FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ACOTA Corporate Council on Africa Meeting

I went to the monthly (ish) security working group breakfast hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) this morning.   The general topic was ACOTA (Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance).  Here are a couple of links if you aren't familiar.






The guest speaker was Michael Bittrick, Deputy Director, Office of Regional and Security Affairs, Africa Bureau at the State Department.  He didn't really discuss ACOTA much, instead he spent most of the time speaking to State Department priorities in Africa and general goals which proved to be an interesting topic.

Here's my beef.  ACOTA is a relative success story for the State Department but it has gotten lackluster no media coverage.  Go ahead, open up another tab on your computer and bring up 'google news' and put in "ACOTA" or the full spelling of the acronym.  You won't find a single news article on it (You will find a ton of spanish articles having NOTHING to do with it).  I think it would behoove State (or AFRICOM) to get an embedded reporter out there for a month or two. 

 There is no success in Africa if no one writes about it. 

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