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By 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be water stressed, with many people residing in conflict-affected and fragile states. Against a backdrop of environmental degradation, population growth, increased temperature variability, migration, conflict, and radicalization, governments in the Sahel are increasingly concerned with addressing the complex and interrelated threats tied to water security. This evolving landscape demands innovative approaches to water management that leverage skills and expertise from a wealth of disciplines to achieve shared security and development objectives. Military forces in the Sahel are important but seemingly overlooked stakeholders in this effort. This paper explores how national governments in the Niger Basin can adjust their security budgets to create and deploy military units capable of enhancing basic water infrastructure. Through long-term cross-sector partnerships, African militaries can develop domestic capacity to execute projects that align with a comprehensive, integrated water sector policy framework. Combined with resource modeling and alignment of development resources, this approach can promote specific courses of action that alleviate stress factors and optimize international investment.