binary division of “Us” and “Them” to legitimize their actions in Africa through AFRICOM despite resistance and opposition from African leaders and elites. The more American…

…true intentions behind AFRICOM are not and most likely will never be made public, AFRICOM’s operations, exercises and missions can be studied. By comparing and contrasting publicized 7 statements and reports from AFRICOM’s Public Affairs Office with…

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