University of Baltimore Journal of International Law


This article will assess the roles and responsibilities of Special Operations Forces (SOF) within the newly created U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) as an active proponent of a so-called “smart power” national security strategy. In particular, it will outline the economic, political, and military challenges faced in Africa; specifically, how and why SOCAFRICA is the U.S. force of choice for promoting human rights and rule of law in Africa. With the goals of the U.S. military in mind, questions will necessarily arise as to “what success looks like” for both the U.S. and African nations, and the roles of each in joint and combined civil–military initiatives. The concluding comments reflect on how these forces must model “what right looks like,” and provide specific modeling failures, and the consequences when that modeling did not take place.