With the US committed militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has prudently opted to achieve its African objectives through diplomacy. As Secretary Colin Powell stated in a telephone interview, “I think there are a lot of things we’ve done that sometimes get missed in the rush of business.”2 It seems important to ask in terms of this current strategic preference: Under what circumstances is it possible for the United States, as an external actor, to use its power to influence African adversaries to negotiate an end to violent conflict and to contribute to resolving the root causes of conflict?