a view has not led automatically to creation and maintenance of tools for conflict prevention and peace operations. Africa and its challenges should be put more squarely in that framework, and the long-term interests of the G8 in Africa portrayed as directly related to prosperity and security, as well as more traditional humanitarian interests.
Demonstrate Tangible US Support for African Capacity and Continued G8 Engagement. With the USA hosting the Sea Island summit, the Bush Administration could face a spotlight on its own efforts. The US has a chance to announce its new “Global Peace Operations Initiative.” This draft initiative would greatly expand US foreign military train and equip efforts, including constabulary training, for peace and stability operations. In concert with other G8 countries, this US investment could increase the ability of African nations to support more capable, available peacekeepers.32 In lieu of supporting standing brigades, the Initiative focuses on training (with G8 partners) 75,000 troops over five years for peace enforcement and constabulary roles; the goal would be 10 African battalions. Equipment, transport and logistical support are central as well to address the shortage in capable personnel for such operations and could involve $661 million over five years, with training of more than 30,000 troops in Africa. This Initiative would dramatically increase the small US resources now dedicated to training African militaries and assisting sub-regional institutions’ efforts toward peace operations.33 The question is whether the US moves forward and launches the program before the end of 2004; Sea Island would be a fitting site to announce US intentions.
Establish a Timeline and Benchmarks for Meeting the G8 goals of the Africa Action Plan and Evian Annex. While the G8 has identified key goals and themes as a focus, there is no roadmap, timeline, or specific achievable benchmarks outside the goals for an African Standby Force capacity. The G8 members should embrace their own goals by creating a framework and clearer timetable for Sections 1.1, 1.2 and 1.6 of the Africa Action Plan. In particular: Where are the gaps in African and international capacity? How best can they be filled? What role can the G8 play in filling them? How will results be measured?
Recognize the Capacity Gap – and the Coming Crunch. An immediate challenge for dealing with conflicts in Africa is the capacity gap for peacekeeping: how to organize, support and manage current and on-the-horizon operations with sufficient, skilled peacekeepers to deploy effectively in Africa? That challenge will be exacerbated this year and beyond as peace operations experience a growth spurt. UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guehenno recently called the creation and expansion of UN missions “almost unprecedented” in number and scope, with a focus on Africa. Current African UN peace operations continue in Ethiopia/Eritrea, Sierra Leone, the DR Congo, Western Sahara and Liberia. The UN is taking on an expanded mission in Côte d’Ivoire; a new UN peace operation was picked up from the AU in Burundi; and the UN and its member states will face addition competition for its resources with added missions expected in Haiti and Sudan this coming year. By recognizing this pace, the G8 could help establish more specific benchmarks for its own work in developing capabilities for rapid and effective deployments for peace operations (e.g., meeting the UN goals of deploying within 30 days to 90 days of Security Council action). While difficult, it would be a measurable benchmark against which to judge capacity-building and ordering priorities with the Plan.
32 Many questions remain about this initiative and its operational aspects, including what doctrine would be used, what equipment is provided, how countries are chosen, how standards are set, and what gaps are being closed, etc.
33 The primary funding source for direct US bilateral support to African military training is through the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program which is funded at $15 million in fiscal year 2004 (FY04), with $15 million requested from Congress for fiscal year 2005 (FY05). Additional support to ECOWAS is provided through the Africa Regional program (State Department budget); funding for this area was $9 million in FY04 and is request at $45 million in FY05. The Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capabilities (EIPC) program supports training to militaries including Africa, but less than $2 million as requested for its FY05 budget.