The rise in Islamic militancy in the Sahel, northern Nigeria, and the Horn of Africa has elevated attention to this evolving security concern. Hopes that Africa’s historically moderate interpretations of Islam would suffice to filter extremist views from gaining meaningful traction seem increasingly misplaced. More generally, understanding of this unconventional security challenge is often based more on speculation than informed assessment. Responses must avoid conflating distinct Islamist actors while addressing local level perceptions of disaffection and under-representation that underpin support for militants.
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Airlift assets provide vital capabilities and multiply the effectiveness of Africa’s resource-limited militaries and collective peace operations.
Despite numerous peace agreements, Africa’s Great Lakes region has been in a persistent state of conflict for the past two decades. The contributions and shortcomings of some of the most significant previous peace initiatives, however, offer vital lessons as to how to mitigate the local level tensions, national political dynamics, and competing regional interests that have led to recurring outbreaks of violence.
Legacies of Côte d’Ivoire’s national identity crisis left this strategic West African country vulnerable to further instability.
Institutionalization of democratic norms in Africa’s militaries often lags behind advances made in civilian institutions and civil society.
Combating irregular forces has become a common feature of the contemporary African security landscape. However, the security sector in most African countries is ill-prepared to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations. Realigning force structures to address these threats while building security sector professionalism to gain the trust of local populations is needed to do so.
Ethnic conflicts in Africa are often portrayed as having ages-old origins with little prospects for resolution. This Security Brief challenges that notion arguing that a re-diagnosis of the underlying drivers to ethnic violence can lead to more effective and sustainable responses.
African states’ maritime security structures are often misaligned with the challenges posed and need coast guard capabilities and an array of intra-governmental partnerships.
A significant development in Africa over the past decade has been the generalized lessening of violent conflict. Revitalized, expanded international peacekeeping, bolstered by a newly launched African Union determination to tackle security challenges, has reinforced this trend. But, much more cohesive interagency coordination under strong White House direction is required if the United States is to contribute to Africa’s sustained stability given the region’s persistent conditions of poverty, inequality, and weak governance.
This advanced-level seminar provides a thorough examination of leading security issues in Africa, including governance challenges, transnational threats, and engagement by the United States and other external actors on the continent. Each seminar session includes a presentation from a subject matter expert who will raise key issues and themes and facilitate discussion among participants. As an... Continue Reading
The program examines COIN strategies within the context of African security sector institutional capacity and work to identify African-driven problem-solving approaches to address conflict, violence, and instability that are having a negative impact upon the security of the state and the populace.
This project examines strategic-level implications of the mutually-reinforcing relationship between economic development prospects and persistent insecurity in Africa’s fragile states.