Border Security and Illicit Trafficking


The countries of the Maghreb and Egypt face a complex and evolving security environment, featuring a host of transnational actors that leverage borders for profit and for sanctuary. Although the threat of insecure borders has increased in the region, there continues to be limited information and analysis to inform the design and implementation of integrated, cross-border approaches to shared border challenges. Combatting these emergent threats requires a strategic regional approach to address a reliance on outdated tools, mitigate the impact of disparate border management systems, and overcome siloed national approaches to border security.


Project: With support from the Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program, Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) is conducting an analysis of existing border management capacity and capabilities in Egypt and Libya; identifying opportunities to address observed gaps; and developing strategic and operational level programmatic recommendations to inform future U.S. Government assistance in the region. Informed by SCG’s extensive field research and high-level engagement with border management stakeholders in Libya and Egypt, this assessment is designed to enhance the outcomes and impact of U.S. Government programming in the region. SCG is also conducting a comprehensive assessment of Libya’s border security training capacity for border guards and officials. Through a series of strategic workshops with Libyan stakeholders, SCG will identify opportunities to address training gaps and develop extensive strategic training recommendations to inform U.S Government efforts to assist Libyan officials in revising their current border security training curriculum and pedagogy.


Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) is a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the ability of the United States and its partners to build strategic security sector capacity both at home and abroad. SCG assists donor and recipient governments to assess institutional capacity, identify gaps, develop and implement solutions, and improve the sustainability and impact of reform.

SCG’s Border Security Program is founded on a multi-tiered approach to border security to build capacity at the ministerial, operational, and local levels. This is achieved through:

  • Conducting substantive threat, institutional, and gap assessments of border management, operations, recruitment, training, and community engagement;
  • Building operational capacity through tabletop simulations and tailored trainings for border security stakeholders;
  • Facilitating inter-ministerial coordination and enhancing response effectiveness to develop coordinated response options; and
  • Facilitating cross-border regional cooperation among border security actors and between border security actors and communities on critical border “hotspots.”