For Fiscal Year 2009 (which begins on 1 October 2008), the Bush administration is asking Congress to approve the delivery of some $500 million worth of military equipment and training to Africa (including both sub-Saharan Africa and north Africa) in the budget request for the State Department for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009.
The administration is also asking for up to $400 million for deliveries of equipment and training for Africa funded through the Defense Department budget and another $400 million to establish the headquarters for the Pentagon's new Africa Command (Africom).
The State Department budget request includes funding for major new arms deliveries and increased military training to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Uganda. It will be channeled through a variety of programs, including a number of new programs initiated by the Bush administration as part of the "Global War on Terrorism." These include the Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Partnership, the East African Regional Security Initiative, and the Anti-Terrorism Assistance program. The U.S. government is also expected to license up to $100 million worth of private commercial sales of military and police equipment through the State Department's Direct Commercial Sales program in FY 2009.
The following description is based on information contained in the State Department Budget Justification for Foreign Operations for FY 2009 (released by the State Department in March 2008) and the Defense Department Summary Justification for the Budget Request for FY 2009 (released in February 2008).
STATE DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement
The budget includes funding for the continued expansion of the U.S. civilian police contribution to UNMIL in Liberia, which rose from $1 million in FY 2007 to an estimated $4.096 million in FY 2008, and the administration is requesting $4.130 for FY 2009. The budget also includes funding for the continued expansion of law enforcement programs conducted by the U.S. as part of the implementation of the Sudan peace accords; these rose from $9.8 million in FY 2007 to an estimated $13.578 million in FY 2008, and the administration is requesting $24 million requested for FY 2009. And the budget contains funds to continue new program for law enforcement assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo; these were initiated with an initial appropriation of an estimated $1.488 million in FY 2008 and the administration is requesting $1.7 million for FY 2009.
Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs
The budget includes funding for the continued expansion of U.S. Anti-terrorism Assistance (ATA) programs in Africa, particularly by expanding the Trans Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program in sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa and increasing funding for the East Africa Regional Strategy Initiative (EARSI) in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. For all programs throughout the world, ATA received $185.1 million in FY 2007 and an estimated $153.8 million in FY 2008; the administration is requesting $160 million FY 2009. It is difficult to know what proportion of this funding will be used in Africa, but it is reasonable to assume that approximately $40-50 million will be spent on African programs.
Foreign Military Financing
One of the most significant FMF programs in Africa is providing funding for increased arms sales to the Democratic Republic of the Congo; funding rose from nothing in FY 2007 to $397,000 in FY 2008, and the administration is requesting $600,000 in FY 2009. The budget contains money for major increases in FMF funding for Ethiopia; after receiving $1.9 million in FY 2007, funding for Ethiopia was reduced to $843,000 in FY 2008, but the administration is requesting $4 million in FY 2009. It continues funding for Djibouti—which fell from $3.8 million in FY 2007 to $2 million in FY 2008, but which the administration wants to increase back to $2.8 million in FY 2009. It also includes funding to continue programs in Liberia—which received $1.5 million in FY 2007, then just $298,000 in FY 2008, but which will receive $1.5 million in FY 2009 under the new budget. And it contains funding for the continued expansion of arms sales to Nigeria, with FMF funding rising from $1 million in FY 2007, to $1.3 million in FY 2008, to a requested $1.35 million in FY 2009.
International Military Education and Training
One noteworthy new program is the one for Libya; initiated in FY 2008 with $333,000, Libya will receive $350,000 worth of training in FY 2009 under the new budget. The budget also contains funding for significant increases in training programs for military officers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which received $263,000 in FY 2007, another $477,000 in FY 2008, and is expected to receive $500,000 in FY 2009); Ethiopia (472,000 in FY 2007, $620,000 in FY 2008 and $700,000 in the request for FY 2009); Guinea Bissau ($454,000 in FY 2007, $524,000 in FY 2008, and $750,000 in the request for FY 2009); South Africa (just $48,000 in FY 2007, but $857,000 in FY 2008, and $850,000 in the request for FY 2009); and Uganda ($283,000 in FY 2007, $477,000 in FY 2008, and $500,000 in the request for FY 2009). And it includes money to continue major programs for Botswana ($600,000 in the request for FY 2009), Ghana ($600,000 in the request for FY 2009), Nigeria ($800,000 in the request for FY 2009), and Senegal ($1 million in the request for FY 2009).
The budget includes money to continue increases in funding in FY 2009 for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), which includes the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program (ACOTA). In addition to ACOTA, most of the rest of the GPOI funding will also go to Africa-related programs, amounting to an estimated total of $80 million worth of security assistance. GPOI rose from $81 million in FY 2007 to $96.4 million in FY 2008, and the administration is requesting $106.2 million in FY 2009. The budget also maintains recent levels of funding for the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP), which got $13.75 million in FY 2007 and $9.9 million in FY 2008; for FY 2009, the administration is requesting $15 million. The administration is also requesting $7.5 million for the first time in FY 2009 to launch the East Africa Regional Security Initiative—modeled on the TSCTP—to provide counter-terrorism training and equipment to military forces in the East Africa region (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi).
The budget contains funding to continue the administration's new program to provide training, equipment, and infrastructure improvements to the Democratic Republic of the Congo; presumably much of this will be supplied to the forces deployed in the eastern part of the country. Funding for this program began with $5.5 million in FY 2008 and the administration is requesting another $5.5 million for the Democratic Republic of the Congo in FY 2009. It also includes money to continue providing training, equipment, and infrastructure improvements to the Liberian military, which received $53.25 million in FY 2007 and $51.7 million in FY 2008; the administration is requesting $49.6 million in FY 2009. And it contains funding to continue providing training, equipment, and infrastructure facilities to the Sudanese military to help integrate former combatants from the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Programs in Sudan received $54 million in FY 2006—including $20 transferred from the Department of Defense and $70.8 million in FY 2008; the administration is requesting $30 million for these programs in FY 2009.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS
Building Partnership Capacity
The budget contains $800 to substantially expand funding for the Global Equip and Train program ($500 million for this program which was established by FY 2006 National Defense Authorization Act Section 1206), the Security and Stabilization Assistance program ($200 million for this program which was established by FY 2006 National Defense Authorization Act Section 1207), and the Combatant Commanders' Initiative Fund ($100 million for this program established by FY 2007 National Defense Authorization Act Section 902). Of this, an estimated $300-$400 million will go to provide training and equipment to military, paramilitary, and police forces in Africa.
Establishment of new Africa Command (Africom)
The budget contains $398 million to set up the headquarters for the new Africa Command (Africom) in Stuttgart, Germany. This money will be used to pay for the operating costs of Africom over the coming year. This will include the cost of creating an Africom intelligence capability, including a Joint Intelligence Operations Center; launching a stand-alone Theater Special Operations Command for Africom; deploying support aircraft to Africa; building a limited presence on the African continent that is expected to include the establishment of two of five regional offices projected by Africom; and conducting training, exercises, and theater security cooperation activities.
Daniel Volman is the Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, DC, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. He is a specialist on U.S. military activities in Africa and the author of numerous articles and research reports.