National and Human Security in Sub-Sahara Africa

U.S. foreign policy for Sub-Sahara Africa debates commonly occur within a bifurcated framework. One side depicts national security, or realpolitik by focusing on national interest. The other side articulates an idealism that stresses humanitarianism. These outlooks generally assume mutually exclusive positions for guiding policy. Since the strongest impetus for action in a self-help world made up of nation-states is national interests, humanitarian arguments for action appear relatively weak or have proved to be so in recent U.S. history.

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