An African Rapid-deployment Force for Peace Operations on the African Continent
Commentary by Major Mark Mills, United States Army
"Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions."
Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c.500BC
AIM AND SCOPE
DEFINING RAPID DEPLOYMENT
POSSIBLE ROLES OF AN AFRICAN RAPID DEPLOYMENT FORCE
SUITABILITY AND COLLATERAL UTILITY OF AN AFRICAN RDF
The non-military tasks, or "collateral utility", are important because they serve to further justify any large expense in composing the force.
Such a force would have the flexibility and fire-power to deal with most conceivable threats in Africa. Its two major shortcomings would be its relative lack of tactical mobility and its limited armor protection. The first could be overcome by two overlying means.
INTERNATIONAL COMPOSITION AND C2 SET-UP
1. De Vries, Col Roland : Mobiele Oorlogvoering, F.J.N. Harman Uitgewers, Menlopark, 1987.
2. Genot, E.: Rode Mutsen, Groene Mutsen - Geschiedenis van de Belgische Para-Commando's Published by the author, Brussels, 1986.
3 . Merglen, Albert : La Guerre de l'Inattendu, Arthaud, Paris, 1966.
4 . Reed, David: Save the Hostages, Bantam Books, New York, 1988.
5 . Thompson, Sir Robert (Consultant Editor): War in Peace - An Analysis of Warfare since 1945, Orbis, London, 1981.
6. Tugwell, Brig Maurice : Airborne to Battle, William Kimber, London, 1971.
Periodicals and Newspaper Articles
1. Armed Forces Journal International, May 1994: Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre, by Al Ditter.
2. Armed Forces Journal (South Africa), December 1989/January 1990: The Charge of the Light
3. Aviation Week and Space Technology, March 16, 1981: Rapid Deployment Scrutinised, by David R. Griffiths.
4. Born in Battle /23: Soviet Rapid Deployment Forces.
5. Defense and Foreign Affairs, September 1989: The Military Three Step: Trends in Rapid Deployment by Rodney Willox.
6. Defense News, Vol 8, No 12, 1993: NATO's Airmobile Question, by Theresa Hitchens.
7. Defense News, Vol 8, No 21, 1993: Member Nations Balk as Cost of UN Peace Efforts Rises, by Theresa Hitchens and George Leopold.
8. Defense News, Vol 9. November 28 - December 4, 1994: South Africa Shies Away From Lead Peacekeeping Roles, by Giovanni de Briganti.
9. Defense News, Vol 10, January 16-22, 1995: Canadians Pursue UN Rapid-Reaction Brigade, by David Pugliese.
10. International Defence Review, Vol 22, 4/1989: Parachute Assault.
11. International Defense Review Special Report 10/94: Anywhere, anytime: Rapid Deployment Forces and their Future, by David Miller.
12. Military Review, September 1994: A New Face in NATO, by Maj Gen Pieter Huysman, Royal Dutch Army.
13. Military Technology (MILTECH), 8/1988: Air Delivery Instrumentation Systems for Combat Parachute Operations, by Don Gordon.
14. National Defence, Vol 68, No 395, February 1984: Gunships at Grenada.
15. Newsweek, 17 June 1991: Secret Warriors, by Douglas Waller.
16. Parameters, June 1990: Getting Back to Europe: Strategic Lift Needed now more-than Ever, by David S. Sorenson.
17. RUSI, 1982: Can the UK Afford a Rapid Deployment Force, by Keith Hartley.
18. The Elite, Vol 3, Issue 28: Target Kolwezi, by Jean Mabire.
19. The Elite, Vol 4, Issue 40: Urgent Fury.
20. The New York Times, 30 May 1994: The World's Shrinking Armies, p l4.
21. Vox (Belgian Military Journal) No 9413, Humanitaire operatie Silver Back, by David Lallemand and Michel Villee.
22 .Washington Times, 2 June 1994: Canada to Join African Nations, Move Troops back to Rwanda, by Peter Smerdon.
Interviews and Personal Discussions
Discussions with a South African observer at an OAU Conference on Peace and Security held in Cairo in April 1994.