Small Wars Journal

Africa

Open Source Backgrounder: Djibouti, Foreign Military Bases on the Horn of Africa - Who is There? What are They Up To?

Djibouti is a small dusty coastal nation on the Horn of Africa that has the distinction of being located at the southern entrance of the Red Sea on route to the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden. Djibouti is a mandatory passage way for important maritime trade routes; making it strategic terra firma, sought after by the most powerful militaries in the world. Djibouti is ideal for navel security operations, anti-piracy patrols, counter terror drone strikes, air force operations, counter terror special operations, intelligence-surveillance, peacekeeping & humanitarian aid.

About the Author(s)

Open Source Backgrounder: Russian Strategy in Sub-Sahara Africa, Military & Industrial Partnerships-What is Russia Up To?

Russia is building strong partnerships with Sub-Saharan African nations as a strategy to displace NATO and counter western influence. Some African partnerships established during the Soviet era, were weakened after the collapse of the Soviet Union, others are the result of opportunities created by the departure of western alliances. Russia has since re-engaged African nations to develop economic and military partnerships.

About the Author(s)

The Ethiopian Civil War: A Failure in Counterinsurgency

The Ogaden War, though officially ending in 1978, sparked rapid militarization as well as political repression on a heightened level within Ethiopia, which in turn triggered the conflagration of the Civil War itself. Political radicalization doesn’t attack outwards but rather inwards. The Red Terror, having claimed up to possibly half a million lives.

About the Author(s)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Kabila’s Last Stand

Kabila still controls everything and is forcing even the most skeptical to dance to his tune, and there’s little doubt he will ever truly leave. He is allowing the electoral process to take its course; but he won’t contest the election because he won’t have to. Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, his candidate —or surrogate, as some observers contend—will win the vote. “Kabila has no option but to make his heir apparent win, by hook or by crook.”

About the Author(s)

On the Horns of a Dilemma – Addressing Chinese Security Engagement in the HOA

China’s increased security engagement in the Horn of Africa has important implications for United States’ policies equally in the region and globally. China’s expansion presents both risks and opportunities that the United States should judiciously consider and leverage to ensure continued stability and the advancement of interests shared between the U.S. and China.

About the Author(s)

Special Forces at the Lion’s Tail: Managing Risk in the Use of Special Operations Forces and the Application of Law

The 2017 NSS allows undue risk. A parsing of the NSS strategy toward Africa helps make the point: the NSS defers to ends and means and leaves ways unclear. The Lykke model of military strategy (ways to apply means to ends) is brilliant in its simplicity. But this model fails as a construct of national strategy.

About the Author(s)