US National security adviser John Bolton unveiled President Donald Trump’s Africa strategy on Thursday, outlining a plan that he said focuses heavily on countering China and Russia’s expanding influence across the region, while also making sure US taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly with a reduction in US involvement in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
Bolton emphasized that America’s vision for the region is “one of independence, self-reliance, and growth — not dependency, domination, and debt.”
However, the plan is also likely to result in additional cuts to aid and peacekeeping programs.
“This strategy is the result of an intensive inter-agency process, and reflects the core tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy doctrine. Importantly, the strategy remains true to his central campaign promise to put the interests of the American people first, both at home and abroad,” Bolton told the audience at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.
“Under our new approach, every decision we make, every policy we pursue, and every dollar of aid we spend will further US priorities in the region,” he said.
Specifically, the Trump administration’s approach appears to lean heavily on the promise that the US will be able to advance trade and commercial ties with nations across the region by exposing the “predatory practices pursued by Russia and China.”
“Great power competitors, namely China and Russia, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa. They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States,” Bolton said.
By focusing economic efforts “on African governments that act with us as strategic partners, and, which are striving toward improved governance and transparent business practices,” Bolton said the US will help prepare those nations address security threats, including terrorism and militant violence.”
“Our goal is for the nations of the region to take ownership over peace and security in their own neighborhood,” he added.