African Journal of Political Science and International Relations
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Article Number - B7E109666514


Vol.11(11), pp. 301-316 , November 2017
https://doi.org/10.5897/AJPSIR2017.1019
ISSN: 1996-0832


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Full Length Research Paper

The U.S informal empire: US African Command (AFRICOM) expanding the US economic-frontier by discursively securitizing Africa using exceptional speech acts



Khaled Al-Kassimi
  • Khaled Al-Kassimi
  • Department of Political Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 07 May 2017  Accepted: 11 September 2017  Published: 30 November 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


The mission statement of US African Command (AFRICOM), articulated by President George Bush in 2007, declared African underdevelopment and human insecurities as a threat to US national security. Since 10 years have elapsed from the time of AFRICOM’s inauguration, this paper seeks to highlight that the organization has fallen short in realizing its mission statement. This unnerving reality has given credence to intellectuals who adopt an apocalyptic position vis-à-vis the organization. Intellectual skeptics disconcerted with AFRICOM located in the Global South and Global North have come to the conclusion that AFRICOM’s actuality as an organization primarily advanced American economic interest and perceived issues of African development as trivial. In the 21st-century, US security experts discursively shifted Africa from being a politicized issue to a securitized issue thereby constructing the continent as posing an existential threat not only to American geostrategic interest, but also American identity of exceptionalism. By using the work of New Left historian William Appleman Williams and by referencing speech actors with political capital, this paper highlights that the process of securitizing Africa using exceptional speech acts to expand corporate capitalism is not unique to Africa since there are historical discursive parallels between early and current speech acts deliberated during junctures involving US foreign ventures.

Key words: US African Command (AFRICOM), African Union (AU), securitization, speech act, exceptionalism, expansionism, economic-frontier, security-development discourse, US informal empire, William Appleman Williams, apocalyptic-complementary positions.

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APA Al-Kassimi, K. (2017). The U.S informal empire: US African Command (AFRICOM) expanding the US economic-frontier by discursively securitizing Africa using exceptional speech acts. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 11(11), 301-316.
Chicago Khaled Al-Kassimi. "The U.S informal empire: US African Command (AFRICOM) expanding the US economic-frontier by discursively securitizing Africa using exceptional speech acts." African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 11, no. 11 (2017): 301-316.
MLA Khaled Al-Kassimi. "The U.S informal empire: US African Command (AFRICOM) expanding the US economic-frontier by discursively securitizing Africa using exceptional speech acts." African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 11.11 (2017): 301-316.
   
DOI https://doi.org/10.5897/AJPSIR2017.1019
URL http://academicjournals.org/journal/AJPSIR/article-abstract/B7E109666514

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