Editor’s note: This article was written by Ana Maria Baloi and originally published on Grey Dynamics.

This report examines the likelihood of a Russian power projection in West Africa, based on the country’s ambitions, military doctrine and previous and current actions in other parts of the continent

Key Judgements

KJ-1: Russia’s interest in Africa is nothing new, with (troops) already present in Libya, Central African Republic (CAR), and Mozambique. There is a real possibility that Russia will challenge the Western military presence in the Sahel in the next 5 years, by supporting the region’s military efforts against Islamic extremism.

KJ-2: U.S. involvement in the fight against jihadism in West Africa is likely to decrease. The U.S. is rethinking its strategic goals; troop withdrawals from West Africa are expected later in 2020, as the U.S.’s current strategic priority is China.