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July 21, 2021

Nigeria
Jihadis Claim to be Uniting in Northeast Nigeria

Boko Haram, the jihadi insurrection associated with some 350,000 deaths since 2009 in northeast Nigeria, was characterized by factions—conflict among which was bloody—though at times they appear to have cooperated tactically. Now, the faction associated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), is claiming to have incorporated the followers of the rival faction led by Abubakar Shekau. (Weeks ago, Shekau died, apparently after committing suicide in a standoff with ISWA.)

A wall that has "Hate Evil" and "Boko Haram is Evil" scrawled on it.

February 12, 2021

Transnational Crime
Nigeria's Enduring "Gold Wars"

Conflicts in northwest Nigeria over access to minerals—especially gold—are heating up. Illicit mining also causes environmental damage, thus exacerbating land and water shortages that cause further conflict.

A man standing in a small pool of water is using a plastic sheet with holes to filter gold dust.

June 30, 2021

Labor and Employment
Responsible Recruitment Through Technology: A Path Forward

This post was authored by Sophie Zinser, a Schwarzman Academy Fellow in the Asia Pacific Program and Middle East North Africa Program at Chatham House in London. She is also a consultant at Diginex S…

Textile factory workers in India

May 18, 2021

Health
What Does the CDC Do?

The federal agency has a broad mandate to protect Americans’ health and an expansive global reach. But the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as one of its most daunting challenges.

The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center is reflected in the glass of a room where staff meet to discuss the Ebola crisis in October 2014.

March 18, 2021

Cybersecurity
Unexpectedly, All UN Countries Agreed on a Cybersecurity Report. So What?

A consensus report at the United Nations further solidifies past progress and could enable a greater degree of accountability for malicious state behavior in cyberspace.

A gavel and a block is pictured.

March 10, 2021

Grand Strategy
Coup-Proofing: Russia’s Military Blueprint to Securing Resources in Africa

In the Central African Republic (CAR), outside the capital Bangui, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra exerts little to no authority. Armed rebel groups control two-thirds of the country, including access to mining sites.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic walk towards each other, arms outstretched as they prepare to shake hands.

February 19, 2021

Zimbabwe
New Report Shines Spotlight on Corruption in Zimbabwe

Last month, South Africa’ Daily Maverick newspaper published a damning exposé on corruption in Zimbabwe. Cartel Power Dynamics in Zimbabwe [PDF] details off-the-books networks worth billions that deal in gold, diamonds, cigarettes, fuel and more.

A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016

January 22, 2021

Venezuela
Top Conflicts to Watch in 2021: Economic, Political, and Humanitarian Catastrophe in Venezuela

Paul J. Angelo is a fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. In this year’s Preventive Priorities Survey, experts ranked “accelerating economic collapse and political …

A demonstrator covered with a Venezuelan flag gestures in front of security forces during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 10, 2020.

January 28, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
America’s Vaccine Diplomacy Is AWOL in the Middle East.

China and Russia are spreading their vaccines—and forging new ties—to some of Washington’s closest allies.

December 17, 2020

Afghanistan
America can’t stay in Afghanistan forever, but it matters how we leave

(CNN)As President Trump seeks to draw down US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, some have argued the decision is about bringing an end to America's endless wars. But the real issue is how to create e…