NEWS | April 15, 2019

Podcast E6: The Importance of Exercises

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

Last month, the U.S. National Security Council released its Africa Strategy, which focuses on three core objectives, the Admiral said: “Advancing trade and commercial ties with key African states to increase American and African prosperity; protecting the United States from cross-border health and security threats; and supporting key African states' progress towards stability, citizen-responsive governance -- and I underscore "governance" -- and self-reliance.”

The Africa strategy, he said, reframes U.S. foreign assistance programs to succeed in the new era of power competition with China and Russia as emerging influences in an increasingly prosperous Africa.

“And so, I'm pretty proud of the fact that we are completely in line with the NSC African Strategy,” the Admiral said.  “And this is the reason why enhancing African maritime security is one of Naval Forces Europe and Africa's five major focus areas.”

An additional program that is gaining interest is NATO’s Strategic Direction South Hub, based in Naples, to assist our African partners who ask for help with governance, establishment of the rule of law and development.

“So the hub is set up to try to connect, consult and collaborate with international organizations, nongovernmental organizations -- NGOs -- state and non-state actors, and people on the African continent and in Europe who want to help to try to build a better development plan and create a safe haven and restore governance, jurisprudence, ethical law enforcement, legitimate law enforcement agencies and help eliminate corruption and trafficking,” Foggo said.

The Importance of African Exercises

The Admiral noted that the exercises are all designed to ensure a more stable Africa, a continent with 54 countries, 1.2 billion people, 800 ethnic groups, and 1,000 languages.

“Well, from a Navy perspective the endgame is really a secure, stable and prosperous Africa, where maritime nations have strong, professional both military and law enforcement institutions:  navies, coast guards, supreme courts, local police forces that respect human rights and adhere to the rule of law,” the Admiral said.

This investment continues to grow with importance, he said, as China and Russia increase their presence in the region.

“And so the bottom line is we're there to work with our friends through cooperative initiatives that benefit both parties, the United States of America and our African partners and allies,” the Admiral said. “We don't ask for anything in return but their friendship.”

“On the Horizon: Navigating the European and African Theaters” is available on: Spotify, Spreaker, Sound Cloud, iTunes, and Stitcher

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U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Listen to "Episode 6 On the Horizon" on Spreaker.