Our recently formed U.S. Africa Command is beginning to make the news. From "advice and assist" missions in Libya and Somalia - - to the 100 advisors that President Obama recently sent to help the Ugandan government, against insurgents for the "Lord's Resistance Army". The research center GlobalSecurity.org thinks that most of the 100 advisors heading toward central Africa are from the 3rd Special Forces Group (airborne) tasked to the U.S. Africa Command.
The mission statement of AFRICOM is as follows:
"Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development."
As Fred Kaplan wrote in his October 20, 2011 Slate column (The new interventionism: How Obama is changing the way the United States wages war) regarding our role in Africa:
"In the past few years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Special Forces groups have become quite proficient at tracking bad guys, then killing or capturing them. It's a lot easier to do that than to help build a new society. In this case, the society-building won't have to be part of the mission. If it did, my guess is Obama wouldn't be going there."