In this War Room podcast, Ambassador Alexander M. Laskaris, current civilian deputy to the commander, reflects on the uniqueness of the command and growing importance of interagency cooperation, a hallmark of AFRICOM’s first decade. Along with reflections on strategic leadership, Ambassador Laskaris discusses the challenges of AFRICOM’s identity between being a ‘hard power’ warfighting command and a ‘soft power’ organization focused on preventing war and building security capacity. War Room associate editor Ryan McCannell hosts.
AFRICOM was never conceived to be a warfighting command. It was conceived to be a soft-power hybrid command. Then history intervened and the Libya situation came about. Every day I see this dramatic tension played out – ‘Are we soft-power based or a warfighting command? And the answer is ‘yes’!
Alexander M. Laskaris is Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Relations at U.S. Africa Command. Ryan McCannell is the U.S. Agency for International Development’s senior advisor to the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, U.S. Africa Command, Department of Defense, or Department of State.
Photo: Djibouti Armed Forces Lt. Idriss Abdallah Daoud prepares to hand launch a RQ-11 Raven remotely piloted aircraft during a demonstration in an airfield in southern Djibouti, August 21, 2017. U.S. Army Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Warrior, as associated unit of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, gave the demonstrtation in an effort to help the Djoboutian Armed Forces determine if the Raven might be beneficial in helping to maintain stability and security in and around Djibouti.
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eboni Prince.
Posts in the “Anniversaries” series:
- FORMING U.S. AFRICA COMMAND: A STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION SUCCESS — AFRICOM AT 10 YEARS (PART 1)
- AT THE NEXUS OF DIPLOMACY, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEFENSE — AFRICOM AT 10 YEARS (PART 3)
- THE TET OFFENSIVE: 50 YEARS LATER
- ERIN GO BRUSSELS: TREATY OF BRUSSELS AT 70
- WHY DO WE CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARIES?
- MY LAI: A STAIN ON THE U.S. ARMY
- EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981 AT 70: DESEGREGATING THE ARMED FORCES
- GRAHAM CLEARS THE DOORWAY
- EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981 AT 70: WHAT INTEGRATION MEANS FOR TODAY’S MILITARY
- REMEMBERING WORLD WAR I: A WHITEBOARD