05:28 GMT27 May 2020
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    A new GAO report reveals that US Africa Command combat brigades lack key information about security cooperation with partner nations, throughout Africa.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Africa Command (AFRICOM) combat brigades lack key information about security cooperation with partner nations, throughout Africa, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a new report.

    Brigade personnel lack key equipment and even passports to operate in the countries where they are required, the Wednesday report stated.

    "Without action on these issues, the brigades' ability to fully support the mission in Africa may be affected," the report warned.

    The US Department of State has not yet agreed on a process for providing official passports to brigade personnel before their employment period, the GAO pointed out.

    "As a result, the brigades have faced challenges in obtaining passports that have limited their ability to deploy the appropriate personnel to Africa," it added.

    AFRICOM identifies and synchronizes security cooperation activities through various planning processes, but the brigades allocated to AFRICOM sometimes lack key information about these activities, according to the GAO.

    Personnel from US Army Africa (USARAF) and the Offices of Security Cooperation coordinate informally, but they do not always have a shared understanding of the activity objectives or involve the brigades in planning, the GAO observed.

    "As a result, the brigades' ability to conduct activities may be challenged, and the resources invested may not have the anticipated effect," the report cautioned.

    USARAF may not have the information it needs to address these concerns, because it has not completed an assessment of training and equipment needs for regionally aligned forces, the GAO explained.

    The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

    United States Africa Command is one of six of the US Defense Department's geographic combatant commands and is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for military relations with African nations, the African Union, and African regional security organizations.

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    Tags:
    military, AFRICOM, US Government Accountability Office (GAO), Africa, United States
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