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December 2, 2022

United States
A Divided Congress May Still Get Things Done

The experience of the soon-to-be-concluded 117th Congress offers some hope for the next two years

U.S. President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S. November 15, 2021.

November 21, 2022

Malaysia
Malaysia’s Election: More Turmoil Ahead?

Malaysia's voters delivered an inconclusive message in the general election, leading to a hung parliament.

Politicians stand in front of dais with right fists raised above their heads.

December 11, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises question…

Retired General Lloyd Austin speaks at a podium as President-Elect Joe Biden sits behind him.

July 15, 2020

South Korea
Remembering General Paik Sun-yup

Without Paik’s herculean effort, South Korea as we know it today—a vibrant, capitalist, and liberal democracy—wouldn’t exist.

General Paik Sun-yup, 1950

November 9, 2022

United States
What the Midterm Elections Mean for U.S. Foreign Policy

Despite what will likely be a divided next Congress, don’t expect major shifts when it comes to the two biggest international issues facing the United States today. Probably…

Residents cast their ballots for the 2022 midterm election at the Franklin County Board of Elections during early voting hours, in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., November 1, 2022.

October 13, 2020

International Organizations
Nigerian (and American) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finalist for WTO Director General

The two finalists for the position of director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are Yoo Myung-hee, Republic of Korea, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian and (since 2019) an American citizen.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian woman running for WTO director general, raises her left arm while speaking. She is wearing a traditional headdress.

August 10, 2011

Ten Whats With…Kevin Benson

Kevin Benson (Courtesy Univ. of Kansas, Creative Commons License). Quick Bio (2-3 sentences): I was raised in Wisconsin and left after high school to go to West Point, 1973-1977.  I served on active…

Kevin-Benson

January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent.  Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.

February 8, 2018

Turkey
General Erdogan’s First War

Turkey’s Islamist president is the first civilian with control over his country’s military—and you can tell by the results.

Erdogan

April 4, 2019

Nigeria
Former Director General of Nigeria’s National Intelligence Agency Arrested

On February 7,  the Federal High Court in Lagos issued a warrant for the arrest of Ayodele Oke, former director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and his wife Folasade following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Just before they were due to appear in court, they apparently left the country for "medical treatment," and the Nigeria media is not reporting where they are now. The EFCC has declared the couple wanted after their failure to respond to a court summons. 

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