Asked by Lauren Harrison, from Harvard Kennedy School Author: John Campbell
The exploitation of Congo's vast resources by competing elites and militaries for personal enrichment promotes insecurity and stymies development. Only very strong Western and African public outcry and a change in China's nonintervention approach might open the possibilities for change.
Secretary John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave these remarks before their meeting on February 14, 2013. They outlined the main issues they would discuss: North Korea's nuclear test and Six Party Talks, negotiations with Iran, the crisis in Syria, and France's intervention in Mali.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chief of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 7, 2013, about the September attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the response of the Defense Department. Panetta's and Dempsey's prepared remarks and video of the hearing are available on the Committee's website.
France says it will withdraw from Mali once an African peacekeeping force is in place. To keep Islamists at bay, the United States is considering increasing its military presence in the region. A better approach is to focus on fixing the governance issues that fuel radicalism to begin with, says John Campbell.
Al-Qaeda's affiliates "provide new justification for the Obama administration's efforts to turn elements of its counterterrorism policies, including kill lists and drone bases, into fixtures for a fight expected to last another decade or more."
"Last September's terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi left the unmistakable impression of a country teetering on a knife-edge. Yet despite its struggles, Libya is hardly on the brink of anarchy."
Jihadists were already finding it hard to operate in North Africa before the Arab Spring of 2011. Since then their problems have become almost insurmountable: they thrive only in countries where Islamists are in prison, not where they are in the ascendant or contesting elections. As for Europe, the last attacks instigated by al-Qaida date back to Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005. Jihadism looks less like a rising phenomenon in the north of Mali than a force in retreat. The French intervention may well give them purpose and greater coherence.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 23, 2013, about the September attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the response of the State Department.
This CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force finds that Africa is of growing strategic importance to the United States in addition to being an important humanitarian concern, and finds that critical humanitarian interests would be better served by a more comprehensive U.S. approach toward Africa.
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