Disarming not defending Africa

  • Paul Moorcraft Joint Services Command and Staff College, UK
Keywords: should Africa be protected?, The Media of Conflict, French meddling in Rwanda, 'ethnic nationalism', humanitarian and military intervention, Africa's 'ethnic' wars


Most sub-Saharan states cannot protect themselves from major military threats, especially extra-continental ones. From the perspective of the big international players the question is: should Africa be protected? In this collection of essays, the impact of Africa's global marginalisation is duly noted. This fundamental facet of Africa's security dilemma, however, is not analysed in any meaningful way. True, the usual malaises, including 'ethnic nationalism', are paraded, but there is no mention of the current debate on how Africa's 'ethnic' wars are interpreted by the international media, and its assumed impact on humanitarian and military intervention. If they have not done so already, the editors should read Tim Allen and Jean Seaton's new book, The Media of Conflict. Here the implications of the so-called second scramble for Africa, including the role of aid agencies and the International Monetary Fund, are scrutinised. Seaton and Allen reject the notion of mindless, primordial violence in Africa, and instead examine the repercussions of foreign intervention (most egregiously French meddling in Rwanda) as well as the rational economic motivations of the assorted warlords.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Moorcraft, P. (2012). Disarming not defending Africa. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 29. https://doi.org/10.5787/29-0-192
Review Articles