Air and Space Power Journal-Africa and Francophonie, Maxwell AFB, AL
/ Published December 31, 2014
Rémy M. Mauduit
With this issue, we celebrate ASPJ–A&F’s ninth anniversary. We also wish you all the best for the New Year.
Nikolas Emmanuel, PhD
The research addresses the significant challenges confronting African states at the forefront of conflict management on the continent. It begins with a simple observation: since the end of the Cold War, African states have been increasingly asked to provide peacekeeping forces to assist their neighbors embroiled in civil war and state crises. A variety of sub-regional, regional and international bodies have facilitated the deployment of troops from these relatively stronger states. Supporting this trend, the international community finds it convenient to argue for African peacekeeping efforts in Africa. But what kinds of solutions are really being provided? In addressing these points, this paper looks at the current active multilateral peacekeeping operations in Africa. The overall objective is to arrive at a better understanding of the critical African actors that are increasingly being pushed to the forefront to undertake peacekeeping on the continent.
Lt Col Aaron D. Burgstein, USAF
Following World War One, the French built a masterful line of forts to defend themselves from potential attacks by Germany. These defenses, unmovable and unable to take the offensive, were quickly flanked and overwhelmed by the combined arms of the German military. Similarly, communication can either make a static response to events or take the offensive, getting in front of the story and thereby conveying one's messages to key publics ahead of any adversary. True success in a modern operation demands that leaders and their communicators take a proactive, offensive approach, using all aspects of their communication tools. More importantly, these efforts must be organized in advance and duly incorporated into the operation's plans. Failure to do so can result in severe degradation to the mission and cause undue stress to those involved. Planning for communication in an organized, targeted manner furthers an operation's intent and its chances of success. The United States--specifically, its military--must have a well-thought-out, organized plan to communicate in all operations.
Aaron G. Sander
Tasawar Baig, PhD
World politics is in transition. In recent times, patterns of international diffusion have been accelerated both at the regional and international levels. However, the historic geo-political fissures that remain have become barriers to diffusion. This paper is meant to highlight locales of historic instability. As people, through states and empires, have sought greater influence in their surrounding territories, inevitably they have encountered indigenous obstacles. On occasions this has been overcome by sheer force, and others may resemble envelopment more through mutual trade and temperance. Research hopes to show that fissures long entrenched along lines of division, with examples stretching from Europe to South Asia, have their origins in pressures of (external) control; and that rather than they being insurmountable, they may be mended through locally sustained in(ter)dependence. The structure of the paper will focus on two/three case studies (the Jirecek Line through Central Eastern Europe, and the Durand Line on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border), which will present their formation via the friction of empires and propose methods for these regions to overcome their fissures through local [(in)(ter)]dependencies.
The following overview outlines the primary long-term factors of the CAR crisis of 2013. These factors can also serve as indicators for the way ahead as it relates to security and humanitarian operations. Although the situation on the ground in CAR today is the direct result of near-term chaotic events, many long-term issues underlie the latter. The overt and visible causes of the conflict are known: bad governance, poverty, social fracture, endemic corruption, and the overall absence of experienced political leadership. This situation is merely the tip of the iceberg, though. Under the surface lie three long-standing, complex, and intertwined cultural factors that contribute to the instability in CAR.
Maj David Blair, USAF
There is nothing new under the sun; it is exceedingly unlikely that we will invent a new error. Therefore, let us ask the Ghosts of Empire Past to show us the errors of their ways so that we don’t make them ourselves: Darius from Gaugamela, epitome of centralized control and centralized execution; the admirals of the Spanish Armada and their one-mistake Spanish Navy; and the Caesar's commanders, choosing quantity over quality and hardware over humans. The following is a distillation of lessons learned from the distant past, offered in the hope that we will not add our name to the roll call of eclipsed empires, at least in my lifetime or that of my children.
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