RUSI JournalVolume 164Issue 3members only

Western Security Force Assistance in Weak States: Time for a Peacebuilding Approach


Main Image Credit US forces have partnered with the Ugandan security forces to improve their effectiveness, 2017. Courtesy of US National Guard/Penny Snoozy


Western actors too often seek to apply technical fixes for political problems.

Security force assistance (SFA) is increasingly emphasised as a way of supporting local partners on the front lines. In this article, Emily Knowles and Jahara Matisek suggest that traditional approaches to SFA are too technical to deal with political problems in fragile states. They suggest a new vision for SFA in fragmented security sectors: a peacebuilding tool for stabilising political settlements that improves relationships across armed groups and between the security

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