January 7, 2020Iran
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.
October 1, 2019Australia
The newest episode of The President’s Inbox is live. I sat down with Charles Edel and John Lee, fellows at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, to talk about the future of the U.S…
July 29, 2019Election 2020
Update: John Hickenlooper announced on August 15, 2019, that he was ending his campaign. Political strategists often ask whether a presidential candidate is someone a voter would want to have a be…
February 13, 2020Nigeria
The security situation around Borno’s capital, Maiduguri, appears to be going from bad to worse. On February 9, The Boko Haram faction Islamic State in West African (ISWA) shot or burned alive some thirty people sleeping in their cars and trucks that night outside the town of Auno, some ten miles from Maiduguri. They also kidnapped others.
April 4, 2019Nigeria
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.
February 5, 2020Sub-Saharan Africa
Until now, there has not been a comprehensive survey of U.S. policy toward Africa for either the specialist or the general reader. Now, happily, there is. Herman J. Cohen (‘Hank’) has just published U.S. Policy Toward Africa: Eight Decades of Realpolitik, covering fourteen U.S. administrations. It is hard to think of anyone as qualified as Ambassador Cohen to undertake such a work. A career Foreign Service Officer, Hank Cohen was, inter alia, charge in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ambassador to Senegal, senior director for Africa at the National Security Council, and assistant secretary for Africa at the U.S. Department of State.
February 4, 2020Nigeria
Nigeria has been added to a list of countries whose citizens will in some way be restricted from entering the United States. According to a White House statement, Nigeria is not complying with “the established identity-management and information sharing criteria assessed by performance metrics. Nigeria does not adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information, which is necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the United States.”
February 12, 2020Public Health Threats and Pandemics
In Africa, observers are acutely aware of how ill-prepared most countries are for responding to a major pandemic. With more than a billion people undergoing rapid urbanization, weak healthcare systems, and growing economic ties with China, Africa would appear to be highly vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.
January 28, 2020West Africa
Since the last defense review more than a year ago, there has been a shift in U.S. defense priorities from countering terrorism to great power competition. Since then, the Department of Defense has been considering a drawdown of U.S. military assets in Africa, especially West Africa, presumably for redeployment to arenas of great power competition. That would be a mistake.