Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Advancing U.S., African, and Global Interests:: Security and Stability in the West African Maritime Domain

John Raidt
Kristen E. Smith
Editor Nancy J. Walker
Copyright Date: Nov. 30, 2010
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 88
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 9-11)

    This report presents the analysis and recommendations of the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center in cooperation with the On the Horizon Project to advance U.S. strategic interests in West Africa. The material presented herein and an implementation report to come address the following question:

    What policies and initiatives should the United States implement to protect its vital national security interests in West Africa, and in particular the West African maritime domain?

    In conducting our work, the Atlantic Council interviewed and consulted more than 50 U.S. government officials, outside subject matter experts from the U.S. and Africa, and other...

  2. (pp. 14-43)

    Overall, there is much uncertainty regarding the level of progress in achieving U.S. strategic objectives set forth above. From all indications the U.S. government does not have sufficient intelligence on the state of terrorist and criminal networks and their activities in West Africa. Objective metrics for evaluating the effect of U.S. and allied assistance for West African capacity building are largely non-existent. However, the empirical data that is available, together with an array of compelling anecdotal evidence, is alarming. From all indications the threats are growing, the conditions and trends abetting them remain unabated, and the ability to protect U.S....

  3. (pp. 44-53)

    The importance of U.S. national security interests in West Africa, and the troubling trends and serious consequences of regional maritime insecurity endangering these interests suggests a number of initiatives that can and should be taken to achieve a clear set of strategic objectives.

    While some recommendations can be implemented immediately, others will require longer-term investment of resources (financial, human, and organizational). In many cases, the initiatives demand energetic diplomatic coordination with African partners and the international community.

    In general, the U.S. government would be well served by defining more broadly its vital interests in West Africa and addressing in a...

  4. (pp. 54-54)

    Again, the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center and On the Horizon project would like to thank the numerous experts, officials, and authorities who provided their information, input, and expertise, which were critical to the development of this report and the formulation of its recommendations.

    As noted in the opening, future products could include an implementation road map, which will provide more detailed recommendations to implement the strategic-level recommendations listed above and more target.

    The Atlantic Council will seek to establish a webpage to receive comments and other inputs bearing on the issue of West African maritime security. All inputs are...