Q&A with Gen. Carter F. Ham

General Carter F. Ham, Commander, US AFRICOM

General Carter F. Ham


The US Africa Command Public Affairs Office had the opportunity recently to discuss command issues with AFRICOM Commander General Carter         F. Ham. We asked his thoughts on everything from the evolving mission of AFRICOM to countering the Lord’s Resistance Army and dealing with future Department of Defense budget cuts. Below is an edited excerpt of our interview.



Q. Could you offer us your views on the mission of US Africa Command and how it’s evolved since you took command last year?

A.“We focus on two aspects of our mission statement. The first is to strengthen the defense capabilities of our African partners. And we do that because we know if their defense capabilities are strong or stronger, they’ll be more capable of dealing with threats and maintaining security not only in their own nations, but regionally as well.

“And the second part of the mission … is to be prepared when directed by the President and the Secretary of Defense, to conduct military operations in the interest of the United States. I don’t think our mission has changed all that much. In the past year, I think what has shifted perhaps, is a refocus … on the military aspects of our mission, and particularly in the realm of countering violent extremist organizations, which are unfortunately starting to emerge in Africa.”

Q. Could you please offer your views on how the operations, exercises and security cooperation programs work to assist African militaries and African organizations?

A. “Our engagement with our African partners, whether bilaterally, collectively or through the African Union regional organizations are an absolutely integral part of what we do. Engagement remains a very key component of what Africa Command does. It is through these exercises, through operations, through seminars and other training, other mil-to-mil activities, that’s frankly how we seek to … strengthen [our partners’] defense capabilities.”

“A part of that engagement that’s often overlooked, frankly, is how much we gain from those exercises. Every time we have the opportunity to put a U.S. service member in contact with African units, that American service member comes back to his or her service, or if it’s in Africa, coming in person, when they come back to the command, they have more capability than when they began that engagement. So this relationship, I think this engagement to me, is the very essence of a genuine partnership, where it works to the mutual benefit of the contributing organizations.”

Q. The Counter-LRA mission has garnered much public attention. What key points would you like to clarify regarding that operation?

A. “Here is an organization, Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which has terrorized a large number of people in four different states – Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo – for a number of years. Traumatized kids, murdered thousands of people, caused large-scale displacement of populations in a very wide region.

“The contributions of Africa Command to countering the Lord’s Resistance Army are focused on finding ways to help the four nations more effectively collaborate, coordinate and synchronize their efforts to achieve the end state of defeating Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. That’s best done through support, advising and assistance, rather than US military persons in the lead actually conducting the operations to try to find Kony and capture him.”

Q. You have mentioned before that AFRICOM’s effect is disproportionate to the investment. Would you care to offer some insight into that?

A. “We don’t consume a lot of resources. We don’t spend a whole lot of money in the larger scale of things. We’re not a big consumer of large-scale military forces. We don’t very often require aircraft carriers or fighter wings or army brigades and Marine Corps regiments and battalions. That’s not the kind of organization that we are. We’re at our best when we have leader-to-leader engagements, when we have small teams of military and civilian experts that are embedded and cooperating with their African partners.”

“What I like best about this command is you may find at any one time, a wide number of small teams, in many cases, individuals or pairs of people around the continent engaging with their African partners. It doesn’t take a lot of money, doesn’t take a lot of people, but the effect – everywhere there are Americans, military and civilian, from the command, contributing to African security, I believe that that has disproportionate positive effect.”

Q. Regarding budget matters … How do you see the command using what are sure to be fewer dollars in the future?

A. “We’ve been mandated for the coming fiscal year to reduce our budget by six percent. I’m absolutely convinced we will be able to sustain the level of activity that is required for us to achieve our mission, but at slightly lower cost.  We’re looking for more and more ways where we can operate more effectively and, again, prioritize our efforts on the most important missions. We can do that … by instilling a consciousness across the command, so that each one of us –military, civilian, our DOD and our non-DOD staff as well — focus on asking ourselves the question each time we’re preparing for an activity. Is there a better way to do this? Do we really need all these people? Can the conference be curtailed by a day or two?”

Q:  And to follow up on that … will anything change about AFRICOM’s mission due to the budget cuts?

“When you look at the priorities established in [the Defense Strategic Guidance] document — countering violent extremists, maintaining access, building partner capacity, sustaining relationships with our allies and partners — that’s what we do. It’s at the very core of Africa Command’s mission.”

Click here to read Gen. Ham’s biography. For more information on AFRICOM in general, please visit our homepage at www.africom.mil.


51 Responses to “Q&A with Gen. Carter F. Ham”

  1. 1 AFRICOM November 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Thank you, everyone, who has posted warnings to others about Internet scammers. Please avoid including e-mail addresses of others in your posts. Thank you!

  2. 2 freya October 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I was raise by a military man, my dad is a major general so I did know that military dont have time to go to social network so I was so concern when I find out a lot of Indonesian woman get scam by the fake military man thats to bad, the thing that I dont understand is the woman that had a scam have a high position in her job and also well educated so almost a year Im doing a research about scamer and I get involve with one of them just to get to know how they work, how they choose the victim, how to know they are a scamer in the first chat, a new comer scammer will ask what do u do for a living, if u answer them that you are a business woman or you have a high position the scammer will intensive approach you, but if u said that you just a house wife or you are jobless then he will abandon you.

    To get involve to know the scammer there’s a price that I have to pay, so I did gave some money to the general’s UN diplomat to bring his cosigment box that he will give to me. I had send by the western union to Accra Ghana and a week later I met his UN diplomatic in Jakarta,Indonesia and it end up to black dollar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_money_scam
    and one of my Indonesian friend get scam till US $ 250,000.00 thats a huge money.

    From my research I found out that the scammer that stay in Malaysia (they are nigeria and Ghanna guys) a very bad guy….they will threatend you if u dont gave them the money so dont ever give your nude picture or video to some one that u dont know, they always use UK phone cell number because Malaysia is the British Commonwealth countries so its not hard to have UK number there.

    Im doing all this just to let the women know dont ever get in love with the scammer, dont ever put your pure love to the wrong guy, and to let the women know we are a very taft human being if we let our selves in that way, and I’m very glad that God’s help me alot in my research, a week ago there were a guy who impostor a general and he take the chance to tell me that he is a scammer, and he help me alot to write about scammer,

    I write this is not to have a specific purpose, I only trying to share to what I have with my research and it may be useful

  3. 3 south africa holidays October 1, 2012 at 9:13 am

    each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also
    clear their motive, and that is also happening with this
    piece of writing which I am reading at this time.

  4. 4 Anonymous September 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

    hi i so sorry for ask i have army man he name gt hills steve but i naver see he can you do and give me he photo for me i send money for he com out to see me but i naver see him jiut he photo he give me on faecbook he phone number +2348069649377 pl can you hope me i send money for 2 time in this united-state-organisation@usa.com 1 500 us 2/ 980 us for he out to see me thanks dawan plianpho

  5. 5 susan September 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    dear maria it is not belongs to gen carter ham , it is belongs to who ask gen carter ham speak , not belongs to anybody or scam.

  6. 6 susan September 17, 2012 at 7:50 am

    hello dear maria i want you to know there is site in facebook under name i want talk to gen carter ham directly every body can go there and ask him to talk himself and have commiunication with the people which scam under his name and also see some evedenc under his name , it is so sad when you hear even they make the womens divorce , it should do something about it seriouslly not like this.

  7. 8 susan September 16, 2012 at 6:09 am

    no i dont know, how to report , even there is not any way to send him messeg? Dear maria have nice day

    • 9 Anonymous September 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Susan thank you,and I am sorry if I have upset you but out there are so many bad people who are only after money they don’t give a dam about people.or how many people they hurt.

  8. 10 susan September 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Dear maria sorry but i have asked you how i can email commandor carter ham personaly, i mean direct to himself . thanks

  9. 12 susan September 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    hello you mean the email you send genc.f.ham@usa.com is scam then why you send it to me as email of gen carter ham , well i emaill ou make anotheer scam him ,and he he asking how i got his email now wath can i do , i ask you the email of true commandor carter ham , now wath can i do, plz give me the email of gen carter ham the true one. thanks

  10. 13 Anonymous September 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    here you have another scam artist who is very dangerous gen.ham1952

  11. 14 susan August 31, 2012 at 7:05 am


  12. 15 susan July 9, 2012 at 8:19 am

    how can i talk or chat with gen carter ham ,plz publish more about him.

  13. 16 babygir June 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    hello susan im sorry i am just asking only why u send the money under the name of cater f hame u said………..

  14. 17 Anonymous June 30, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Another scam skype ID: cartaham1001
    Name: Army General Carter F. Ham

  15. 18 gordana malisa June 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Have many scammers with General Carter Ham name, hahaha all of them ask money, but i must say that i am sure General Carter Ham haven’t time to chat or for romance on internet he is very busy wit more important things. Be careful it is not only General Carter Ham target, have many names of US Generals targets of scammers, they try to show that Generals are bad people. All that US Generals are give all life for peace and goodnes on the world, they do not deserve nothing bad, we must say thanks to trying make good for better life on the world. I an sure that every General will never take or ask money from people for nothing, all of them have big hart and good soul, and they are very brave. On Skyp Have 200 profiles of General Carter Ham, some of General Hogg, some of General William Caldwell ect. Do not belive nothing they say all of that is big dirty lie.
    Gordana Malisa

  16. 19 arlene r deos reyes June 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I like

  17. 20 AFRICOM May 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Thank you for your comments. We are aware that scamming attempts using General Ham’s name have occurred, but we would like to make it clear to everyone that General Carter F. Ham, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, does not personally engage in social media of any kind. If you would like to report the scam in which you were involved, please go to our site and click on the “Contact Us” link. Thank you.

    • 21 Helena Oksanen June 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Today this scammer took contact with me and I told the person he is a lying and I told him what he was. Then I told him I don´t think General are sittilng chatting at the Skype Thank you very much and copy this site. He got afraid and the pic was gone and I blocked the person. It can be a woman too.

      • 22 susan June 13, 2012 at 3:47 am


  18. 23 susan May 26, 2012 at 6:26 am

    i have so many time report about the scammer and send the document i also till now i had pay about 20000$ under his name gen carter f ham or hams but you dont care and gen carter doesnt care also ,the scammer also destroy your life ,why he doesnt care, i have send him so many time messege wich i need to talk to him but no answere from him, this is one kind of humanity and his responsibility.thanks

    • 24 Annie Israel May 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Hi Susan – i was very surprised by you comment on this site – General Carter Ham is NOT responsable for you giving the scammer 20 000 Dlrs – it was your mistake to give a total STRANGER money over internet!!- Have you any idea how busy the General is?? I suggest you inform the DOD and ask them what can be done

      • 25 susan May 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

        i dont know i was so fool , becouse i like gen carter ham so much and i wanted to be in touch with him i dont know you know sometimes when you do like some one you do crazy things , plz say hi to gen ,and tell him there is some one who is crazy to talk to him . thanks have gr dayet

  19. 26 aliya May 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    i sent you full information abt scammer mint ago i forgot mension my name and email address

  20. 27 Anonymous May 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    sir how r you?from malaysia kuala lumper and informing you to plz urgently inform Gen carter f ham that his profile,pics and personal details has been used by scammer on skype.
    his skype id “Gen.carter famous ham” and email address”general.carterf_ham@use.com
    he was interested in money for his daugther then i blockd him.sir i have his mob no 00447700061902 skype nam u.s.army14

    • 28 Annie Israel May 26, 2012 at 12:38 am

      I noticed your comment on the general’s profile being used by scammers – i have also commented on this site the exact thing that you wrote about – PERHAPS THE GENERAL KNOWS THE SCAMMERS ARE USING HIS PROFILE OR PERHAPS HE DOES NOT!! – we will never know – so many scammers are using his profile plus other high ranking USA Military profiles but unfortunately there are so many scammers it is very diffiuclt to apprehand them or have any form of control to combat this HUGE PROBLEM – perhaps the USA authorities are doing their best to combat this issue but frankly it is not an easy task for them – IT IS UP TO SKYPE TO SECURE THEIR SITE MORE EFFICIENTLY!!

      • 29 aliya May 26, 2012 at 6:15 am

        thanks for reply
        i like Gen carter ham how is he? one time i wana talk to him plzzzzzz

  21. 30 susan May 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    hello i would like to talk to gen carter ham ,i have so many time ask for it , it should be some way to talk to him or chat with him , it is important,thanks

  22. 33 aliya sam May 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    plzzz reply soon aliya sam

    • 34 Annie Israel May 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

      Hi Aliya i do not think that it will be possible to speak to General Carter Ham – if you want to leave a message for him i suggest you go the DOD website and ask them if they could convey your message to the General

  23. 35 aliya sam May 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    hiii how are you my name is aliya sam i like Gen carter f ham he is my favorite personality i want contaet him is this possible?????realy i love him
    aliya sam

  24. 37 Val4ord May 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Someone added me on Facebook claiming to be you. Because I went to the same high school as you did. Too bad for them I didn’t fall for the scam.

    • 38 AFRICOM May 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

      We routinely check for “scam” sites under our commander’s name, and there is a process for having them removed. If you could, please send us the url of the person who friended you. Thank you, AFRICOM Social Media Team.

      • 39 annieisrael May 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

        Thank you for your belated response because i get scammers every single day (on Skype) so that makes it rather difficult to attain the URL – this issue is honestly bothering me endlessly – twice this week ex General David Patreaus profile was used and i responded with fearce words. The scamming issue is huge and trying to eliminate them is not an easy task! In one week i received (via Skype) 11 scammers.

  25. 40 annieisrael April 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I have received an email from this scammer about an hour ago but do not know how to forward it to you as i do not have an email address – u would need to send me an email address so that i can forward the details he has send me

    • 41 AFRICOM April 20, 2012 at 7:01 am

      Thank you for the update. As you know, the person you are talking to is not Gen. Ham. We routinely search the internet for such “scam sites” and report them to the proper authorities.

      • 42 annieisrael April 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

        Yes i am fully aware that this person is NOT Gen;Ham but as i mentioned this person has send me an email and i will now be able to get his ip address and have him reported

      • 43 AFRICOM April 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

        Thank you. If you have any other information to share with us on this issue on the future, please go to our homepage at http://www.africom.mil and click on the “Contact Us” link. Select “Make a press/media query” and your message will come directly to us.

      • 44 annieisrael April 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm

        When i read ur post to me, i just could not believe that YOUR INTEL and futher information how to handle my situation, is DAMN time wasting and very unporfessional !! – make it simple – what i required is straight forward and not “mindboggling” instructions – thks for ur help anyway and will take it from here……

  26. 45 annieisrael April 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

    My name is Annie E Israel from Belgium and informing you to please inform General Carter Ham that his profile has been used by numerous Nigerian scammers on Facebook, Skype, Netlog – Many American soldiers especially Generals profiles are being used for that purpose. General David Patreaus who is not head of the CIA profile has been used and Netlog

    • 46 AFRICOM April 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      We are aware of similar scams. We would appreciate it if you could send us any links to the specific ones you are referencing. Thank you.

      • 47 annieisrael April 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        The only links i have is tht he is on facebook plus Skype and listed under “romanscam” , a photo of him is on this site – he gave me an email address “general.carterf_ham@usa.com” – we chatted on it for a while but he did not dare asking me for any money – he has scammed a lot of women (frankly i do not understand that women can be that stupid!!) he did not trust me because i think he knew i was aware that he is a scammer – General David Patreaus profile in on Netlog but i had written in his profile that “he should be ashamed of himself for stealing the profile of Patreaus” so i most probably scared him off – so many high ranking office of the United States are stolen on Netlog and Skype – it is difficult for me to catch any of them because they do not send me any emails and due to that i am not able to get their ip addresses – i also find it very strange that these nigerian scammers do not use any British high ranking profiles – I hope i hve been of some assistance and if i get another scammer i will try my best to get more information – thanks for your prompt response
        Israel Annie

  1. 1 Derechos humanos: golpe al secuestro de niños africanos - Estudios de Politica Exterior Trackback on March 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

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