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  • Mali

    Al-Qaeda: 'Spreading Like Wildfire'

    Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers that the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade received were profoundly unsettling. Former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–Conn.) testified that Syria had become a key focal point of al-Qaeda’s efforts. He noted that there … More

    Q&A on the Strife in Libya

    Libya is enduring almost daily attacks at the hands of nongovernment militias and Islamist militants. These undermining activities include stolen oil shipments, terrorist attacks, unlawful security checkpoints, and human rights abuses, and the list of violent and disruptive behavior at the hands of unrecognized armed militias and Islamist militants continues. … More

    Africa: U.S. Leadership Needed to Promote Democracy

    Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World 2014 found that sub-Saharan Africa declined in all seven categories of global political rights and civil liberties. Most telling was that, of the 10 countries listed as the “Worst of the Worst” in this year’s report, five were African countries, including the Central … More

    Coalitions Can't Solve Syria Crisis

    As the Obama Administration readies to respond to with force against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria for employing chemical weapons, it has been pretty clear that it plans to go in with a “coalition of the willing.” That is cold comfort. The reality is—and everyone in the world knows … More

    Al-Qaeda Hub: East Africa

    Four U.S. embassies in sub-Saharan Africa—in Burundi, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Rwanda—remain closed this week in addition to the embassy closures in the Middle East and North Africa. Concerns over terrorist plots in east Africa are not new to the region: 15 years ago today—August 7, 1998—the U.S. embassies in Kenya … More

    Mali Needs More Than Imperfect Elections

    The first round of elections held over the weekend in Mali were hastily declared free and fair by the French and the international community quickly followed suit. Thankfully, they were also largely peaceful. However, substantial electoral irregularities could undermine future stability and raise questions about the legitimacy of the new … More

    Postpone Elections in Mali

    Mali, which is in the midst of an internal conflict, is set to have a presidential election on July 28. However, numerous obstacles should lead officials to consider moving the election to the fall. Many of the problems are logistical. The distribution of voter identification cards to eligible voters only … More

    Secretary Kerry Fumbles at the African Union

    Boko Haram, the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria, was called a terrorist organization by Secretary of State John Kerry last week. At the 50th anniversary Summit for the African Union celebrations, Secretary Kerry referred to Boko Haram not as a “terrorist group” in typical State Department–approved terms but as an outright … More

    France Needs To See the Job Through in Mali

    Last week, a donor conference comprised principally of the U.S. and European nations pledged $4.22 billion for reconstruction efforts in war-torn Mali, most of which is contingent upon Mali holding elections on July 28. The size of the pledge indicates the myriad problems facing the African nation, problems that a … More

    EU Begins Woefully Inadequate Training Mission in Mali

    European troops have begun training Malian forces to help ensure security and stability following a planned French withdrawal in July. From the start, the mission is unlikely to succeed. The program has too few European trainers and will train a paltry four Malian battalions—roughly 2,600 soldiers—to secure a country twice … More