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October 28, 2019

Women and Women's Rights
Abortion Law: Global Comparisons

A recent spate of state laws to restrict abortion services in the United States has reignited debate over the procedure. How does the United States’ regulation of abortion compare to the rest of the …

September 17, 2019

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
The U.S. Opioid Epidemic

Opioid addiction in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, threatening not only public health but economic output and national security.

A man uses heroin under a bridge where he lives with other addicts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

August 14, 2019

Nigeria
Understanding the Threat Posed by ISWA in Nigeria

The fishing town of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad, has been devastated by both Boko Haram and the Nigerian army. It is currently controlled by the Boko Haram faction, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA). The group is led by Abu Abdallah al-Barnawi, and is separate from, and presumably a rival to, Abubakar Shekau’s faction. Obi Anyadike, a reporter, interviewed eight former residents of Baga who had fled to Maiduguri.

Two women and a man stand by a window and a door of a mosque in Maiduguri.

June 13, 2019

Boko Haram
New Audio Offers Potential Window Into ISWA Decision-Making

Abdulbasit Kassim, leading Boko Haram scholar, recently discovered a thirty-eight-minute recording of a purported Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) communique. I translated it from the original Kanuri. It provides a particular version and explanation of ISWA's immediate history, and sheds light on why the group executed Mamman Nur, one of the Boko Haram’s founding fathers and an influential ideologue, its internal decision-making, and ISWA’s relationship with the Islamic State (IS). It is not clear, however, the extent to which what is described in the audio is true to what actually happened. 

Islamic-State-Al-Baghdadi-West-Africa-ISWA

May 23, 2019

Nigeria
ISWA Tries to Win Over Some Nigerians While Killing Others

The conventional wisdom is that the Boko Haram faction that calls itself the Islamic State in West African (ISWA) is less brutal than Abubakar Shekau’s rival faction, notorious for the Chibok school girl kidnapping and the targeting of civilians. There is some truth to this: ISWA has avoided using female and child suicide bombers and it does not seem to indiscriminately murder entire villages. Its rhetoric does not glory in murder like Shekau’s.

Nigeria-ISWA-Boko-Haram-Military-Bomb

April 17, 2019

Nigeria
Boko Haram Evolves and Persists in Northeast Nigeria

The Shekau and al-Barnawi factions of Boko Haram continue to evolve and even grow. Changes in leadership and tactics raise questions about the extent of their affiliation with IS and overall stability, but they also indicate that the movement is far from defeated.

Niger-Diffa-Boko-Haram

March 12, 2019

Nigeria
Suspected Leadership Changes to IS-Backed Boko Haram Faction Continue

In September 2018, there were reports that Nur was murdered by his own faction because he was too “soft”, that he misappropriated ransom money, and even that he might have been open to a dialogue with the Nigerian government. In late February 2018, ISWA reportedly replaced al-Barnawi with Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi.

Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Attack-Funeral

March 5, 2019

China
Taking Managed Trade Seriously—What Would a Deal that Tries to Close the Bilateral Deficit Need to Look Like?

If Trump wants to set targets for China’s imports, he should focus on its imports of manufactures—not on getting tweetable deliverables out of the soybeans and oil that China will import (from someon…

Taking Managed Trade Seriously—What Would a Deal that Tries to Close the Bilateral Deficit Need to Look Like?

February 5, 2019

Venezuela
Maduro’s Allies: Who Backs the Venezuelan Regime?

The staying power of Nicolas Maduro’s embattled government may hinge on three critical allies: Russia, China, and Cuba.

Name

October 11, 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo
Champions for Change: Dr. Denis Mukwege

Champions for Change is a series highlighting male allies working to advance equality across the globe. In this post, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege describes what inspired him to start…

Dr. Denis Mukwege receives the Hillary R. Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, February 2014.