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    Central Al-Qaeda May Be Wounded but Terrorist Threat Remains

    On March 12 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report on the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.” The report stated the following: Senior personnel losses in 2012, amplifying losses and setbacks since 2008, have degraded core al-Qa’ida…. However, the group has held essentially the same … More

    The U.S. Should Ignore U.N. Inquiry Into Drone Strikes

    Airstrikes carried out by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly referred to as drones) have been criticized for several years by international human rights activists, including certain “special rapporteurs” operating out of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. One such special rapporteur, Ben Emmerson of the United Kingdom, has … More

    Somaliland: Proof That Democracy in the Horn of Africa Is Possible

    Today, citizens of Somaliland head to the polls to elect their local municipal council representatives. While the dysfunctional Somalia gets most of the attention in the Horn of Africa, its northern neighbor Somaliland has stood out as a success story. This election is the fifth direct vote in Somaliland since … More

    Somalia: New President, Same Challenges

    Yesterday, Somalia’s newly appointed parliament voted Hassan Sheikh Mohamud into office as the country’s new president. A political amateur and academic from central Somalia, Mohamud is considered to be a moderate. As such, he contrasts greatly with the former president of the Transitional Federal Government, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Mohammed. A … More

    A Somali Maritime Force? Think Again

    Earlier this week, Somalia’s prime minister and presidential hopeful Abdiweli Mohamed Ali announced that his government seeks to establish a marine task force to stop “foreign countries and companies from taking Somalia’s resources illegitimately.” Ali is getting ahead of himself. Instead of looking to expand the government’s use of force, … More

    Somaliland Continues to Strive for Recognition

    Amid the lawless bloodbath that is Somalia, the northern state of Somaliland remains a rare example of functioning democracy in the Muslim world. Unlike the rest of Somalia, Somaliland has maintained relative stability and peace despite occasional border conflicts with the semi-autonomous Somali province of Puntland. Since its unilateral referendum … More

    Somalia: Terrorism Is a Symptom of State Failure

    The African Union’s mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is having marginal success in pushing the terrorist organization al-Shabaab out of its occupied territory. Al-Shabaab militants have retreated from strongholds in Baidoa, Afmadow, Afgoye, and the crucial port city of Kismayo. African military leaders are confident that their thankless task of defending … More

    Al-Shabaab Targets Kenya

    Last Monday, a shopping center in downtown Nairobi erupted into chaos when a bomb exploded, killing at least one person and injuring dozens. While the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab has not claimed responsibility, evidence, according to Kenyan officials, indicates that the attack was carried out by al-Shabaab or one of … More

    London Somalia Conference: The First Step to Addressing a Crisis Is Acknowledging It

    Today world leaders met in London for a conference addressing the ongoing crisis in Somalia. The one-day event included deliberations on the failed state’s governance (or lack thereof), piracy, terrorism, famine, and the African Union’s Mission in Somalia. Considering these problems have wracked Somalia for two decades, the notion that … More

    Worse Than Somali Pirates: Disappointment in Burma

    After watching as Burma released a mere handful of political prisoners—between 11 and 30, according to various reports, all of whom had very little time left on their sentences—Burmese comedian and former political prisoner Zarganar wrote, “I once likened the situation of my friends in jail as being in the … More