The White House’s recent release of 10-year stabilization and conflict prevention plans marks another milestone in U.S. efforts to implement the closely watched Global Fragility Act (GFA). The legislation received bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress before being signed into law by then President Donald Trump in 2019. It requires the U.S. government to develop a strategy for preventing the drivers of violent conflict and extremism, and to test a more coordinated, cost-effective and sustained U.S. approach in hot spots around the world.
The Biden administration has a full agenda planned for African heads of state arriving for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington next week. While much of the summit will focus on economic development, peace and security challenges exist throughout Africa. One area where concerted leadership on both fronts could make a real difference is in northern Mozambique, where an African-led regional intervention has helped to stem — but not quell — an insurgency that has ravaged Mozambique’s resource-rich Cabo Delgado province.
Over the last year, Mozambique has seen a marked improvement in security conditions in its troubled Cabo Delgado region. The military intervention of Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states and Rwanda has disrupted an Islamist insurgency that emerged in 2017 and has since inflicted an enormous toll on the region. Security in key areas of Cabo Delgado and neighboring provinces has stabilized, giving the Mozambican government — and its international backers — an opportunity to foster reconciliation leading to an enduring peace. The Mozambican government should immediately take advantage of this exceptional regional commitment, which won’t last forever.
The Global Fragility Act (GFA) is an ambitious law that makes preventing conflicts and promoting stability in countries prone to conflict a U.S. foreign policy priority. Following years of efforts that overemphasized military operations in response to extremist violence and insurgencies, the GFA requires a long-term investment to address the underlying drivers of conflict. The Biden administration has released a new strategy to implement the GFA with 10-year commitments of assistance to a group of fragile states. The GFA and the new strategy rely, in part, on recommendations made by the USIP-convened Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States.