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Title: Evaluating the Effectiveness of U.S. AFRICOM Troop Training Operations Since 2001
Authors: Gersoff, Anya
Advisors: Shapiro, Jacob
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: The Obama administration’s “light-footprint” counterterrorism strategy is made up of three principal elements: the use of drone strikes, the use of U.S. Special Operations raids, and the training of host country militaries to combat the rise of extremism, with the hope of building lasting stability. The effectiveness of drone strikes and Special Operations raids has been the subject of popular debate. Analysis of the training of host country militaries, however, has been limited, especially in the African context. Accordingly, the purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) troop training missions since the beginning of the War on Terror. To best determine effectiveness, this thesis matches cases of conflict where AFRICOM has led a training operation with cases where the U.S. has not conducted any sort of stability operation. These case study pairs are based on the analysis of a number of preconflict characteristics, with the outcome being the five following pairings: Uganda (in support of AMISOM)- Central African Republic, Uganda (in counter LRA operations)- Sudan, Chad- South Sudan, Liberia-Somalia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each case study pairing is both quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed according to a framework developed in this thesis, based on Department of Defense and U.S. Army stability operation objectives; analysis of each pairing, except for Uganda [in support of AMISOM]- Central African Republic and Liberia-Somalia, constitutes a chapter of the thesis. This thesis concludes that U.S. operations in Uganda (in support of AMISOM), in Uganda [in counter LRA operations], in Liberia and in Chad have been effective, while the operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was ineffective. The thesis ends with a discussion of how these conclusions might influence the effectiveness of the proposed U.S. training operation in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram. If the United States and AFRICOM are to continue to use these training operations as a major component of its counterterrorism strategy, this review of the Nigerian case demonstrates that the analysis of AFRICOM troop training operations, like that presented in this thesis, is extremely relevant to U.S. policymaking.
Extent: 136 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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