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Security Cooperation in Africa: French, U.S. and UK Approaches, Best Practices and Lessons Learned

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Security Cooperation in Africa: French, U.S. and UK Approaches, Best Practices and Lessons Learned
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    UNCLASSIFIED    Security Cooperation in Africa: French, U.S., and UK Approaches, Best Practices & Lessons Learned Page 2    UNCLASSIFIED This report is a product of the U.S. Africa Command J2 Knowledge Development Division Social Science Research Branch (SSRB) based in Stuttgart, Germany. It is part of a larger body of assessments, independent research, papers, and reports created by the Stuttgart, Germany based Social Science Research Branch staff and by the socio-cultural research advisory team (SCRAT) members based at the Combined Joint Task Force  –   Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) in Djibouti. SSRB and SCRAT products are designed to highlight socio-cultural dimensions within specific African contexts. A unique feature of SSRB and SCRAT work is the use of methods of inquiry drawn from the Social Sciences. The report author, Dr. Liza E.A. Briggs, is employed as a BAE Systems Social Scientist supporting U.S. Africa Command. The statements, opinions, conclusions and recommendations in this report are the authors alone and do not represent the official position of BAE Systems, the U.S. Africa Command, or the U.S. Government.    Security Cooperation in Africa: French, U.S., and UK Approaches, Best Practices & Lessons Learned Page 3    UNCLASSIFIED Table of Contents Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 3   Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 4   Methods........................................................................................................................................... 6   Main Research Questions ............................................................................................................... 7   Perceptions .................................................................................................................................... 14 A good partner with the United States .......................................................................................... 16   Appendices: Participant Profiles .................................................................................................. 26   Appendices: Interview Protocol ................................................................................................... 29   Appendices: Frequently Referenced Programs and Activities .................................................... 31   About the Author .......................................................................................................................... 33      Security Cooperation in Africa: French, U.S., and UK Approaches, Best Practices & Lessons Learned Page 4    UNCLASSIFIED Executive Summary Based on a request from the U.S. Africa Command J-5 and with approval from the U.S. Africa Command Knowledge Development (KD) Research Advisory Board, 1  the Social Science Research Branch (SSRB) explored French, U.S., and United Kingdom (UK) security cooperation approaches in Sub-Sahara Africa. The study focuses on the advancement of security cooperation developments over the past decade. This report is designed to inform U.S. approaches in Africa by providing descriptive details about the dynamics related to security cooperation efforts in specific countries in Africa. The study includes direct quotes and examples from stakeholders who work in the security cooperation arena as funders, planners, researchers, implementers, and recipients or end-users of security cooperation efforts in Africa. The analysis in this report focuses on socio-cultural dynamics and the meanings associated with the comments made by the study participants. The report is not comprehensive; it focuses on cases and comments from French, U.S, and UK participants and African military personnel primarily from Djibouti, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. The discussion and recommendations are not generalizable to other country contexts. Three broad questions framed the study: 1.   What typifies French, U.S., and UK security cooperation efforts in Sub-Sahara Africa over the past decade? 2.   What are some of the perceived benefits and impacts of French, U.S., and UK investments in the defense sector from African perspectives? 3.   What lessons learned and best practice examples inform effective security cooperation efforts and have the potential to improve U.S. Africa Command efforts? Findings    French, U.S., and UK security cooperation efforts share an interest in offering an array of assistance programs in the defense sector that assist in building capacity and help Africans to help themselves. African military personnel commenting on this topic emphasized the importance of receiving security assistance focused on their basic needs (housing, equipment, training, regular pay). The needs differed depending on the country context. For example, Sierra Leone is emerging from a post-conflict situation and its needs are different from a country like Djibouti, which has not experienced a devastating internal conflict. 1  The Africa Command KD Research Advisory Board is comprised of senior level members from across Africa command directorates. The purpose of the board is to provide shaping and framing of research questions and provide consensus on the focus and relevance of research conducted by the SSRB.    Security Cooperation in Africa: French, U.S., and UK Approaches, Best Practices & Lessons Learned Page 5    UNCLASSIFIED    Participants in this study described assorted challenges associated with the management and dissemination of security cooperation due to the allocation process and the associated bureaucratic channels in place for each country. In the U.S. context, participants noted that allocation processes impacted their ability to plan strategically. They detailed how the dissemination process creates a rush to spend security cooperation funds each cycle. The situation impacts the ability of the United States to take a more consistent and long-term approach to security cooperation and security assistance.    Study participants cited numerous examples of collaboration and partnership in security cooperation endeavors. Countries funding security cooperation initiatives like France, U.S., and the UK collaborate with multiple entities within their bureaucracies to develop security cooperation, while some African militaries noted their struggles to develop bureaucratic structures essential to the development of civilian control of their respective defense sectors.    Comments about partnerships and collaboration highlighted resource gaps between funders and end-users of security cooperation and exposed a level of funder-end-user shared dependency. Part of the dependency dynamic involves accusations and rebuttals about waste and inefficiency in security cooperation. The potential for waste is reinforced by the reality that funders promote overlapping programs and there is a pragmatic unwillingness, on the part of end-users, to turn down security assistance, even when the security cooperation offering is irrelevant or unnecessary.    Funders talked about the impact of shrinking defense sector budgets and changing priorities on security cooperation efforts in Africa. End-users rely on funders for resources and seemed disconnected from the realities that may result from smaller defense sector funding. This is significant considering the amount of outside funded military training targeting African countries. Recommendations/Discussion    Participants in this study expressed an undercurrent of mistrust regarding U.S. defense sector goals and objectives in Africa. The United States needs to continue to establish its posture in Africa through consistent and ongoing dialogue about its goals and objectives. Frontline personnel involved in security cooperation should demonstrate why the United States should be a trusted partner.    Unlike the French and UK, the United States does not have a traditional colonial legacy in Africa. The commentary in this study suggests U.S. security cooperation efforts should be enacted in a manner that avoids fueling perceptions the United States is exerting too much control over African countries or treating Africans in a paternal manner. When partnering with former colonial powers in security cooperation endeavors, U.S. personnel should be mindful of the historical legacy of colonialism and the complex relationships that exist
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