Information Support for Security Policy at the African Union
The Continental Early Warning System of the African Union is expected to provide decision makers with the information they need to prevent grave crimes against humanity. Little scholarship exists on the CEWS, as it is not yet fully operational. However by assessing the CEWS using the intelligence cycle as a framework for analysis, key weaknesses in the model of early warning adopted by the African Union become manifest. These weaknesses are likely to be serious enough to prevent the African Union from succeeding in its mission to prevent grave conflicts. The paper concludes by arguing that despite the historical factors that have shaped the African Union's model of early warning, it should develop the capacity to engage in carefully structured ad hoc intelligence liaison relationships with African and non-African intelligence services. This will enable it to supplement its collection capability, and encourage the active participation of high-level decision makers in the generation of early warning and operational contingency plans.
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