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  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2013 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Brett D. Schaefer 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…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2013 by Morgan Lorraine Roach Misadventures in Mali: Implications for Trans-Sahel Terror

    A month ago, the crisis in Mali was on few Americans' radar. But when France launched a military operation to combat a terrorist coalition that had taken over half the country, Mali became the crisis du jour. There had been plenty of warning, but many were surprised to learn that terrorists in Africa's Sahel region now pose a significant and growing terror threat to…

  • Issue Brief posted January 18, 2013 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Brett D. Schaefer 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…

  • Commentary posted January 16, 2013 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Luke Coffey Mali: Low-Hanging Fruit for France

    At a time when French President Francois Hollande has gained a reputation for dithering over domestic policy the recent French-led intervention in Mali and Friday's botched rescue operation in Somalia has presented a new type of Hollande -- one that behaves like a Commander in Chief. However, has Hollande bitten off more than he can chew? A coalition of Islamist militants…

  • Issue Brief posted December 21, 2012 by Morgan Lorraine Roach 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Brett D. Schaefer 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Jessica Zuckerman 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…

  • Commentary posted November 24, 2012 by Jessica Zuckerman, Morgan Lorraine Roach U.S. Foreign Policy: The Way Forward

    The election is over. President Obama was declared the victor. So what now of U.S. leadership in the world? If you listened only to the political rhetoric of the election, you might think it didn’t matter anymore. After all Bin Laden is dead, Iran still doesn’t have a nuclear weapon and Middle East tyrants are being overthrown, right? Not exactly. During his…

  • Issue Brief posted November 14, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Morgan Lorraine Roach 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach, Jessica Zuckerman 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 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Morgan Lorraine Roach, James Phillips 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach 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 by Morgan Lorraine Roach 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…