Pillars of Africa’s Peace and Security Architecture: The African Standby Force
This chapter assesses the progress, problems, and prospects of achieving the objectives of the African Standby Force (ASF), which has been conceived as a continental rapid deployment force composed of troop contributions—regional standby brigades—from Southern, West, Eastern, Central, and North Africa. Established in 2002 as a key pillar of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the ASF was intended to become operational in 2010, but this deadline was missed and moved to 2015, and again missed, with the standby force continuing to be a work in progress. The chapter addresses two fundamental questions with reference to the ASF: What have the African Union (AU) and Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) achieved in their efforts towards security convergence? And what are the important actors and factors promoting or hindering regional security?