Asked by Charlotte Stafford, from Columbia University
The United States restored official relations with Somalia in January 2013 after years of civil unrest there, reflecting an increasingly stable Somali political environment. Better relations with Somalia, however, have little to do with the decrease in piracy, and the drop in offshore piracy cannot be attributed to Somali government efforts.
Jendayi Frazer, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs and current CFR adjunct senior fellow, and Joel D. Barkan, Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa scholar, discuss the elections in Kenya and how they could affect U.S. security interests.
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.
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.
"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."
The Council on Foreign Relations's Nigeria Security Tracker, an effort to catalog and map political violence based on a weekly survey of Nigerian and international press. The data presented includes violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliative groups (or conversely the state employing violence to respond to those incidents.)
A recent agremeent between Sudan and South Sudan to restart oil exports is likely to improve the macroeconomic situations of the countries, while paving the way for future negotiations over land disputes, says expert Alex de Waal.
The situation in Mali challenges U.S. goals of promoting stability, democracy, civilian control of the military, and effective counterterrorism in Africa, and raises questions regarding the strategic design and effectiveness of existing U.S. efforts to do so.
As Zimbabwe moves closer to elections, the prospect for political violence grows. CFR Senior Fellow John Campbell argues that coordination on Zimbabwe policy can be the basis of a stronger overall U.S.-South Africa relationship to help promote free, fair and credible elections.
Weak governance and radical jihadists are at the heart of Mali's crisis, says CFR's John Campbell, who cautions that any intervention should focus on humanitarian aid and diplomacy, not the security threat.
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.
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.
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