This article argues that aspirations of maintaining a dominant influence over sub-Saharan security issues has spurred the French and British leadership of European Union (EU) foreign and security policy integration, just as it has informed military capability expansions by the armed forces of the main EU powers. While Europe's initial African focus was on stabilising a continent marred by state failure, civil wars and genocides, changes in the global security context, especially the shift towards multipolarity manifest in China's growing engagement, has prompted a complementary focus on deterring other powers from making military inroads into the subcontinent. Hence Europe's sub-Saharan security focus is shifting from stabilisation towards deterrence. This helps explain recent military procurements which, in spite of the extremely challenging fiscal position of most EU member states, feature large-scale investments in long-range deterrence capabilities.
African Security Review, 2013, Vol 22, Issue 1, p. 19-29