The Provision of Lethal Military Equipment: French, UK, and US Peacekeeping Policies Towards Africa

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Berman, Eric G. (2003) The Provision of Lethal Military Equipment: French, UK, and US Peacekeeping Policies Towards Africa , Security Dialogue 34(2): .

Western capacity-building programs designed to support African peacekeeping efforts have focused on classroom instruction, field training, and the provision of military equipment. These policies are significant given the numerous threats to peace and security throughout the continent and given the United Nations Security Council’s continued reliance on African regional organizations and arrangements in the event of armed conflicts and humanitarian crises. Initially, only France’s program included the provision of small arms and light weapons, and then on a rather limited scale. Subsequently, the United States and the United Kingdom have developed programs that have provided substantial quantities of lethal materiel. This article documents what has been provided and to whom. It reviews the oversight mechanisms used to ensure that equipment is used as intended, and asks whether the programs have served to promote peace and security as intended. The article argues that, while it is too early to determine the effectiveness of these programs, the checks and balances created to ensure that training and weapons are used as intended should be strengthened.

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