Since the first grand US humanitarian effort in Africa went up with the smoke of Black Hawk down, Washington has struggled to get its interventions on the continent right. Africa’s persistent security challenges have historically strained US capacity and willingness to respond, and as instability has worsened in the Horn and the Maghreb-Sahel, US security interventions have become less and less ambitious. Great power competition with China has led to some renewed interest in engagement with the continent. But US interest is tempered by public exhaustion with America’s role as global policeman and by the growing financial stresses of climate change and globalization, which have both rendered unexpected shocks (including the novel coronavirus pandemic) more likely. Austerity is both the old and new normal for US security policy in Africa—but with resources shrinking, what can the US realistically hope to accomplish in Africa? What tools can be effectively deployed by US security professionals in this climate of scarcity?  

Read the event recap and watch the recorded webcast to hear how panelists Dr. John Siko, Dr. Jonah Victor, and Ms. Brittany Brown responded to the above questions during the virtual book launch of African Security: An Introduction on Wednesday, April 8.


Dr. John Siko
Burnham Global

Dr. Jonah Victor
Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Security Studies
Georgetown University

Joined by

Ms. Brittany Brown
Chief of Staff
International Crisis Group

Welcome, introduction, and moderation by

Ms. Bronwyn Bruton
Director of Programs and Studies, Africa Center
Atlantic Council

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