SFC Broderick Blanchard
SLC Class 13-002
In recent years, Africa’s growing strategic importance has been greatly noted and documented in several studies and papers by United States policymakers, Department of Defense (DOD) and military analysts. Africa’s natural and energy resources are the main focus due to the crude oil export has matched what the Middle East provided in the past. As envisioned by the DOD, AFRICOM aims to promote United States strategic objectives and protect United States interests in the region by working with African states and regional organizations to help strengthen their defense capabilities so that they are better able to contribute to regional stability and security [Lauren Ploch, 2011]. There are several issues that affect the United States and AFRICOM success, to include armed conflicts, violent extremist activities, piracy and several humanitarian crises across the region. In this paper, we will discuss and focus on the Somalia region and the primary issue that could arise. The Importance of Somalia
Somalia has unexploited natural resources, including uranium, iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt and natural gas. Due to its proximity to the oil-rich Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the nation is also believed to contain extensive untapped reserves of oil. Somalia is ranked second only to Sudan as the top prospective producer of untapped petroleum. American, Australian and Chinese oil companies, in particular, are excited about the prospect of finding petroleum and other natural resources in the country. As a result of these developments, the Somali Petroleum Company was created by the federal government ["Exploration rights in Somalia for Chinese oil giant CNOOC". Feb 2009]. Uranium is also found in large quantities in the region. In the nonexistence of a central government, Somalia's residents reverted to local forms of conflict...