The G5 Sahel Joint Force was established in 2017 to combat terrorism, illicit trafficking and transnational crime. Despite a slow operationalisation – i.e. how quickly it has been deployed in the theatres of operation and the impact of the operations carried out – the joint force has carved out its role in the Sahel as a military coalition and it constitutes an important cooperation partner of external military actors. The joint force relies on external actors for resources, military training and assistance to conduct military operations. This dependence appears to diminish the joint force’s autonomy and self-sufficiency, which suggests external support will be needed for the joint force for an indefinite period.