Peacekeeping: Coastal Concerns

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July 31, 2014: Since September 11, 2001 the United States has increased its efforts to assist African nations to improve their coastal security. This has involved donating new and used coastal patrol craft as well as instructors to train the crews to use the craft and instruction on effective coastal patrol and policing techniques. Other NATO nations have contributed boats and training as well. The U.S. also donates single engine aircraft for patrol duties, along with training. Both the boats and aircraft come equipped with search and navigation equipment and training is also provided for this.

Nearly as essential the U.S. provides follow up that includes assistance with training new personnel and in maintaining the boats and aircraft. Less publicized are American efforts to monitor the impact corrupt practices in the local government may have had. It’s not unusual for military commanders to quietly sell off military equipment cheap, in return for a large bribe. Sometimes equipment on the boats and aircraft disappears into the black market with corrupt commanders covering it up and quietly pocketing the cash obtained with these deals. Such misbehavior is quietly handled, usually via threats to cut much more foreign aid if some action is not taken. Often that does not work, but corrupt officials are nervous about being watched and it does reduce the bad behavior somewhat.

 

 


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