From Chaos to Cohesion: A Regional Approach to Security, Stability, and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Prevention is the key to effective policies in Africa, whether the issue is equitable resource exploitation, ethnic conflict, infectious diseases, or famine. African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have moved beyond their initial purpose of a loose confederation of trading partners to become increasingly effective supranational bodies promoting financial, political, and security stabilization in each of their regions. Looking at each of the RECs, their power centers, and areas of weakness, policymakers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the sometimes symbiotic and often destructive dynamics within and among African states to seek more effective strategic and regional, not national, approaches. This monograph suggests USAFRICOM is uniquely positioned to help design a path to spearhead a pan-African strategy highly likely to have the net long-term effect of attaining considerable competitive advantage for the U.S. economically, militarily, and politically, with a corresponding increase in stability, security, and economic opportunity for the entire continent.