Military intervention in sub-Saharan Africa
Amponin, Kathleen F.
Patenaude, Bertrand M.
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine United States military intervention in the civil wars of sub-Saharan Africa. Because the United States does not have any strategic interests in the region, it becomes involved in African conflicts only when they reach extreme levels of violence and when states collapse. This level of violence generates a degree of international sympathy that puts pressure on the United States government to intervene military in the domestic policies and political arrangements of these countries in order to stop the violence and restore order. This thesis argues that the violence associated with civil conflict in Africa is part of the process of central state power accumulation a process which in Europe took place in the 17th and 18th centuries. By attempting to reestablish order and stability, the United States only disrupts and prevents the consolidation of state authority necessary for the emergence of national states and long term stability. The thesis concludes that international military intervention cannot solve the root cause of the instability and that, therefore, external actors should refrain from intervening in these situations
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