Polemics & Exchanges

On Adding Up AFRICOM

According to William R. Hawkins (“A COM for Africa?Cultural Revolutions, July), the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, Ryan Henry, claimed in an April 23 briefing that “Africa represents 35 percent of the world’s land mass” and “about 25 percent of the world’s population.  Each of these figures is off the mark.

The world’s land mass is about 57.2 million square miles; that of Africa, about 11.6.  So Africa makes up only about 20.3 percent of the world’s land mass.  The world’s population is approximately 6.5 billion; that of Africa, about 860 million.  So Africa makes up only about 13.2 percent of the world’s population.

Did anyone at the briefing or in the press catch these huge errors by Ryan Henry?  Perhaps Mr. Henry’s data comes from another planet, like some other information from his department.

        —Henry E. Heatherly
Lafayette, LA

On U.N. Involvement

Ted Galen Carpenter, in his “Tethering the Hegemon” (News, July), states flatly that “Critical decisions, such as whether to cross the...

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