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The headquarters that everybody wants

Few things have caused as much controversy on the continent of Africa as the question about whether U.S. Africa Command should move there from Stuttgart, Germany. (Example.) That's just fine, say congressional lawmakers -- who want it to move to their districts. As Nico Colombant's VOA story makes clear, legislators like the idea of bringing home about 2,000 military, civilian and contractor jobs. But their explanations about why their sites are the best can sound like high school seniors' college entrance essays. The arguments don't necessarily ... connect.

Consider Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson's case for why AFRICOM should move to Atlanta: "We have got the world’s busiest airport. We have quite a few military aviation facilities. We have got one of the country’s largest diaspora communities from Africa, superb infrastructure to support the military’s communication needs, [and] high quality of life for personnel who would be assigned to that area."

No, no, no, says South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. Move AFRICOM to Charleston! "I had the privilege of visiting Monrovia, Liberia and the great cultural association of West Africa to Charleston is very clear. It is a shared culture. In fact, we have the same accents and I felt right at home."

And although this story doesn't mention it, Virginia Sen. Jim Webb also has asked officials to consider moving AFRICOM to Norfolk, Va., setting up a potential scenario in which it basically replaces the closing Joint Forces Command and protects many of the same DoD and contractor jobs.

Where do you think AFRICOM should move? Should it move at all?

 

(Photo: U.S. Marines trained with soldiers from Ghana during an exercise in March.)

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