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December 14, 2016

Defense and Security
The Politics of Proliferation: A Conversation with Matthew Fuhrmann

I spoke with Matthew Fuhrmann, associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University, visiting associate professor at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperatio…

coercive-diplo

August 27, 2019

Cybersecurity
Regional Power Struggles Explain the Rationale Behind Cyber Operations

Aspiring regional powers increasingly conduct cyber operations to change regional affairs in their favor. The use of cyber means by regional powers escalates the risk of conflict escalation, especial…

A man types into a keyboard during a hacker convention on July 29, 2017.

July 29, 2019

Southeast Asia
China’s Soft and Sharp Power Strategies in Southeast Asia Accelerating, But Are They Having an Impact?

In a recent analysis for the Jamestown Foundation, Russell Hsiao of the Global Taiwan Institute presented a thorough and compelling case of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence operations in Singa…

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China April 29, 2019.

June 19, 2019

Iran
Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and Hard Power

I woke up this morning thinking I would write a blog explaining just how challenging it would be for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz for a prolonged period of time. This is not to say that there c…

Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

October 11, 2019

Women and Women's Rights
How Violent Extremist Groups Profit From the Trafficking of Girls

As the world celebrates the power and potential of girls today, on the International Day of the Girl Child, we must also grapple with the significant obstacles that prevent girls from participating f…

One of the twenty-one Chibok school girls released by Boko Haram carries her baby during their visit to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Abuja, Nigeria. October 19, 2016.

October 11, 2019

Nigeria
Borno Governor Launches State-Level Initiatives to Fight Boko Haram

Faced with a resurgent Boko Haram and an ineffectual federal government, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state appears to be readying a multi-pronged strategy of his own. According to press reports, he is recruiting ten thousand hunters “with voodoo powers and hunting skills” to fight Boko Haram.

Local hunters armed with locally made guns are seen on a pick up truck

April 25, 2019

Nigeria
Preaching, Power, and Private Jets in Nigeria

Bishop Oyedepo, head of the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry (Winner’s Chapel) is commonly regarded as the wealthiest preacher in Nigeria, with an estimated personal net worth of $150 million. His fleet of four jets includes a Gulfstream V, which cost $30 million.

Nigeria-Bishop-Oyedepo-Preacher-Christianity

October 10, 2019

China
Game On: The NBA Runs Afoul of China but Scores Big

The facts are not in dispute. On October 6, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted: “Fight for Freedom: Stand with Hong Kong,” igniting a political firestorm in Beijing. Other Rockets he…

Fans in LeBron James jerseys pose for pictures with Chinese flags near security personnel outside the Mercedes-Benz Arena before the NBA exhibition game between Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai, October 10, 2019.

October 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
A Review of “The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century”

By Hunter Marston and Joshua Kurlantzick Hunter Marston is a doctoral candidate at Australian National University. In the run-up to Myanmar’s elections next year, there is little positive news …

Myanmar Author Thant Myint-U speaks during the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur on January 23, 2012.

October 9, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
The Origins of African States, and Their Names

An article on the origins of the names of African countries was recently published in Quartz. It includes a map of the continent in 1885, shortly after the Berlin Conference. Portuguese and Arabic traders and explorers are the origins of some names, European mispronunciation of tribal names are the origins of others.

A bird flies in front of Mount Kenya on the horizon in Laikipia national park, Kenya.