Let’s assume the worst comes to the worst.

President Yahya Jammeh refuses to listen to the United Nations, African Union or his West African fellow heads of state.

instead he digs in his heels and demands that another “improved” election is held.

In other words, he lives up to his pledge to rule for a “billion years.”

The question then is: will the expensive security architecture established under the African Union be brought into play.

This is the African Standby Force (ASF) and its regional components.

This is what the ASF is meant to do:

The ambition is for the ASF to stop conflict, restore peace, prevent crises from escalating and conduct peacekeeping missions. It will also be considered for humanitarian missions.

An important success factor will be the ASF’s rapid deployment capability, with as many as 12 500 trained and equipped military, police and civilian personnel ready for action, anywhere in Africa, within 14 days of a crisis being identified and a commitment made to act on it. This should be followed by a force of up to 5 000 personnel within 90 days, capable of self-sustainment for 30 days.

It seems pretty clear that the Gambian situation is exactly what the ASF was meant to prevent, so what chance that it will be sent into action?