Redesigning the Senior Leader Engagement Program of the United States Africa Command

  • Matthew Dabkowski
  • Hailey Conger
  • Collin Cooley
  • Sarah Juhn
  • Devon Richter
  • Anne Schreiner
  • Bernard Tortorice
Keywords: Senior Leader Engagement, AFRICOM, Systems Decision Process, Sparse K-means Clustering

Abstract

AFRICOM conducts hundreds of senior leader engagements (SLEs) each year throughout the African continent in order to create strategic partnerships and military relationships that preserve American interests abroad. While AFRICOM has been planning and executing these engagements since the inception of the organization in 2008, it lacks a well-defined method to systemize its SLE process. As a result, SLE development is largely ad hoc, potentially decreasing the strategic effectiveness of the engagements and increasing their cost. This paper delineates a decision-making framework to redesign and enhance AFRICOM’s SLE program. In particular, it posits a multiple objective decision analysis model that quantifies key stakeholder values and develops several alternatives for future evaluation. Of note, potential solutions imagine a more expansive system where subsets of Senior Leaders (SLs) are assigned to clusters of African countries based on the SLs’ similarity to countries within each cluster, providing a basis for relationship ownership and mutual trust.

References

Barbieri, K. & Keshk, O. (2016). Correlates of War Project Trade Data Set, Version 4.0. http://correlatesofwar.org.
Bayer, R. (2006). Diplomatic Exchange Data set, v2006.1. http://correlatesofwar.org.
Department of the Army. (2013). Military Information Support Operations. (FM 3-53).
Retrieved from https://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/Details.aspx?PUB_ID=102936
Gibler, D. M. (2012). Formal Alliances (v4.1), (1816-2012). http://correlatesofwar.org.
Pevehouse, J. C., Nordstrom, T., & Warnke, K. (2010). Intergovernmental Organizations (v2.3). http://correlatesofwar.org.
Parnell, G. S., Driscoll, P. J., & Henderson, D. L. (2011). Decision Making in Systems Engineering and Management (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Regional Economic Communities (RECS). (n.d.). https://www.uneca.org/oria/pages/regional-economic-communities
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). (2017). Military expenditure (% of GDP).
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS.
UN-Methodology. (n.d.). https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/m49/
Waldhauser, T. (2019, February 07). 2019 Posture Statement to Congress. Retrieved from
https://www.africom.mil/about-the-command/2019-posture-statement-to-congress
Witten, D. M., & Tibshirani, R. (2010). A Framework for Feature Selection in Clustering. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105(490), 713-726. doi:10.1198/jasa.2010.tm09415
Witten, D. M., & Tibshirani, R. (2018). sparcl: Perform Sparse Hierarchical Clustering and Sparse K-means Clustering. R package version 1.0.4. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=sparcl
Published
2019-12-31