AFRICOM: hard or soft power initiative?

AFRICOM: hard or soft power initiative?

Author: 
Tella, Oluwaseun
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis
Date published: 
2016
Record type: 
Region: 
Journal Title: 
African Security Review
Source: 
African Security Review, Vol. 25, Issue 4, November 2016, pp. 393-406
Abstract: 

The United States (US) Africa Command (AFRICOM) was launched in 2007, ostensibly to foster African security. Rather than focusing on traditional military operations, AFRICOM also embraces non-military activities such as humanitarian aid and African development. This begs the question as to what type of power (hard or soft) the US intends to wield through AFRICOM. Several US official statements have emphasised the soft power attributes of this military project. To this end, this article seeks to respond to two fundamental questions. First, is AFRICOM a soft power project? Second, how, if at all, has AFRICOM enhanced perceptions of the US in Africa? The article concludes that sceptical and negative perceptions of AFRICOM inhibit its soft-power objective of winning the hearts and minds of the African people.

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CITATION: Tella, Oluwaseun. AFRICOM: hard or soft power initiative? . : Taylor & Francis , 2016. African Security Review, Vol. 25, Issue 4, November 2016, pp. 393-406 - Available at: http://library.au.int/africom-hard-or-soft-power-initiative