U.S. Africa Policy Beyond the Bush Years: Critical Challenges for the Obama Administration

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U.S. Africa Policy Beyond the Bush Years: Critical Challenges for the Obama Administration
Edited by Jennifer G. Cooke and J. Stephen Morrison
Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2009
224 pp. $24.95
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The ten contributions in this collection assess different dimensions of George W. Bush's Africa policy and offer advice to Barack Obama. The contributors give a useful glimpse into discussions about current U.S. foreign policy toward Africa; even though they are Washington insiders, their approach is not particularly partisan. They all agree that the increased attention that Washington has been paying to Africa in the last eight years has netted several significant breakthroughs. Foreign aid has shot up substantially, for instance, and AIDS programs are generally viewed as having worked. But the authors worry that these successes have not helped the United States' flagging prestige and legitimacy in Africa. To arrest this decline and advance U.S. interests, the authors argue for striking a better balance between the different elements of past policy and using existing resources more strategically. But they remain vague about the specifics.