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

On November 30, 2010, the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center and On The Horizon project hosted an event launching the release of a landmark report, ‘Advancing U.S., African, and Global Interests: Security and Stability in the Maritime Domain.’

The report, written by John Raidt, Director of the On The Horizon Project, and Kristen E. Smith, Assistant Director of the Ansari Africa Center, sounds the alarm on the deep reach of transnational terrorists, drug cartels, and other criminal enterprises in West Africa, and how these groups need a badly governed, poorly resourced maritime security regime to sustain their enterprises. The report recognizes the vital role partnership with the African countries will be as they also seek to build an effective security infrastructure to support their growing economies and meet the urgent expectations of their citizens.  It calls for a high level reset by policymakers in an increasingly vital region to maintaining U.S. energy security, prosperity, and homeland security.  It does this by setting out in a practical and comprehensive way, how the U.S. in strong and coordinated partnership in West Africa and Europe can respond to dire threats in the maritime domain by working within a common framework to get better value from existing initiatives.

Ansari Africa Center Acting Director Dr. Martin Kimani introduced Atlantic Council Board Member and former Deputy Commander of the US European Command, Charles F. Wald, who introduced General James L. Jones. General Jones made keynote remarks emphasizing the growing importance of maritime security in Africa, especially in West Africa. He called on the United States and its NATO Allies to work together to “Not only to make Africa a better place but, in doing, to make the world a safe place.”  John Raidt, co-author of the report, outlined the findings and recommendations of the report and then Martin Kimani moderated a panel discussion that included Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, Permanent Representative of the African Union to the U.S., and Atlantic Council board members General Charles F. Wald, former deputy commander of U.S. European Command, and Admiral Henry Ulrich, former Commander of the US Sixth Fleet and US Naval Forces Europe. 

Event Media – Audio (.mp3, 1:45:36)

Press Coverage:

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