Environmental Challenges faced by the US Military in Africa

Authors: Quentin Stubbs*, University of Maryland - College Park
Topics: Military Geography, Africa, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Military Geography, Africa, Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Infrastructure
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8216, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The US Military presence in the continent of Africa has been increasing for multiple reasons. Security, foreign aid, sustainable development, natural resource management, and civil wars are just a few of the environmental and economic factors that continue to influence the deployment and missions in nations all over the continent like The US African Command (AFRICOM). The success and sustainability of US military intervention will be challenged by land cover change resulting from land use and climate change. This case study will provide a snapshot of spatial distribution of military personnel and the primary and secondary environmental stressors on a regional level. In order to secure, revitalize, and manage infrastructure in Africa, the US military must have a clear understanding of the relationship between the existing infrastructure and environmental stressors that serve as the cause and/or effect of conflict. First, the study will summarize the current and potential placement of US military personnel throughout Africa. Second, this study will first identify hot spots of natural hazards like plate tectonic activity, sea level rise, flooding, drought, and resource extraction. Finally, we will recommend strategies that the US military can implement to address climate change and natural hazards that will make the military infrastructure productive and influential in securing resources, infrastructure, and stability across the continent.

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