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November 27, 2017

Southeast Asia
Questions for Pope Francis’s Trip to Myanmar This Week

In an earlier post today, I noted that there remain many questions about the memorandum of understanding that Dhaka and Naypyidaw have supposedly negotiated, allowing at least some Rohingya to return…

Pope Francis visit_11.27.2017

November 1, 2019

Election 2020
Foreign Policy Roundup: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Israel, and Campaign Advisors

Each week, I look at what the presidential candidates are saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail. 

Bernie Sanders speaks at the J Street National Conference in Washington, DC, on October 28.

October 30, 2019

United States
Election 2020: Bill Weld, Republican Presidential Candidate

Bill Weld was the first Republican to officially announce he would challenge Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. Weld knows that his bid faces long odds. Roughly nine out of ten …

Bill Weld

October 29, 2019

Islamic State
After Baghdadi: What Hurts the Islamic State May Help Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda could benefit from the death of the Islamic State’s leader, potentially regaining its worldwide reach and influence.

October 25, 2019

Election 2020
Foreign Policy Roundup: Tim Ryan Bows Out, Warren on Israel, and Geoengineering

Each week, I look at what the presidential candidates are saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking in Hanover, New Hampshire, on October 24.

October 23, 2019

Sierra Leone
Behind Sierra Leone’s Ambitious, Tech-Driven Development Plan

Sierra Leone currently ranks as one of the least developed countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of less than $300 and high levels of poverty. But President Julius Maada Bio has charted an ambitious development plan for the small West African country. Since 2017, President Bio has overseen increased investment in advanced technologies in the hopes of spurring development.

President Julius Maada Bio sits with his hands clasped at a desk.

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

October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm

August 31, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa
Codel to West Africa

With the exception of U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Halley, the Trump administration has shown little interest in Africa. It has been very slow to make Africa-related appointments: there is still n…

Senator-Coons-West-Africa-CODEL

October 9, 2019

Ukraine
The President's Inbox: Stephen Sestanovich on Ukraine

The latest episode of The President’s Inbox is live. I sat down with Steve Sestanovich, CFR’s senior fellow for Eurasian and Russian studies and the former U.S. ambassador-at-large for the former Sov…

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with President Trump at the United Nations General Assembly on September 25.