Among the world's most unstable regions, West Africa in the last decade has experienced a web of conflicts with profound and wide-ranging effects. West Africa's Security Challenges is the first comprehensive assessment of the resulting mix of setbacks and progress. The authors provide a context for understanding the region's security dilemmas, highlighting the link between failures of economic development, governance, and democratization on the one hand and military insecurity and violent conflicts on the other. The role of key regional and external actors in foiling - and sometimes fueling - conflicts is also examined. The result is an analysis that is not only academically rigorous, but relevant to current policy debates.