Issue Brief posted February 12, 2013
United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Mali: Only After Stability Is Restored
After launching a counteroffensive against Islamist forces in Mali earlier this year, French President François Hollande is eager to transfer ownership of the mission to the African International Support Mission (AFISMA) under the direction of the United Nations. While the United States should continue to support French efforts to stabilize Mali, history shows that the…
Issue Brief posted January 18, 2013
Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan Senate Confirmation Hearings: U.S. Policy on Sub-Saharan Africa
Following President Obama’s inauguration, the Senate will hold confirmation hearings for three key Administration positions: Senator John Kerry (D–MA) for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense, and White House chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan for director of the CIA. These nominees have strongly supported President…
Issue Brief posted December 21, 2012
Mali: Military Force Is Not the Solution
Yesterday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the deployment of an African-led military force to rebuild Mali’s military and support the recovery of northern Mali, currently controlled by terrorist and extremist entities.
Permitting the use of force against Mali’s occupiers will result in an unnecessary delay in the…
Issue Brief posted December 18, 2012
The U.S. Must Rethink its Approach to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The recent occupation and subsequent retreat by the rebel group M23 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) city of Goma is the latest episode of the country's instability. Though M23 is just the newest rebel group among many, it is emblematic of the failure by the Congolese government and the international community to address the development and governance…
Issue Brief posted November 30, 2012
Benghazi Terrorist Attack: Select Committee Needed to Investigate
Almost three months after the September 11 attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, there are still many unanswered questions about what led to the deaths of four Americans. Despite Congress’s efforts to investigate the events surrounding the attack, little has been learned about how the United States can respond to similar attacks in the future.
It is therefore…
Issue Brief posted November 14, 2012
Lessons from Benghazi: Rethinking U.S. Diplomatic Security
Understanding what was behind the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi and the tragic results is vital for preparing for future security threats to embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions. The attack in Benghazi reveals a terrorist attack profile that the U.S. is likely to see again.
If the U.S. is to learn the lessons of this…
Issue Brief posted November 5, 2012
MANPADS on the Loose: Countering Weapons Proliferation in North Africa and the Sahel
When the Libyan regime of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi fell last year, its weapon stockpiles were looted and dispersed throughout Libya and beyond. Of the thousands of arms the regime stored, approximately 10,000 man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) are still unaccounted for.
MANPADS have the capacity to down commercial jetliners, are easily concealed, and, if…
Issue Brief posted November 5, 2012
Syrian Uprising: U.S. Inaction Contributes to a Wider Regional Conflict
American policy toward the Syrian uprising has been an unmitigated failure. President Obama’s glacially slow and overly cautious policies that were intended to avoid turning the Syrian uprising into a wider regional affair have had exactly the opposite effect. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for new leadership in the anti-Assad resistance is likely to amount to…
Issue Brief posted October 16, 2012
Fixing Mali: Stabilized Governance Should Be the Priority
The eruption of the “Arab Spring” nearly two years ago created a number of unintended consequences for the region. As the proliferation of terrorist activity rippled across North Africa and into Africa’s Sahel region, it manifested itself in northern Mali.
As Mali struggles to regain its occupied territory, the priority of interim leaders should be the stabilization…
Issue Brief posted August 23, 2012
Ethiopia Post-Meles: Washington Should Encourage Reforms
On August 21, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi passed away. Having come to power in 1991 following the overthrow of the communist Mengistu regime, Meles became a regional leader and a controversial partner to the United States. Meles’s autocratic tendencies and tight-fisted economic policies made him a divisive leader.
With his departure, the U.S. has an…
Issue Brief posted August 20, 2012
Somalia’s Government Transition Maintains the Status Quo
Today, the mandate for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) expired, and parliament met for the first time to begin the selection process for the country’s new president and speaker of parliament.
Though the process to create a new government has been flawed, the Obama Administration and the international community have hailed this development as momentous…
Issue Brief posted August 3, 2012
Sudan and South Sudan: Failed Talks Require New Strategy
Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to South Sudan as part of her two-week tour of Africa. During her visit she will meet with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and discuss the country’s ongoing crisis with Sudan. Clinton’s visit takes place a day after the two countries failed to meet the deadline imposed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution…