Africa Insight

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US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Nigeria's National Security

FC Onuoha


The US decision to establish a unified combatant command (AFRICOM) in African
has raised numerous questions, particularly in Africa, regarding its possible security
implications for the continent. The article narrows itself to the concern for unraveling
the national security implications of Nigeria's opposition to the location of
AFRICOM. It also highlights the tripartite security concerns that informed US decision
to establish a combatant command in Africa. The article argues that Nigeria's
opposition to AFRICOM would likely lead to fracturing of US-Nigeria's relations as well
as increased, though subtle, intervention of the US in Nigeria's internal affairs. For a
win-win approach to the varying legitimate security concerns of Nigeria and the US visà-
vis AFRICOM, the article advocates that Nigeria's approach should be underpinned
by the philosophy of enlightened moderation and constructive engagement.

Africa Insight Vol. 38 (1) 2008: pp. 173-184
AJOL African Journals Online