Last week, General Carter Hamm, the current commander of AFRICOM, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee to discuss the AFRICOM budget and generally reflect on the progress and programming of the command. With one of the most destabilizing and devastating conflicts Africa has recently experienced, conversation quickly turned to an in-depth, extended, and thoughtful analysis of the command’s DRC policy. From the transcript:
REP. JOHNSON: Thank you, sir. And would you also update us on the progress toward increasing the professionalism and accountability of the forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
GEN. HAM: Yes, sir. It’s an ongoing effort. We have trained one battalion and we think that one battalion will perform pretty well. But, we think there’s more that we can and should be doing to help Congo become a more professional military force, support the civil control and responding under international norms.
But initial indications are pretty good, I think, but still certainly some work to be done.
REP. JOHNSON: Thank you.
So, all in all, two thumbs, three full sentences, and a bit more work to be done for military programming in the Congo. Quick meeting to get to tasty lunch quicker: 1, budgetary discretion for the DRC: 0.