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  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by Joshua Meservey, Anthony B. Kim The President’s Last Trip to Africa: Focus on Promoting Economic Freedom and the Rule of Law

    On July 24, President Barack Obama will travel to Kenya before continuing on to Ethiopia. President Obama’s final trip to Africa is intended to underscore the Administration’s efforts “to work with the countries and citizens of sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security.”[1] In fact, these ideas are not new.…

  • Backgrounder posted April 7, 2015 by Dakota Wood, Charlotte Florance, James Phillips 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,…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2015 by Charlotte Florance A Rare Bright Spot for Democracy in Africa

    Democratic governance and civil liberties are losing ground in Africa. Yet last week brought some good news for democratic leadership on the continent. Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba received the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The Ibrahim Prize was created in 2007 to encourage and celebrate democratic African leaders committed to…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2015 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Renew and Enhance the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is at a critical juncture for America’s economic engagement with Africa. The current AGOA is set to expire on September 30, 2015. Although both Congress and the Obama Administration have repeatedly expressed their intention for a “seamless” renewal, they need to act quickly and decisively to ensure that uncertainty does not…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2014 by Charlotte Florance Nine Questions for the House Ebola Hearing

    Over the past seven months, Ebola has infected more than 13,000 people and claimed nearly 5,000 lives. Most of the infected people have been in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Both Nigeria and Senegal successfully overcame transportation-related cases in their countries and were declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on October 20. The virus has also…

  • Issue Brief posted October 17, 2014 by David S. Addington Ebola: U.S. Government Civilian and Military Assistance in West Africa

    The U.S. government has substantial efforts under way in West Africa to provide humanitarian assistance to combat the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease and thereby also help prevent the spread of Ebola elsewhere. U.S. government civilians under the direction of the U.S. ambassador, and U.S. military personnel under the Commander of the Joint Force Command (JFC), work…

  • Issue Brief posted October 15, 2014 by David S. Addington Ebola: The Basics

    The spread of the Ebola virus raises substantial public health concerns in the United States and abroad. With the proper leadership and use of available resources, the U.S. can address these concerns effectively. Appropriate U.S. government humanitarian assistance to address the Ebola situation in West Africa, and measured and coordinated deployment at home of federal,…

  • Commentary posted September 25, 2014 by Charlotte Florance One Year After Al-Shabaab's Westgate Attack in Kenya

    Sunday marked the first anniversary of al-Shabaab's four-day siege of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, where 67 people were killed and 170 injured. One year later, Al-Shabaab, the official al-Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia, remains a threat to U.S. partners and interests in the region. Despite President Obama's rhetoric that Somalia is a success story that the…

  • Issue Brief posted August 4, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy

    A‌frican leaders and citizens had great expectations ‌in 2008 that the election of President Barack Obama would elevate the prominence of Africa and its concerns in U.S. government deliberations. These expectations have not been met with concrete policy action. During President Obama’s first four years in office, he spent less than 24 hours in Africa, making a brief…

  • Issue Brief posted July 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Upgrade the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee will convene a timely hearing on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on July 29. The hearing takes place at a critical juncture for America’s engagement with Africa. AGOA, first enacted under President Bill Clinton and amended and extended by legislation three times under President George W. Bush, enjoys broad…

  • Issue Brief posted April 4, 2014 by Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer Lord’s Resistance Army: Questions on Increasing Troops to Fight Joseph Kony’s LRA

    The Obama Administration announced on March 23 that additional U.S. forces and assets will be deployed to reinforce the joint U.S. and African Union Regional Task Force (AU-RTF) tracking Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). There is no question that Kony and the LRA have committed terrible atrocities and that purging Africa of Kony and the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, James Phillips U.S. Should Support Tunisia’s Democratic Progress with Concrete Action

    On January 26, three years after the beginning of Tunisians’ uprising for greater freedom, Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly peacefully and decisively ratified a model constitution that lays the foundation for a functioning democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Tunisia’s remarkable political turnaround, epitomized by the near unanimous ratification of the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 22, 2014 by Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer The United States Should Be More Assertive in South Sudan

    South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, is embroiled in a conflict that began as a political dispute but has been intensified by pre-existing ethnic tensions. The number of casualties and refugees is straining government and international humanitarian efforts. If the situation deteriorates further, investments made by the U.S. and the international community will be…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014 by Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Response to Chaos in the Central African Republic

    Chaos in the Central African Republic (CAR) threatens stability beyond its borders. Lawless spaces allow extremist groups to operate more freely. Uncertainty has been amplified by the abrupt resignations of interim President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye. While the U.S. has little direct interest in CAR, instability in the region and the possibility…

  • Issue Brief posted November 22, 2013 by Charlotte Florance Morocco: A Critical U.S. Ally in North Africa

    King Mohammed VI of Morocco will make an official visit to Washington this week and meet with President Obama for the first time. The hastily scheduled visit comes on the coattails of a series of diplomatic mishaps regarding Morocco by the Administration over the past year. For a country that continues to remain a committed partner, the Obama Administration is doing an…