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September 4, 2019

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Coastal West Africa Now Facing Islamist Extremist Threat

West Africa is facing a growing threat from Islamist extremist groups. Many of these groups originated in Mali but have since spilled over its borders, with jihadis establishing themselves in the north and east of Burkina Faso. The country has become a desirable haven for many groups because of the security vacuum that has defined the country following the deposition of longtime strongman Blaise Compaore.

Silhouetted palm trees and woman carrying merchandise on her head on beach at sunset, Gulf of Guinea, Lome, Togo, West Africa.

July 11, 2019

West Africa
West African Governments Lack Commitment to Reduce Soaring Inequality

Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have developed the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI). The index ranks 157 countries by their commitment to reducing inequality through increased spending on health and education, taxing the rich more than the poor, and paying a living wage.

A slum with a bridge, electric transmission lines, and a high-rises in the background.

July 9, 2019

Zimbabwe
Wildlife Conservation in Africa, Outrage in the West, and Cecil the Lion

Four years ago, on July 2, 2015, a Minneapolis Dentists killed a well-known Lion, Cecil, in a Zimbabwe trophy hunt with a bow and arrow. Cecil was something of a star in the developed world.

A man dressed as Cecil the Lion on a subway platform in New York.

May 24, 2019

Islamic State
Where Exactly is the Islamic State in West Africa?

The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) claimed a May 16 attack near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing more than 20 soldiers not far from the Malian border. In March it issued a photo of its members in Burkina Faso and in April it claimed an attack on a militia in Mali. But, it is not clear that the ISWA group based primarily in Nigeria is behind those attacks. 

Cameroon-Boko-Haram-Islamic-State-Terrorism-West-Africa

September 13, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa
The Risks of Reducing U.S. Special Operations in Africa

The Pentagon plans to withdraw its special operations forces in Africa, but major cutbacks could threaten recent efforts to counter terrorism threats across the region.

Chadian soldiers take a break during Operation Flintlock, U.S.-led military exercises, in Diffa, Niger.

May 1, 2017

Russia
Russia and the West

Two weeks ago, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted its annual Hauser Symposium. The topic was timely: Russia and the West. The symposium kicked off with a fascinating discussion on the state o…

National flags of Russia and U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow

September 13, 2019

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: September 13, 2019

Tech giants ask Congress for a data privacy bill to bypass state laws; Ren Zhengfei considers selling Huawei's 5G technology; North Korean APTs continue attacks on U.S. entities; new California labor…

Uber and Lyft signs are seen on a car in Redondo Beach, California, U.S., March 25, 2019.

September 11, 2019

South Africa
Poor South Africans Attacking Foreign-Owned Business

Mob attacks on foreign-owned shops in Johannesburg have damaged relations between South Africa and Nigeria. The Nigerian government has announced that it is evacuating some four hundred Nigerians from South Africa. The violence is being characterized as “xenophobic,” which, by all accounts, it is. But the story is more complicated, and aspects of it have roots in apartheid South Africa and the dislocations resulting from too-rapid urbanization.

A man stands and looks among the burnt out cars at his dealership in Johannesburg, South Africa, following attacks.

September 11, 2019

United States
Is the United States Prepared for Wildfires?

Climate change is increasing the risk of wildfire damage to critical energy infrastructure, according to a new Council on Foreign Relations report that details the physical, financial, and security r…

Firefighters battling the King Fire watch as a backfire burns along Highway 50 in Fresh Pond, California September 16, 2014. The fire led officials to call on about 400 people to evacuate from areas threatened by the blaze, Cal Fire spokeswoman Alyssa Smith said. It has charred more than 11,500 acres (4,654 hectares) and was 5 percent contained on Tuesday.

September 10, 2019

Israel
Israel’s Elections: What to Know

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future is on the line as Israel votes for the second time in 2019.