The Defense Department’s new Africa Command — to be headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany — will initially be staffed by 540 military personnel but only by 12 representatives from civilian government agencies.
Such minimal “interagency” participation is a major disappointment to AFRICOM planners at the Pentagon, who had hoped to emphasize non-military diplomatic efforts in the new command. Theresa Whelan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, told Congress that AFRICOM “will include a significant number of representatives from other U.S. agencies, including officers from the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.”
But that may be wishful thinking. Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, head of the U.S. European Command, said earlier this year that he would like to see 25 percent interagency participation in AFRICOM, but predicted it would be a tough sell. “The fact of the matter is it will be difficult to get subscription and participation by the interagency.”