U.S. Army Civil Affairs Forces in the Sahel: Developing an Approach to Building Relevant Partner Capacity in Support of U.S. Africa Command
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The Sahel is an arid region spanning the width of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Traditionally, the Sahel has been home to pastoralist groups that roamed its vast expanses in search of grazing land and water for their herds. However, a multitude of factors is rapidly changing conditions in the Sahel resulting in growing instability with the potential to affect security in other parts of the globe. Climate change, ethnic tensions, crushing poverty, and extremist organizations rank among the most pressing issues facing the Sahel. These challenges can interact and exacerbate each other in unpredictable ways. Recent examples include the 2012 military led coup in Mali, and the increasingly violent campaign waged by Boko Haram in Nigeria and surrounding countries. Civil affairs forces support the US Africa Commands AFRICOM objectives of deterring and defeating transnational threats, protecting US security interests, preventing future conflicts, and supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This thesis examines how civil affairs forces can build partner capacity in the Sahel that is relevant to AFRICOMs strategic objectives, and how to measure progress that supports the commands objectives.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics