Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

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Rights Information

© 2016 Isabel Wade


This paper examines the intersection between human rights and security assistance in Mauritania. In American security assistance broadly, and within the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership specifically, there has been an over-securitization of “whole of government” counterterrorism policy. While the United States recognizes the need to address the social, economic, and political roots of extremism, it has failed to do so in practice. If the United States continues to support Mauritania with conventional security assistance but does not tackle the root causes of extremism, it will ultimately fail in fighting terrorism in the Sahel. In order to succeed, the U.S. government must give greater authority to the Department of State and USAID, create greater accountability for human rights within the Department of Defense, and improve interagency coordination. In the long term, the U.S. government must change its paradigm regarding the relationship between security and human rights.