Conflict in the Horn of Africa is escalating rapidly as power struggles within Somalia are exacerbated by military support that both Ethiopia and Eritrea give to the opposing parties there. Ethiopia backs the weak interim government; Eritrea sponsors the Islamic militants fighting to overthrow it. Because the United States has accused Somalia of harboring al-Qaeda suspects, “the Ethiopian-Eritrean proxy conflict increases the opportunities for terrorist infiltration of the Horn and East Africa and for ignition of a larger regional conflict,” warns a new Council Special Report.
In this report the US Institute for Peace (USIP) details proceedings at its Sudan Peace Forum in December 2006 in which Dr Chester Crocker and Dr Francis Deng co-chaired a discussion of overlapping crises in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic. The meeting was prompted by recent comments of the United Nations Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, who warned that the crises in Darfur, Chad, and CAR are "intimately linked" and could lead to a "dangerous regional crisis."
The assassination of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent anti-Syrian cabinet minister, further destabilizes a shaky political balance in Lebanon. The nation is left teetering at the edge of a crisis, the effects of which could ripple across the region.
The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel's second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran's nuclear program.
This briefing paper by Professor Paul Rogers of the Oxford Research Group (ORG) provides an analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran's nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the immediate consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, and also the likely Iranian responses, which the report says would be extensive. An attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would signal the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably grow to involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as the USA and Iran, says ORG. The report concludes that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further.
Authors: Major General William L. Nash and Amelia Branczik
This report identifies the principal steps that the United States can take to secure the investment it has made in the western Balkans and facilitate the region's progress toward its rightful destiny within the EU. In doing so, Forgotten Intervention? lays out a straightforward and doable strategy for the United States that will pay dividends.
Despite years of involvement by the United States and its allies, the Balkans region is suffering from economic stagnation and high unemployment; hundreds of thousands of refugees still await resettlement; prominent war criminals remain at large; and political and legal reform is impeded by endemic corruption, organized crime, and in some cases, a lack of political will. Yet after a decade of extensive involvement and peacemaking in the Balkans, the United States and its allies are winding down their commitment to the region. At this critical juncture, warns this independent Task Force report, if the problems besieging the Balkan states are left unresolved, they will lead to serious social and economic instability for southeastern Europe.
Spanning parts of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, the Ferghana Valley is home to 20 percent of Central Asia's entire population. Calming the Ferghana Valley assesses the potential for conflict in Central Asia through the prism of that volitile area.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.