Author: Donovan C. Chau, Army War College (U.S.).
Chau, Donovan C. and Army War College (U.S.), . 2007. Political warfare in sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. capabilities and Chinese operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.
Today, as in the past, the People's Republic of China (PRC) exerts influence on the African continent. Unlike the United States, which also attempts to sway African nations and people, the PRC uses an instrument of grand strategy called political warfare as its primary means of influence. What is political warfare, and how is it being employed in Africa today? How do U.S. capabilities compare to PRC operations and capabilities in Africa? This monograph answers these and other questions to inform the current national security debate among U.S. policy and decision makers. For while the struggle against international terrorism will continue indefinitely, the U.S. Government must not overlook other grand strategic challenges currently taking place around the world. The monograph explains political warfare in its historic context and offers a current definition. Simply, political warfare is a nonviolent instrument of grand strategy, involves coordinated activities, and results in tangible effects on intended targets. In operational terms, political warfare includes economic aid and development assistance, as well as training, equipping, and arming military and security forces. Exchange visits and public pronouncements are secondary political warfare operations, supporting and facilitating primary operations. Political warfare offers distinct advantages over other instruments of grand strategy, making it a desirable means of exerting influence. Vis-a-vis other instruments -- particularly military power -- political warfare is economical. Moreover, political warfare may potentially garner its wielder prestige and a positive reputation around the world. Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa are considered regional anchor states according to U.S. national security policy. Since 2000, the PRC has expanded political warfare operations in these four countries. This monograph presents case studies of PRC political warfare operations in these nations.