7 November 2019

Today, Oxford Research Group, a peace and security organisation, launched their report on how the UK’s new Fusion Doctrine can better address the problems currently facing Africa. 

The report, Fusion Doctrine in Five Steps: Lessons Learned from Remote Warfare in Africa, highlights that while Fusion Doctrine may be well-suited to addressing crises, it struggles to create “routine fusion” which systematically brings key stakeholders together to build sustainable peace and security when the threat is less pronouncedThis is especially problematic when it comes to remote warfare, the trend through which countries like the UK engage abroad by supporting local and regional forces to do the bulk of frontline fighting. Africa is a congested space for this sort of activity and, if the dangers of this approach are not addressed, the UK risks doing more harm than good. 

To overcome these shortcomings, the report proposes a five-step approach to make Fusion Doctrine work:

1. Whole of government thinking in Whitehall 
2. Implementation of this approach in the countries the UK engages in 
3. Coordinating effectively with other international efforts 
4. Establishing a meaningful dialogue with the host country 
5. Creating a meaningful dialogue with civil society, both internationally and at home

The report argues that following these steps will be essential to ensuring Fusion Doctrine paves the way for credible, positive change in UK foreign policy and aids efforts to build stability and security in African states

“The development of Fusion Doctrine represents an important opportunity to improve how the UK addresses instability abroad; however, this report raises important questions about how effectively this can be achieved with light footprint military engagements – especially given the complex problems facing many countries in Africa.

To answer these questions, and suggest viable alternatives, we undertook extensive interviews with practitioners and experts, expert roundtables with the military, government officials, civil society and academics and field research in Mali and Kenya. The result is an important contribution to debates on Fusion Doctrine, and UK foreign policy more generally.” 

- Abigail Watson and Megan Karlshøj-Pedersen, (report authors)    

The report can be read here.

An event featuring an expert panel to discusses the report’s key findings will be held on 26 November in London. You can confirm your attendance here.    

Media enquiries, please contact: 020 3559 6745 

Alternatively, you can contact us by email: [email protected]

 You can follow discussions on the report’s findings on Twitter via the hashtag #5StepsToFusion