Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa's Fragile States

Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa's Fragile States

Stephen Watts
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 80
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt15sk87s
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  • Book Info
    Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa's Fragile States
    Book Description:

    The author explores the risks inherent in U.S. security sector assistance to the fragile states of Africa and how the United States might better anticipate and mitigate them. Often the countries most in need of assistance are those least able to make positive use of it, and such assistance can have negative second- and third-order effects. Recommendations are made for improving security sector assistance processes in Africa and elsewhere.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9142-0
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figure
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. CHAPTER ONE The Problem of Security Sector Assistance in Africa
    (pp. 1-10)

    Despite impressive economic growth in the past decade and some encouraging trends in governance, Africa remains dominated by fragile states. According to the Failed States Index, the four most fragile states in the world are all located in Africa, and more than two-thirds of all states in its bottom two categories are on the continent.¹

    State fragility in Africa touches on multiple U.S. interests. Of greatest current concern to U.S. defense decisionmakers is the potential for transnational networks of violent extremist organizations (VEOs), particularly those affiliated with al Qaeda and other Salafist terrorist networks, to flourish in these environments. The...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Risks of SSA in the Fragile States of Africa
    (pp. 11-26)

    U.S. Army and Joint doctrine call for the anticipation and mitigation of risk and the development of branches and sequels in operational plans in case operations do not transpire as anticipated. Yet the Army doctrinal manual on security cooperation devotes less than a page of text to risk mitigation. Risk, moreover, is understood in extremely narrow terms, either as the potential for security cooperation activities to negatively influence other countries, or as the potential for narrowly defined operational objectives to go unfulfilled. This chapter explores the potential risks that SSA activities can pose to the long-term stability of fragile partner...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Improving U.S. Security Sector Assistance Processes to Mitigate Risk
    (pp. 27-48)

    U.S. processes for planning, executing, and evaluating security sector assistance are undergoing significant change, which makes them a moving target for any analysis attempting to critique them and offer suggestions for their improvement. The recently released PPD 23 on Security Sector Assistance has launched important reforms, particularly in the areas of interagency coordination, planning, evaluation, resourcing, and oversight. Moreover, many U.S. personnel are deeply concerned about ensuring that U.S. security sector assistance has positive strategic effects, and they have undertaken a variety of initiatives at all levels to improve the performance of U.S. security sector assistance. Making generalizations about such...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusion
    (pp. 49-50)

    This report has focused on documenting the risks that security sector assistance poses to the fragile states of Africa: their extent, the specific mechanisms by which they operate, the reasons for these risks, the manner in which the U.S. government currently deals with these risks, and ways in which the United States could do better. Most such risks are relatively small scale: They may be a relatively minor contributing factor to long-standing inter-communal tensions, or they may weaken governance institutions that were already severely flawed. But the potential exists for more serious failures that may reverberate in ways that do...

  12. References
    (pp. 51-60)