The actual threat posed by terrorism in Africa can be overstated, but it is difficult to exaggerate the impact that post-9/11 security concerns have had on the way analysts and practitioners understand and engage with Africa. While the new preoccupation with security threats in Africa manifests itself most explicitly as the counter-terrorism agenda, it encompasses a much wider range of international security concerns, some pre-dating the global ‘war on terror’. Analytically, this has meant that a growing portion of research and analysis on Africa interprets the continent through a security lens. In the policy world, the trend has been toward the ‘securitization’ of humanitarian relief, development aid, state-building and democratization programmes, and peace-building and post-conflict initiatives (Curtis, this volume), as security priorities have subordinated and redefined those agendas. The reshuffling of priorities has produced stormy debates and power struggles inside donor governments and the United Nations (UN) system. At the same time, it has also brought external security actors – especially the US Department of Defense – into a much more robust role on the continent than was the case in the 1990s, when Africa was generally seen to have marginal importance to US and global security.