n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - AFRICOM-led multinational training exercises in West Africa - : West Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 05
  • ISSN :


Over the past five years, the United States (US) has conducted a series of annual or biannual, joint training exercises on the African continent with various African countries under the auspices of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). Fifteen of these exercises in particular have become regular events across the continent. AFRICOM's stated intention for these exercises is the strengthening and enhancement of African regional security. For the US, AFRICOM is a mechanism through which it can project itself militarily across Africa. For West Africa, AFRICOM represents a significant influencing factor on the security architecture of the region.

To this end, US-sponsored joint training exercises aim to provide a range of skills necessary to improve the military capabilities of various African states (see table on following page). The four 'Express' exercises listed, for instance, are specifically geared toward maritime security, while the 'Accord' series of exercises generally apply to regional operations that focus on medical, communications or logistical training. One series of twice-yearly exercises, named 'Flintlock', are aimed more directly at the Special Forces community, intended increasingly for operations. All of these exercises are both effective and highly visible examples of US direct involvement in the security architecture of the continent. With regard to West Africa in particular, US efforts have been directed toward countering organised transnational crime and maritime piracy. However, AFRICOM's focus is increasingly directed toward militant Islamist extremists and insurgents, in connection with the broader US .

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error