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April 22, 2020

Cybersecurity
U.S. Cyber Command’s Malware Inoculation: Linking Offense and Defense in Cyberspace

"Defend forward" is frequently misunderstood to be purely offensive in nature. However, U.S. Cyber Command's malware inoculation initiative illustrates how the strategy also serves defensive objectiv…

Cyber defense operations at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.

April 21, 2020

Nigeria
Presidential Gatekeeper and Confidant, Abba Kyari, Dies From COVID-19

On April 18, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that his chief of staff, Abba Kyari, died from COVID-19 on the previous day. This is a tragedy for Nigeria and for the administration of President Bu…

Men wearing protective gear carry the coffin of the Nigerian president's chief of staff, Abba Kyari, who died on Friday after contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Nigeria April 18, 2020.

April 20, 2020

Iran
Iran Unlikely to Negotiate With the United States in the Near-Term

Amir Asmar is a Department of Defense analyst and CFR’s national intelligence fellow. Throughout his intelligence career, his primary area of focus has been the Middle East. He held a wide range of a…

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on April 8.

April 20, 2020

Financial Markets
OPEC Plus’ Zero-Sum Oil Game

Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, international sanctions had severely curtailed Iraq’s oil industry. Oil production sat at 1.4 million barrels a day (b/d). Iraq’s beleaguered refining indu…

The Suezmax sized oil tanker Karvounis lies at anchor south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, U.S.

April 16, 2020

Burkina Faso
The Confluence of Conflict, Corruption, and Coronavirus in Burkina Faso

Before the coronavirus arrived, Burkina faced growing fighting among rival jihadi terrorists that the share goal of the destruction of the state, rival political and ethnic militias, political groups associated with the business community, remnants of the networks of former dictator Blaise Compaore, deposed in 2014, and the state security services.

A woman pushes a barrel that resembles an oil drum on its side on a cart over the dusty ground as a man rides the opposite direction on his bike. There are trees and homes in the background. The barrel is filled with water she bought from a privately-owned water tower, amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Taabtenga district of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on April 3, 2020.

April 15, 2020

China
Despite New China-Africa Tension, Beijing Has a Pivotal Role to Play in Africa's COVID-19 Recovery

Beyond expressing legitimate concerns about the treatment of Africans in Guangzhou, U.S. officials would be wrong to add sow further discord between China and its African partners. It benefits no one. China must be a partner to international financial organizations in their aid to Africa, financing loans, suspending debt payments, and providing stimulus.

Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, meets with Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, to discuss the mistreatment of Africans in China, on April 20, Abuja, Nigeria. Both speakers where masks and sit apart from each other, Ambassador Zhou in a blue suit with a teal max, on an armchair, and Speaker Gbajamiamila in grey with a white mask on the opposite side of a couch in the speaker's very green office.

April 15, 2020

China
The Hydra vs. the Headless Horseman: China and the United States

Even as COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, a secondary debate over the longer-term implications of the pandemic for global leadership has surfaced. Unsurprisingly, most of the debate has centere…

President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping pose for a photo ahead of their bilateral meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan.

April 15, 2020

Oil and Petroleum Products
FAQ: A Shale New Deal

This is a guest post by Hunter Kornfeind, intern for Energy and Climate Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and current student at Temple University. A breakthrough agreement between major …

A horizontal drilling rig on a lease owned by Parsley Energy operates at sunrise in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas U.S. August 24, 2018.

April 10, 2020

Nigeria
Case Not Quite Closed on the Assassination of Nigerian Salafi Scholar Shaikh Jaafar Adam

While at prayer on April 13, 2007, the prominent Salafi scholar, Shaikh Jaafar Mahmud Adam, was assassinated at his mosque in Kano. At the time, the murder made a deep impression on mainstream Muslims, many of whom revered Adam. The murder took place in the final days before the 2007 presidential elections, and many observers, including those at the U.S. embassy, thought that the murder was somehow related. But it now seems more likely that Adam was assassinated by a vengeful former member of the Nigerian Taliban. His murder was an early manifestation of the deadly battles among Boko Haram’s competing factions that continue up to the present.

A man cycles past the Al Ansar mosque in Maiduguri. Four red and white minarets are visible around a green dome topped with gold. Person-sized arches line the one-story building around the dome and minarets.

April 9, 2020

Health Policy and Initiatives
Now a Destination for Illicit Drugs, African States Need a New Approach

On March 20, Ghana's parliament passed the Narcotics Control Commission (NCC) bill in response to the dramatic growth in domestic drug consumption. The NCC treats illicit drug use as a public health crisis rather than strictly a law enforcement issue by decriminalizing certain narcotics and prioritizing treatment and rehabilitation for drug addicts. This is an important shift in Africa’s approach to combating the trade and use of illicit drugs.

A hand passes a plastic cup of a dose of methadone through a barred window to the hand of a recovering drug addict at a Medication Assisted Therapy clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at Karuri Level 4 hospital in Kiambu, Kenya, on October 3, 2019.