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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.

The Sudanese Military’s Interests in Civilian Rule

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on March 23, 2021

Proactive management of the transition to civilian rule would afford the Sudanese military more stability, budgetary support, and professional benefits.

Africa’s Evolving Cyber Threats

Spotlight   published by Nathaniel Allen on January 19, 2021

African governments face a fast-evolving array of digital threats from espionage, critical infrastructure sabotage, organized crime, and combat innovation.

Taking Stock of Africa’s 2021 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 12, 2021

A wide spectrum of credibility marks the 13 African elections slated for 2021. This has direct implications for the legitimacy of the leaders that emerge and their ability to navigate the security challenges they face.

A Light in Libya’s Fog of Disinformation

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on October 9, 2020

Divisions within Libya’s civil war have been amplified by foreign-sponsored disinformation campaigns. Reconciliation and peacebuilding will require local actors to reclaim Libya’s digital spaces.

Circumvention of Term Limits Weakens Governance in Africa

Infographic   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on September 14, 2020

A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for the continent’s governance, security, and development.

Africa’s Varied COVID Landscapes

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 13, 2020

There is not a single African COVID-19 trajectory, but rather multiple, distinct risk profiles. These profiles highlight the differentiating role that a free press, government transparency, and conflict play in responding to the pandemic in Africa.

Shifts in the Libyan Civil War

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on June 16, 2020

The rapid gains of Libya's Government of National Accord have pushed rebel leader General Khalifa Haftar's forces out of large swathes of western Libya, further shifting the balance of this geostrategic competition.

Geostrategic Dimensions of Libya’s Civil War

Africa Security Brief No. 37   published by Tarek Megerisi on May 18, 2020

Libya's civil war has become an increasingly competitive geostrategic struggle. A UN-brokered settlement supported by non-aligned states is the most viable means for a stable de-escalation, enabling Libya to regain its sovereignty.

Mapping Risk Factors for the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 3, 2020

African countries face varying levels of risk that will require adapting a diversified set of response strategies to the coronavirus. The most vulnerable countries may not be those with the earliest onset.