Backgrounder posted April 7, 2015
Intervention in Libya: Lessons in Leading
Weeds of the Arab Spring
The Arab Spring undoubtedly changed the political, economic, and security landscape in the Middle East and North Africa. More than four years after the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi and the catalytic explosion of the event on social media among Arab youth populations, authoritarian regimes quickly came under fire,…
Backgrounder posted March 12, 2013
Lessons from Benghazi: Investigation Leaves Important Questions Unanswered
When armed terrorists stormed the United States Special Mission compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, it was not the first such breach of a U.S. diplomatic installation. In fact, it was one of four such attacks that occurred over the course of the week in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and Libya.
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…
Backgrounder posted December 20, 2012
The Arab Spring Descends into Islamist Winter: Implications for U.S. Policy
In 2011 and 2012, a wave of popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East shook the region’s autocratic regimes, prompting euphoric reactions in the West about an “Arab Spring” and a supposed new age of democracy. While the overthrow of authoritarian regimes can give democracy a chance to bloom, it has also created opportunities for a wide spectrum of…
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 September 14, 2012
U.S. Aid to Egypt and Libya: Tight Strings Needed
The Obama Administration is finalizing an aid package to Egypt that includes forgiving approximately $1 billion of Egypt’s debt to the United States. This is in addition to about $1.5 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid. However, the lax reaction of Egypt’s new Islamist government to the violent demonstrations at the U.S. embassy in Cairo has raised questions about the…