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Recommended US Response to Russian Activities 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.

Trends in African Maritime Security

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 15, 2019

Africa's rapidly evolving maritime security environment has prompted innovations in Africa's maritime security architecture, leading to greater regional coordination.

A Review of Major Regional Security Efforts in the Sahel

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 4, 2019

Increased attacks from militant Islamist groups in the Sahel coupled with cross-border challenges such as trafficking, migration, and displacement have prompted a series of regional and international security responses.

Security Priorities for the New Nigerian Government

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 25, 2019

From Boko Haram to farmer-herder conflicts, ethno-religious tensions, separatist movements, urban crime, and national identity, Nigeria experts size up the security priorities facing the Buhari government in its second term.

An Overview of Africa’s 2019 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on January 31, 2019

The struggle to institutionalize legitimate and resilient democracies in Africa will be further shaped by the 2019 elections – with direct consequences for security.

Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges

Program Materials  

Program materials for the Africa Center's 2018 Africa's Contemporary Security Challenges Workshop. Click here for syllabus, readings, presentation slides, and links to videos.

Q&A: Somalia Charts Security Transition

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on July 17, 2018

Somalia’s National Security Advisor Abdisaid Ali talks about political will, security reforms in Somalia’s Transition Plan, and the commitment to domestic and international coalition building to sustain the country’s progress.

Confronting the Challenges of South Sudan’s Security Sector: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Spotlight   published by Kuol Deim Kuol on May 29, 2018

English | Français | العربية Countries emerging from conflict confront numerous challenges relating to the reform of their security sectors. Some countries succeed in addressing those challenges, are able to reform their security sector gradually, and achieve peace and stability for their people as a consequence. Other countries fail to do so, at times contributing... Continue Reading

Durable Stability in South Sudan: What Are the Prerequisites?

Spotlight   published by Phillip Kasaija Apuuli on May 29, 2018

English | Français | العربية The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) identifies security sector reform (SSR) as one of the most crucial issues that need to be addressed if South Sudan is to attain peace. The prioritization given to SSR in the ARCSS is illustrated... Continue Reading

Blurring the Lines: Ethnicity, Governance, and Stability in South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Lauren Hutton on May 29, 2018

English | Français | العربية When South Sudan achieved independence in 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLA/M) and its leader, Salva Kiir Mayardit, took control of a system of governance that transcended the lines between the formal and informal sectors, military and civilian elites, government and nongovernment actors, as well as licit and... Continue Reading

Taming the Dominant Gun Class in South Sudan

Spotlight   published by Majak D’Agoôt on May 29, 2018

A “gun class”—the fusion of security leaders with political power, class, and ethnicity—is at the heart of the predatory governance system that has taken root in South Sudan. Changing this trajectory will require redefining the roles of political and security actors.