The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) published this posture statement; it is the written statement to Congress by General William E. Ward, AFRICOM Commander, before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, on March 17-18, 2009.
Ward's opening letter states, "This booklet contains the text of U.S. Africa Command’s written testimony to the U.S. Congress in March 2009. As the Department of Defense’s newest geographic unified command, we are responsible for the Department’s programs to our partners on the African continent and its island nations. The enclosed testimony describes our strategy, our programs, the partners we are working with, the situation our African partners face, and our needs for the future.
Our strategy stems from engagements with dozens of political and military leaders from across Africa over the last year. The common message from most of them is their desire to develop a security infrastructure at the national, regional and continental levels with legitimate and professional security forces and organizations. They seek means to dissuade, deter and defeat transnational threats with military elements that perform with integrity, and are increasingly able to support international peace efforts. This message is consistent with U.S. national security objectives for self-sustaining stability and security in Africa.
Achieving these goals requires a long-term approach, resulting in sustained security engagement on our part. With Africa as its sole priority, the U.S. Africa Command is able to engage at the national, regional, and theater levels, building strategic relationships that encourage development of the security structures they seek.
This posture statement describes our approach to sustained security engagement through our current and planned programs and activities. These help our partners build security capacity and increase their capability to conduct military operations with well-trained, disciplined forces; supported by institutions that ensure the service members are provided for, equipped, and ready."