America's military faces reductions in force and spending that could have a ripple effect. Proceedings asked the leaders of the world's sea services: Some see U.S. global naval engagement diminishing and the world's power structure realigning itself over the coming decade. In what ways would this affect your navy?
The Liberian Coast Guard has a cooperative relationship with the U.S. Navy and thus does not see the “U.S. global naval engagement diminishing.” Even if that were so, the LCG is not realigning itself in any way that could have a negative impact on its effectiveness.
From a broader point of view, the purpose and intent of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) construct is not without reference to maritime security issue on the African continent. This is quite evident from U.S. naval assistance directly or indirectly to seminars, joint trainings, and other programs undertaken by key institutions such as the Maritime Organization of Central and West Africa, the Maritime Region University, and the African Center for Strategic Studies.
Coastal nations, including those of Africa, face several maritime challenges. National cross-border and international organized crime, ineffective border control and an inexorable use of new technologies—all of which are inextricably linked—pose significant problems for any country, but especially for those who cannot meet the challenges on their own. Most of those latter nations then forge partnerships, many of them finding the United States to be the most dependable partner.
From time to time the United States continues to demonstrate interest in Liberia, particularly in its politics and security, including maritime security. Every nation’s stability and general development are dependent on those two. The presence of the U.S. Navy is inevitable in the maritime operation of Liberia. Maritime safety and security are the basis for progress and development, which the United States recognizes. That is why it contributes immensely to building the capacity of our Coast Guard. The growing optimism and trust of Liberia in U.S. interests in training and in making the LCG professional are so cherished because we must have a Coast Guard that will effectively protect and manage our maritime resources. U.S. naval engagement from that point of view is increasing and being sustained thanks to AFRICOM.
If it were true “U.S. naval global engagement is diminishing and the world’s power structure is realigning itself over the coming decade,” then that would negatively affect the LCG for the foregoing reasons. The collaborative and cooperative relationship LCG has with AFRICOM in particular is growing and should not be hindered or aborted.