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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.

January 13, 2021

Radicalization and Extremism
From Separatism to Salafism: Militancy on the Swahili Coast

Nolan Quinn is a research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa Program. The revelation that a Kenyan member of al-Shabab was charged with planning a 9/11-style attack on the Unit…

A group of Muslim youth are seen protesting the killing of a radical Kenyan imam, Aboud Rogo Mohammed. Several are wearing Islamic dress while others are wearing everyday clothing.

January 15, 2021

Democracy
Dear America: The Rest of The World is Watching

On January 6, a large group of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to unconstitutionally obstruct the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The events could prove detrimental for democracy in the developing world.

The Capitol is seen behind a fence and a sign that reads "AREA CLOSED By order of the United States Capitol Police Board,", in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 2021.

December 16, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria's Unitary Federalism

In May 1966, General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Nigeria’s first Military Head of State—also known as Johnny Ironside for his exploits in a peacekeeping mission in the Congo—promulgated the infamous Decree No. 34 of 1966, the “unification decree.”

A group of Nigerian lawyers are seen sitting in chairs awaiting a trial. Several are wearing wigs that resemble those used during the British colonial period.

January 21, 2021

Nigeria
Western Media and Distortion of Nigeria's Chibok Kidnapping

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, writing for the BBC, argues that Western media distorted the 2014 Boko Haram kidnapping of more than two hundred girls sitting for high school examinations.

A picture of then-First Lady Michelle Obama standing in the White House, holding a white piece of paper with "#BringBackOurGirls" written in black ink.

January 6, 2021

Coronavirus
Vaccine Diplomacy: China and SinoPharm in Africa

On December 3, John Nkengasong, director, Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), announced a 60 percent vaccination target—one estimate of the level needed to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19—in Africa’s fifty-four countries.

A presentation of a vaccine under development by SinoPharm, a Chinese company, that is to be used to provide immunity against COVID-19

January 19, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: January 9–15

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from January 9 to January 15, 2021.

Map of Nigeria shaded in red to reflect Nigeria Security Tracker-documented deaths per state. Borno state, the northeastern-most state, is dark red, while the rest of the country are shades of pink. Regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have experienced Boko Haram-related violence are also shaded.

December 4, 2020

Nigeria
Delegitimizing Armed Agitations in the Niger Delta

Militant groups under the platform of MEND unleashed coordinated attacks on Nigeria’s oil and gas infrastructure from 2006 to 2009. The pace of attacks fell after President Umaru Yar’Adua established an Amnesty Program that ostensibly included disarmament

A man is seen walking by a massive flame, the result of gas flaring in the Niger Delta.

January 22, 2021

Southeast Asia
A Review of “How China Loses: The Pushback Against Chinese Global Ambitions”

Charles Dunst is a visiting scholar at the East-West Center in Washington, an associate at LSE IDEAS, and a contributing editor of American Purpose. In January 2017 at Davos, the small alpine town…

China's President Xi Jinping speaks while taking part in an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army's participation in the Korean War at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on October 23, 2020.

January 22, 2021

Venezuela
Venezuela: The Rise and Fall of a Petrostate

Venezuela’s descent into economic and political chaos in recent years is a cautionary tale of the dangerous influence that resource wealth can have on developing countries.

A silhouetted person stands in the foreground with industrial structures, including a tower with smoke and fire coming out of it, in the background. The photo appears to have been taken at either dusk or dawn.