Speaker: John Campbell, Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
January 16, 2013
As French forces intervene in Mali to curtail rebel forces in the country's northern region, John Campbell, CFR's Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, highlights three things to know about Mali and the escalating conflict:
An impoverished and divided country: The setting of Mali's conflict is a desperately poor country regularly facing food shortages and even famine, which has a history of long-standing animosity between the sparsely populated north and the economically dominant south. "Government promises of federalism or increased local autonomy over the past twenty years have regularly been made and broken," Campbell says.
A democracy in crisis: "Mali was regarded as a model democracy," says Campbell, but the democratic government was overthrown in a 2012 coup by an American-trained colonel. "This coup showed how superficial the connection was between the country's elites that managed the elections and the people they governed," Campbell explains.
Islamic radicalization: Following the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya, his Tuareg mercenaries returned to Mali. Qaddafi's men, along with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, have imposed a radical Islamic regime in the north, explains Campbell. "Mali's neighbors saw the emergence of this radical Islamic state as a threat to their own security," he says, and are seeking to restore Bamako's authority in the north.
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This Independent Task Force asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Read and download »