Small Wars Journal

Africa

Chinese Mercenaries in Africa

Sat, 06/05/2021 - 3:03pm
Chinese investments in Africa have multiplied in recent years, especially since the 2013 launch of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). But China has realized that it is a mistake to entrust security and development to trade alone. A new generation of Chinese private security companies sees the BRI as an opportunity for lucrative contracts and international expansion, but its shortcomings are evident on the ground. Currently, the few properly certified Chinese private security companies in Africa appear to be operating semi-autonomously, oriented towards niche markets. And so far not as an extension of the state, but these companies may be the tool Beijing needs to prevent the defense of its citizens and assets from forcing it into military interventions that, for the time being, remain beyond its reach.

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Nigeria Should Build Peace Like it Fights Coronavirus

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 12:12am
Nigerian leaders struggling to reduce violence in the country’s myriad conflicts should take some lessons—from their own response to the coronavirus. While Nigeria’s COVID-19 ordeal is still unfolding, its eventual casualties unknown, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and several governors have modeled the ways to reduce catastrophic outbreaks.

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Amid Red Sea Rivalries, Eritrea Plays for Independence

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 5:58am
When Eritrea’s president last month hosted the leaders of Ethiopia and Somalia to discuss “regional cooperation,” that initiative drew few global headlines. Still, Eritrea’s move should be noted by policymakers and others working for stability in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea region.

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Analysis/Commentary: Pentagon Announces Army 1st SFAB Deployment to Counter Surge in Violent Extremism and Russian/Chinese Competition

Sat, 02/22/2020 - 8:16am
Last Wednesday, the Pentagon announced the Army’s 1st SFAB (SFAB—Security Force Assistance Brigade) would deploy within the coming weeks to conduct train, advise, and assist missions in select African countries. This is a good move as it sustains U.S. military presence, and reinforces U.S. commitment to regional security partners as they work to beat back violent extremist and strategic competitor gains for influence.

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A Cause of and Solution to Extremism: A Case for Civil Military Operation (CMO) Capacity Building in African Partner Forces SWJED Mon, 01/13/2020 - 8:36am
As CA forces begin to instruct CMO to African partner forces the curriculum must be semi standardized in order to ensure both unity of effort and interoperability. AFRICOM, SOCAF, USARAF, and Marine Forces Africa (MARFORAF) must ensure that they coordinate with each other as well as centers of instruction such as USAJFKSWCS to create a standard set of POIs that achieves the desired effect of an African partner force that is able to win the human domain.

East Africa Needs a Regional Counterterrorism Center

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 5:30am
The task of rethinking East African counterterrorism cooperation has gone through many phases but remains limited in scope. Kenyan, Tanzanian, and African Union counterterrorism centers exist, but they are principally research and policy centers or local one-country interagency apparatuses. Other limitations are highlighted by the lack of multi-country intelligence operations uniquely designed for East African counterterrorism writ large, i.e. tackling the regional al-Shabaab threat in a simultaneous permanent fashion at one location.

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