Lesley Anne Warner

Lesley Anne Warner is an Africa analyst at the CNA’s Center for Strategic Studies, where she provides analysis to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Joint Staff regarding planning for and prioritization of the U.S. military's future engagement with the security forces of key partner nations in Africa. She blogs at Lesley on Africa. The views expressed here are her own and do not reflect the official positions of the U.S. government or the Department of Defense.

Articles written by Lesley Anne Warner

Burkina Faso’s Compaore Needs an Exit Strategy

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

Despite its status as a poor, landlocked country in the midst of West Africa, Burkina Faso plays an important role in the region and for its international partners. During his 26 years in power, President Blaise Compaore has cast himself as an indispensible mediator. However, the increasing momentum of opposition to Compaore points to a need for him to find an exit strategy ahead of November 2015 elections. more

Flawed Peace Process Leads to Greater Unrest in the Central African Republic

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

Over the weekend, the Séléka rebel alliance seized the capital of the Central African Republic, the latest development in a rebellion that reignited in December 2012 over President François Bozizé’s failure to implement the terms of previous peace agreements. With Séléka in control, any negotiated political transition will now require a strong international guarantor if it is to avoid the fate of previous deals. more

Capacity-Building Key to Africom's Mission

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Feature

Across the globe, partner capacity-building through steady-state theater security cooperation plays an increasingly important role in the forward defense posture of the United States. For Africa Command, theater security cooperation is a core function. Africom seeks to build the capacity of African militaries to prevent conflict as well as lead military responses to emerging crises if necessary, thus preventing transnational threats from transcending the African continent. more

Force Reduction Key to South Sudan's Military Transformation

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

South Sudan has embarked on a program to transform the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the country’s preindependence guerrilla army, into a professional, conventional force by 2017. However, the success of this strategy, referred to as Objective Force 2017, is contingent on a number of factors, not least of which is the military’s ability to undertake such a significant reduction in force. more

Kenya's Coast Province Could Be Flashpoint in Run-Up to Elections

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

An ongoing standoff in Kenya’s Coast province between the central government and the secessionist Mombasa Republican Council could make the region a flashpoint for next year’s elections. The MRC has threatened to disrupt the polls, which will help test whether the devolution enshrined in Kenya's new constitution can remedy the political marginalization and economic inequality that plagues the region. more

New Africom Brigade a Test Case for a Leaner Pentagon

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

With budgetary constraints looming and global priorities shifting, one of the new approaches being developed by the Defense Department is the Regionally Aligned Brigade concept, whose pilot rotation will be conducted by Africom. More than simply “sending troops to Africa,” the concept recognizes the need to develop a more efficient force management system and explore a lighter concept of operations. more

Instability in Mali Complicates Regional Approach to AQIM

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

Over the weekend, Tuareg rebels seized three major cities of northern Mali, highlighting the inability of the military junta currently ruling the country to stem the rebel's advance. With Mali’s military in disarray and the junta increasingly subject to significant diplomatic and economic pressures, there are concerns that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb may benefit from the mayhem reigning in the country. more

Lasting Solutions Elusive for South Sudan's Militia Problem

By Lesley Anne Warner
, on , Briefing

Since the spring of 2010, South Sudan has been facing an onslaught of militia activity in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states. For the most part, the government has pursued an “amnesty and integration” policy, whereby militias members are offered amnesty and integrated into the Southern People’s Liberation Army. Some gains notwithstanding, Juba’s struggle with militias may not be over. more