Throughout the past century, sub-Saharan Africa has more often than not either been largely ignored by outside powers or functioned uneasily as a proxy space for outside powers’ various battles. Three things tend to pull outside powers in: There‘s of course the continent’s abundance of natural resources, from oil to minerals to timber to, more recently, undeveloped farmland. There are concerns about nonstate threats spawning from the continent’s many ungoverned spaces, particularly jihadism. Finally, there’s the global great-power competition that spills into the continent. All three pull factors are currently in play, leading to a surge of attention from several heavy hitters and aspiring powers alike – and, perhaps inevitably, a more crowded military environment.