Press Releases

ICYMI: Congressman Austin Scott Moderates Panel Discussion at the American Enterprise Institute About the Great Power Competition in Africa

Washington, D.C. , December 12, 2023
  • Rep. Austin Scott Beyond the SCIF 2023



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, led the latest installment of the House Intelligence Committee’s Beyond the SCIF series with his panel on “Great-Power Competition in Africa” in conjunction with the American Enterprise Institute.


What Was Discussed


· How Chinese and Russian engagements in Africa have destabilized the region, threatening vital natural resources and regional security across Africa


· The need for an integrated strategy to disrupt and defeat Russian and Chinese influence in Africa


· The members’ recent congressional trip to Africa, the state of play in the region, and concrete actions for U.S. national security practitioners to safeguard regional allies and interests in the region


Notable Quotes


“If you look at the number of coups that are occurring right now...It’s disappointing to me that we missed any of the signs that there could have been. So, from an intelligence standpoint, we have to backtrack from where we are and say, ‘What did we miss, and where should we have picked up that there was the potential for this?’”

– Congressman Austin Scott


“Austin and my travel to the Sahel region has been obviously eye-opening for a number of reasons…We’ve seen a number of developments in the Sahel recently, ones that I believe we should be very concerned with…What happens in Africa will not stay in Africa. What happens in Niger will not stay in Niger. And I think that is the message that we need to be sending. We need to be very aware that not only is the threat of violence going to extend to the littoralstates, but there clearly is a growing threat of the VEOs moving from the Middle East into Africa and using that as the fertile ground upon which they could launch another attack against the West.”

– Congressman Jimmy Panetta


“When we’re looking at the challenges, the terrain is austere, the logistics are hard. There are social issues that most Americans can’t even wrap their heads around. And the governments really have only governed areas within the capital and the immediate environs of the capital for decades, if not centuries. This is a place where governments have never been able to extend their full powers to the borders. And it’s in the peripheries, those border regions, where these groups are thriving. They’re exploiting and generating conflict, and the ability of the local governments and the international community to respond is incredibly limited. And when we have, it’s been on the security front, which hasn’t actually addressed the underlying issues.”

– Katherine Zimmerman


“Engagement is important, but then after, we seek ways within concert with our values and our laws to continue the dialogue. The fact that Niger has not yet brought in Wagner despite flag waving and the fact that we have an ambassador on the ground who’s hard-headed – we can look for ways to navigate this constructively in concert with our values and interests as well.”

– Ambassador J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.


Panel Speakers:


· Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08),Member, House Intelligence Committee


· Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-19),Member, House Armed Services Committee


· Dr. Kori Schake,Discussion Moderator; Senior Fellow & Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute


· Katherine Zimmerman,Fellow, American Enterprise Institute


· Ambassador J. Peter Pham, Ph.D.,Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council; Former U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel Region of Africa; Former U.S. Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes