1st Edition

Expanding US Military Command in Africa Elites, Networks and Grand Strategy

Edited By Tshepo Gwatiwa, Justin van der Merwe Copyright 2021
    188 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book discusses the systematic expansion of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) across the continent of Africa.

    This book posits that AFRICOM expansion in Africa is part of a broader system of accumulation based on a government-business-media (GBM) complex. Applying the concept at both structural and descriptive levels, the GBM complex is a function of the synergy between the state’s quest for power, businesses’ need for expansion, and the informational and hegemonic functions of media actors. The United States’ GBM complex in Africa is supported—and in some locations spearheaded—by its military, with dispossessing effects on local actors. Drawing from African case studies, analytical accounts and empirical case studies, this book explores AFRICOM’s role within this broader strategy. The volume maps both the methods and the scope of this expansion, as well as local resistance to this process, and comprises perspectives from the five regions of Africa, key sub-regional organizations and voices from Africa’s regional hegemons.

    This book will be of much interest to students of security studies, strategic studies, African politics and International Relations.

    1. Introducing AFRICOM Expansion in Africa

    Tshepo Gwatiwa and Justin van der Merwe

    2. Expanding US Africa Command: Reintegrating Africa within the US’s System of Accumulation

    Justin van der Merwe

    3. The Significance of Multilateral Diplomacy in the Formation of US Africa Command: Reflections on US Africa Policy and Engagement from Bush through Obama, 2000-2016

    Michael A. Battle

    4. The Genesis and Origins of AFRICOM

    William M. Wyatt

    5. AFRICOM’S Military Base in Djibouti: a History of Its Advancement

    Degang Sun and Yahia H. Zoubir

    6. Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in the Expansion of AFRICOM: Africa in America’s "Panopticon"

    Tshepo Gwatiwa

    7. Security, Circulation and Biopolitics: US Africa Command’s Response to Ebola

    Catriona Gold

    8. The Economic and Business Side of US AFRICOM in Africa: Governments, Land Lease, Aid, Corporations and Military Expansion in Djibouti

    Ditabeng Mokoena and Tshepo Gwatiwa

    9. The US Africa Command and [Under]Development in Africa: an Appraisal of the USA’s Securitization of Development in Africa

    Khayalandile Lwando Mthamo

    10. Agenda-Setting or Reinforcement? The African Media’s Reporting and its Impact on AFRICOM’s Soft Power

    Oluwaseun Tella

    11. Conclusion – Imprinting Infrastructural and Affective Labour in Africa

    Justin van der Merwe


    Tshepo Gwatiwa is a Research Associate at the African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS) at University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and a lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the same institution.

    Justin van der Merwe is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Military Studies (CEMIS) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.