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Corruption: A Major Threat to Military Effectiveness

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 8, 2015

Corruption contributes directly to insecurity. It has a corrosive effect on combat readiness and effectiveness, undermining the ability to meet national security threats.

Corruption and International Threats

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on October 1, 2014

ACSS hosted a public event on September 30, 2014, “Peacekeeping and Corruption: Taking Stock and Best Practices,” marking the release of Transparency International-UK’s handbook (Corruption Threats and International Missions: Practical Guidance for Leaders). The dialogue highlighted the undermining effect that corruption has on the effectiveness of peace support operations and the importance of making countering... Continue Reading

Justice and Rule of Law Key to African Security

Spotlight   published by Catherine Lena Kelly on May 25, 2021

The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.

Russia’s Strategic Goals in Africa

(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.

Chad’s Ongoing Instability, the Legacy of Idriss Déby

Spotlight   published by Daniel Eizenga on May 3, 2021

Idriss Déby’s death is an outcome of the ongoing instability perpetuated by his regime. The subsequent military coup d’état led by the late president’s son risks deepening political violence in this geographically strategic country.

West Africa’s Cocaine Corridor: Building a Subregional Response

Recommended research   published by Lucia Bird, GI-TOC on April 30, 2021

West Africa has once again become a major route for Latin American cocaine to European markets. Criminal networks leverage growing regional instability to facilitate their work. Authorities in Africa and Europe have the capacity to physically screen less than 2% of containers moving through their ports. Drug seizures therefore rely instead on intelligence. Widespread corruption and uneven regulations in West African ports creates surveillance gaps. Regional initiatives have sought to strengthen regional cooperation and intelligence sharing, but governments should first target specific, problematic trafficking routes.

African Youth Engaging in Peace and Security

Spotlight   published by Peter Biar Ajak on April 29, 2021

Despite challenges of unemployment, corruption, entrenched political leadership, and political violence, many African youth have found constructive avenues to promote peace, effective governance, and reform.

The Dismantling of Benin’s Democracy

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on April 27, 2021

President Patrice Talon’s manipulation of electoral rules and cooption of democratic processes have caused Benin to slide quickly from a multi-party democracy to a semi-authoritarian regime, portending heightened instability.

Nigeria’s Diverse Security Threats

Spotlight   published by Mark Duerksen on March 30, 2021

Nigeria faces an array of security challenges beyond Boko Haram. Distinguishing these threats and understanding their socio-geographic contours is essential for adapting customized solutions.

Reshaping African Agency in China-Africa Relations

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on March 2, 2021

The power imbalance between China and Africa poses a challenge for negotiating equitable investment deals. The interests of African citizens can be strengthened through agreements that are transparent, involve experts, and facilitate public engagement.

British American Tobacco Fights Dirty In West Africa

Recommended research   published by Aisha Kehoe Down (OCCRP), CENOZO, Gaston Sawadogo (L'Evenement), and Tom Stocks (OCCRP) on February 26, 2021

Sahelian militant Islamist groups continue to profit from smuggling routes and complicity from unethical multinational corporations and compromised government officials. Following the mechanics of cigarette smuggling through the Sahel reveals how corruption becomes institutionalized and ends up benefiting the very actors the government is fighting. Depriving violent extremists in the Sahel of their profits from smuggling will require depriving corrupt government officials of theirs and holding them, as well as multinational corporations accountable.