Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


War and Society

First Advisor

Mateo Jarquín

Second Advisor

Charissa Threat

Third Advisor

Kyle Longley


Africa has often ranked low in priority when it comes to U.S. foreign relations. Often, the presence of a threat to U.S. interests in Africa sparks a redirection of U.S. leaders to Africa. The Cold War was one of such periods. This work looks at U.S. leaders after the Cold War, focusing on George W. Bush, whose policies in Africa are considered the most impactful and resource consuming. Scholars have, however, failed to put Bush’s approach to Africa in a broader historical perspective. Existing literature has analyzed Bush’s policies in Africa using programs such as the Millenium Challenge Account (MCA), initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), economic policies like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and military initiatives like the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).

In trying to understand the motivations for Bush’s policies in Africa and put it in a broader historical perspective, this work draws on official documents such as the National Security Strategy documents, the Presidential Decision Directive, and Presidential Review Directive documents, which show historical continuities in U.S. policy towards Africa. The U.S. has often stated Africa’s importance in terms of market access, great power rivalry, and the promotion of democracy. However, a review of presidential documents reveal another major continuity in U.S. approaches to Africa in the post-Cold War period: a lack of an overarching, consistent strategy that addresses unique needs, risks, and opportunities on the continent.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, May 09, 2025