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October 31, 2019

Elections and Voting
Southern Africa’s Tale of Two Elections: Mozambique and Botswana

Southern Africa recently wrapped up two dramatically different elections. In Mozambique, presidential, parliamentary, and regional elections were characterized by irregularities and even violence, but not by suspense. The ruling FRELIMO party had ensured its victory in the pre-election period, in part through the presence of “ghost voters” on the voters’ roll, and through a campaign of intimidation aimed at challengers to its power.

A woman casts her ballot at Moshupa village, in the Southern District of Botswana, October 23, 2019

December 3, 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo
The Destabilizing Consequences of Fear and Frustration in the DRC

Protests that began last week in and around Beni in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have continued into this week, claiming several lives. Civilians on the ground, frustrated and frightened by yet another spike in insecurity, have channeled their anger toward the United Nations’ peacekeepers in their midst, demanding that they leave since they are unable to protect civilians.

A U.N. peacekeeper serving in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in Beni territory, North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 17, 2018

November 19, 2019

Burkina Faso
The Roots of Burkina Faso’s Crisis

Burkina Faso is in trouble. The shocking ambush of a Canadian mining company’s convoy earlier this month was part of a relentless series of deadly attacks perpetrated both by terrorist organizations and by domestic criminal groups that have claimed hundreds of lives, forced nearly half a million people from their homes, and gravely shaken domestic and international confidence in the country’s security services.

A pro-democracy protester holds up a Burkina Faso flag at Place de la Nation in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, November 2, 2014

February 24, 2020

South Korea
Don't Gut the U.S.-South Korea Alliance

The OPCON transition plan should be put on the back burner or, better yet, scrapped altogether.

Members of South Korean and U.S. Special Forces enter a CH-47 Chinook during a joint military exercise conducted in Gangwon province, South Korea, on November 7, 2019.

February 21, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: The Las Vegas Democratic Debate

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: foreign policy is AWOL in Las Vegas; Bloomberg and Warren talk about Latin America; and foreign po…

Democratic candidates raise their hand to speak while they stand behind podiums at the Democratic debate on Wednesday, February 19.

February 21, 2020

China
Cyber Week in Review: Feb 21, 2020

Multiple countries attribute cyberattacks against Georgia to Russia; China tightens internet controls in response to coronavirus outbreak; Iran targets VPN providers to breach target networks; Bharat…

 A man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone while riding a subway in the morning

February 18, 2020

Cybersecurity
Cyber Deterrence Is Dead. Long Live Cyber Deterrence!

Although the concept of cyber deterrence has fallen out of fashion in academic literature in recent years, it is being remolded in emerging approaches to national security. 

Sr Airman Jose Rivera, infrastructure technician U.S. Air Force, works at the 561st Network Operations Squadron (NOS) at Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado

October 18, 2019

West Africa
Worrying Trends in Côte d'Ivoire

Several successive years of being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies have made Côte d'Ivoire a darling of investors bullish about Africa. But the country’s strong economic performance has not been matched by political progress in overcoming the divides that drove the country into civil war twice in the last twenty years. With elections scheduled for 2020, many of the same antagonists that featured in those earlier conflicts are jockeying for position, giving observers and citizens an unwelcome sense of déjà vu.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of the Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) party talks after casting his vote at a polling station during a presidential election in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on October 25, 2015

February 7, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: President Trump’s New Land-Mine Policy

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: Democrats vow to reverse the Trump administration’s new land-mine policy, the candidates participa…

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October 8, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
A New Challenge to Confront: Rising Illicit Drug Use

New research suggests that African policymakers focused on the future have yet another pressing issue to add to their already full plate: A study released on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting and funded by the European Union indicates that Africa will be the site of the world’s largest increase in illegal drug use over the next few decades.

A recovering drug addict receives his dose of methadone at a Medication Assisted Therapy clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at Karuri Level 4 hospital in Kiambu, Kenya October 3, 2019.