External security provision and military assistance to third parties is and has been in crisis. The collapse of the Afghan National Army within weeks is a striking example. Despite 20 years of intense training, advice and mentoring as well as massive military equipment provision, the international coalition in Afghanistan has not been able to build an effective, accountable and self-sustainable Afghan army nor police that is able to deliver public security.
Whilst each context has its specificities, the European security endeavours in the Sahel region are informed by similar approaches to what the international coalition has sought to achieve in Afghanistan. The worsening security situation in the Sahel region and the lack of progress in building effective security providers have led some international observers to compare the failure in Afghanistan with the European engagement in the Sahel. Regardless of the shortcomings, the EU member states have recently adopted the European Peace Facility that provides the financial, legal and technical framework to further expand EU’s security assistance programs in the future. In a new study to be published and shared in the upcoming days, Saferworld has conducted research on the EU’s security assistance in the Sahel. Mapping and analysing over €1 billion worth of security assistance missions and projects in the Sahel, the research has unpacked the logic behind the EU’s security approach. Looking into the EU’s security assistance along with member states’ counterterror operations and arms exports, the research has assessed its risks and impacts, drawing lessons for the future of the EU’s security assistance, including for the European Peace Facility.