Thursday, April 25, 2019

AFRICOM Needs a Mobile Reserve

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is very active across a wide swathe of Africa, although in small numbers:

I continue to think that modularized auxiliary cruisers could provide a mobile reserve for the small footprints of US forces across the continent (and to extend operations south of our footprint in emergencies) as I outlined in "The AFRICOM Queen" in Military Review.

Right now our ground reaction forces are limited to Spain, Italy, and Djibouti, leaving large parts of an already huge continent out of easy reach.

Even though the auxiliary cruiser used as a power projection platform could only directly reach the littorals of Africa, the footprint on land would allow assets from the sea to leap frog inland across those lily pads.

And really, only if you haven't paid attention this is a surprise to you. But it is well known that AFRICOM is an economy-of-force theater trying to prevent jihadi threats from rising to the level that it will require diversion of resources from higher priority theaters in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

As I've noted before, I think the unofficial motto of AFRICOM is "Thank God for SOUTHCOM!" The command won't get a lot of military resources, but perhaps money to make an auxiliary cruiser or two could be shaken loose from the Pentagon.