Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2010

Africa's Irregular Security Threats: Challenges for U.S. Engagement

Andre Le Sage

March 2010

Institute for National Strategic Studies


This paper provides an overview of Africa’s irregular, nonstate threats, followed by an analysis of their strategic implications for regional peace and stability, as well as the national security interests of the United States. After reviewing the elements of the emerging international consensus on how best to address these threats, the conclusion highlights a number of new and innovative tools that can be used to build political will on the continent to confront these security challenges. This paper is intended as a background analysis for those who are new to the African continent, as well as a source of detailed information on emerging threats that receive too little public or policy-level attention.