Is it time for the UN to help Malians talk to JNIM?

MINUSMA Transport Company Delivers Water to Airport Guards. Photo Credit: United Nations In late January 2022, France announced it would “reevaluate” the future of its counterterrorism operations in Mali. This came after France had already downsized Operation Barkhane, and closed bases in Timbuktu, Kidal, and Tessalit. Operation Barkhane led by the French since 2014 aimed … Continue reading Is it time for the UN to help Malians talk to JNIM?

The Revival of Strategic Competition in West Africa: Western Intransigence and Eastern Assertiveness

The Reemergence of Geopolitical Alignment On September 1, 1961, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 25 heads of state hailing from four continents—from Cuba in the West to Indonesia in the East, gathered to formally establish the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Born ideologically of the movements for anti-colonialism, non-interference, and pacifism, it would morph into an explicit geopolitical position … Continue reading The Revival of Strategic Competition in West Africa: Western Intransigence and Eastern Assertiveness

The Resource Curse, Colonialism, and The Hypocrisy of Western “Climate Leadership”

Photo Credit: Getty Images Introduction: Is Colonialism still in the Atmosphere? Western countries are often hypocrites, especially when it comes to climate change mitigation. As the world works to curb emissions and tackle climate change, many Western countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany, are investing in green energy sectors across African countries attempting … Continue reading The Resource Curse, Colonialism, and The Hypocrisy of Western “Climate Leadership”

A Friendly Reminder that Al-Qaeda is Still Strong and Will Likely Become Even Stronger

A fighter from the Al-Nusra Front holds a flag representing the local al-Qaeda branch in Syria. Photo Credit: Rami Al-Sayed, AFP. Prior to and following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, US intelligence and defense officials sounded the alarm regarding al-Qaeda. They specifically flagged al-Qaeda’s ability to reconstitute its capabilities and conduct an attack on US interests … Continue reading A Friendly Reminder that Al-Qaeda is Still Strong and Will Likely Become Even Stronger

The US does not have an Africa strategy, but China does

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army attends the opening ceremony of China’s military base in Djibouti — its first overseas naval base — in August 2017. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images Washington’s interests on the African continent are poorly defined. This lack of strategic attention is illustrated by the Pentagon’s publication of regional strategies for Europe and … Continue reading The US does not have an Africa strategy, but China does

Boko Haram: Terrorist Endemic

Boko Haram, a terrorist organization that emerged in northern Nigeria in 2002, continues to pose a significant threat to Nigeria and the broader region, carrying out deadly attacks and engaging in criminal activity. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Boko Haram insurgency has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake … Continue reading Boko Haram: Terrorist Endemic

The Economic Factors of al-Shabaab’s Insurgency

Data from ACLED on attacks perpetrated by jihadists in Mozambique. Photo Credit: The Economist In October 2017, a group of Islamist rebels locally known as al-Shabaab (no affiliation with al-Shabaab in Somalia) sought to spread radical Islam and gain territory in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. [i] The situation deteriorates as both internal … Continue reading The Economic Factors of al-Shabaab’s Insurgency

A Page in the Colonial Ledger: Nigeria, Britain, and the Ghosts of Colonialism

Photo Credit: Hurst & Company What Britain did to Nigeria: A Short History of Conquest and Ruleby Max SiollunHurst & Company, 390 pp., $29.95 Since the apparent global ascent of the far-right in popular support and electoral success (the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and of course the election of Donald … Continue reading A Page in the Colonial Ledger: Nigeria, Britain, and the Ghosts of Colonialism

Assessing the Impact of Chinese Arms in Africa

A Chinese manufactured armored personnel carrier on the streets of Zimbabwe. Photo Credit: Voice of America China’s Growing Exports Africa has emerged as an increasingly important region amidst discussions of renewed great power competition between the United States and China. Weapons sales constitute a critical, yet often underexplored, component of this competition in Africa. Since … Continue reading Assessing the Impact of Chinese Arms in Africa

Amid Growing Instability, Elections in the Sahel Should Signal a Shift in US Security Policy

Niger's electoral commission prepares ballot boxes for the presidential election runoff on 21 February. Photo Credit: AFP-ISSOUF SANOGO The deteriorating security situation in the Sahel underscores an urgent need for an innovative policy to combat terrorism and insecurity. While this failure to ameliorate the security environment has long been evident, a series of elections in Niger, … Continue reading Amid Growing Instability, Elections in the Sahel Should Signal a Shift in US Security Policy