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U.S. Africa Command, Medical Assistance, and Special Warfare

U.S. Africa Command, Medical Assistance, and Special Warfare
1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N, Munk School of Global Affairs
Time: Sep 27th, 4:00 pm End: Sep 27th, 5:30 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, Political Science, Law, Faculty of , Geography & Planning (FAS), African, 2000-
Talk by Killian McCormack, University of Toronto

The Centre for the Study of the United States Graduate Student Workshop presents

U.S. Africa Command, Medical Assistance, and Special Warfare

The “war on terror” has seen a growing overlap between humanitarian and medical assistance efforts and military operations in the actions of the U.S. military globally. In particular, this overlap has been prominent in the practices of the U.S. military’s geographic combatant command for Africa, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Established in 2007, all U.S. military operations in Africa fall under AFRICOM’s remit, and it represents both the ambition of the U.S. to further extend military intervention globally under the banner of the ‘war on terror’, and an articulation of the interconnected core tenets of contemporary U.S. foreign policy: the “3Ds” of defence, diplomacy, and development. This talk will explore these dimensions of the medical assistance efforts of AFRICOM through a study of its Medical Civic Action Programmes (MEDCAPS) and Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs). After situating these contemporary efforts in the context of earlier colonial and counterinsurgency wars, the talk will discuss how medical assistance operations extend military logics to practices of care, tying geopolitical performance and rationale to biopolitical management at the scale of the body, while also contributing to the further generation of knowledge of target populations on-the-ground.

Killian McCormack is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. He holds a BA from University College Dublin, and an MA from the National University of Ireland, Galway. His Ph.D. research focuses on the biopolitical and geopolitical dimensions of the medical assistance
efforts of the U.S. military in Africa.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is required. For further information, please contact Stella Kyriakakis at the Centre for the Study of the United States, 416-946-8972.

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