n African Journal of Business and Economic Research - Defense security cooperation agreements : the impact of US military aid and engagement policies in Africa

Volume 7, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 1750-4554
  • E-ISSN: 1750-4562


The 2010 National Security Strategy of the United States (NSS) emphasizes the rise of Africa as an increasingly vital stage for the advancement of US strategic interests. The NSS advocates supporting peaceful democracies in their "universal aspiration for freedom and dignity" while advancing the equally important objectives of regional stability, security, and economic development. (Obama, 2010) There may be an inherent conflict between these two objectives. This paper empirically examines the relationships between US military engagement policies and various measures of freedom and security for African nations over the last decade. The results show little correlation between levels military engagement and security measures. The results also present a generally positive correlation between military engagement and measures of human rights, freedom, and democracy. Accordingly, we conclude that the use of military engagement as a policymaking tool may present some utility in furthering democratization and US strategic objectives. However, employing the military instrument of national power in an effort to foster nation-state endurance or broader regional stability is questionable.

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