Africa has traditionally had a marginal and decreasing role in international affairs. Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, however, the continent has taken center stage in the emerging security discourse, and access to African oil is now a strategic priority for the United States, which now trades more with Africa than Central Europe and the former Soviet Union combined. This fact, and the potential threat from global terrorism, are reflected in emerging security regimes on the continent, bolstered by increased U.S. military assistance. Thus, global forces have penetrated not only African economic policymaking, but also security; however, increased military assistance and the suppression of human rights are further distancing society from the African state, worsening long-term instability and jeopardizing U.S. access to African oil. The creation of genuine security in Africa and the United States will depend on the reconceptualization of security as human security, and the addition of a substantive social-welfare dimension to globalization.