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Das US-Militärkommando AFRICOM und der neue Interventionismus zwischen Aufstandsbekämpfung, Stabilisierung und Entwicklung

Jan Bachmann

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US African command and the new interventionism between counterinsurgency, stabilization and development. The establishment of a military command for Africa (US AFRICOM) symbolizes the radical repositioning of the US military. Facilitated by the consensus in contemporary Western foreign policies – that there can be no development without security – over the last ten years the US military has expanded its activities into civilian domains including development and conflict prevention. As a reaction to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, recent US military doctrines on counterinsurgency and stability operations have singled out the need for more civilian and long-term activities as a precondition for success. AFRICOM has put most of these „military innovations“ into practice. Due to the command’s focus on development activities, on civil-military coordination and its proposed engagement in non-war situations, in military circles AFRICOM is seen as a role model for future military practices. This paper problematizes the military’s expanding mandate and discusses its implications. It argues that the military’s increasing engagement in issues of governance and development deeply blurs the normative boundary between the military and the civilian and exposes development as a technology of security. Furthermore, the military’s repositioning follows the dominant securitization of socalled „fragile states“ and classifies social spaces along Western strategic interests. As a consequence, targeted communities fi nd it hard to separate development efforts aimed at countering poverty and those aimed at countering insurgency.