Research Briefing | Sep 2, 2021

Foreign military involvement in Africa

Foreign militaries, especially those from the US and France, have invested enormous resources in battling Islamist militancy in Africa, but also to entrench and expand their influence. But even though insecurity and lack of development have given militants a foothold in many parts of Africa, it is the corruption and indifference of local elites that have allowed militant groups to thrive.

What you will learn:

  • The US and France use their significant military footprint in Africa to maintain friendly regimes and influence, but do so inconsistently.
  • Russia looks to take advantage of unstable regimes or governments that have fallen out with Western partners.
  • Many countries – including India and China – maintain a presence in Africa but with a focus elsewhere, notably the Gulf or the Indian Ocean.
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