WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided against moving the U.S. military’s headquarters overseeing Africa from Germany to the United States, concluding the benefits of staying in Europe – closer to African hot spots – are worth the extra cost, officials say.
The Pentagon notified Congress of its decision this week.
Some lawmakers had been pushing for Africa Command to move stateside, with South Carolina and Georgia promoted as possible locations.
‘The decision was based on the operational needs of the commander,’ a U.S. defense official told Reuters, referring to General Carter Ham, the outgoing head of Africa Command.
Africa has become much more important for the U.S. military in the last decade.
American forces played a prominent role in NATO operations during the uprising in Libya, and is assisting the French mission in Mali.