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April 11, 2022

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Deepening Security Crisis Exposes Growing Reliance on Nonstate Actors

A rare positive note as Nigeria spirals into a state of lawlessness is the unintended return to the front burner of longstanding issues around governance at the subnational level. Until now, such issues have bubbled under the surface, receiving fleeting attention only when the country’s perennial crisis threatens to boil over, only to subside as soon as a temporary fix is found. Penultimate week, after still unidentified assailants opened fire on an Abuja-Kaduna train, killing eight passengers and kidnapping tens of others for ransom, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, emerging from a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, threatened to do whatever it takes to protect lives and property across the state, including “importing mercenaries from outside the country to do it.”

Nigerian police officer sitting down being interviewed wearing police outfit.

March 24, 2022

Cybersecurity
Tracking Cyber Operations and Actors in the Russia-Ukraine War

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been characterized by a relative lack of major cyber operations. This article provides an accounting of those which have taken place.

Ukrainian airborne troops stand in formation during drills in November 2021.

May 19, 2022

Sudan
The Horn of Africa’s Dubious Dialogues

It’s a matter of conventional wisdom that the crises gripping the Horn of Africa are fundamentally political, and that viable, sustainable solutions can be found only through inclusive political dialogue. But in both Sudan and Ethiopia, current dialogues—one internationally backed and one a domestic project—inspire little confidence. The United States has real interests at stake in the region that are ill-served by relying on these processes to stabilize these two fragile countries.  In Sudan, where a more just and accountable political dispensation has been a U.S. priority for decades, the administration seems determined to defer to the United Nations (UN)-African Union (AU)-Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) tripartite mechanism, which the State Department recently described as “the most inclusive mechanism to achieve an urgently needed agreement” on a way forward in Sudan.

Secretary Anthony Blinken shakes hands with Workneh Gebeyehu from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Both wearing suits, ties, and black face masks.

May 19, 2022

Middle East and North Africa
What Lebanon’s Election Results Mean for Ending Its Crisis

Hezbollah and its allies suffered serious losses in May’s parliamentary elections, and a divided Parliament will likely struggle to agree on a path out of Lebanon’s current crisis.

April 18, 2022

West Africa
Under Threat: Democracy in Africa

Our panelists discuss the most recent rise in violent conflict and coups in Africa, the threats these coups pose to fragile democratic institutions, governance, and civil society, and options to prev…

Play National observers look on while electoral official organize votes during the closing of the polls in a polling station in the city of Bahir Dar, on June 21, 2021. - Ethiopia voted on June 21, 2021, in an election billed as the most democratic yet in Africa's second-most populous country, but taking place as famine blights its war-torn Tigray region.

May 16, 2022

Japan
Japan Turns Its Attention to Economic Security

Japan's Economic Security Legislation has been passed.

Japan’s flag at a steel plant at Keihin industrial zone. Panasonic Corp's lithium-ion batteries displayed at the Panasonic Center. Japan's flag in front of a commercial construction site. Mock of lithium-ion battery displayed at Asahi Kasei Corporation.

January 28, 2021

Transition 2021
Countering Violent Extremism: Three Moves Biden Should Make Now

The United States should implement a broad-based strategy to counter the growing threat of violent extremism at home and abroad. Here are three items the Biden administration can focus on.

March 18, 2021

Southeast Asia
As Myanmar’s Turmoil Gets Worse, External Actors Should Prepare for Refugee Flows

The situation on the ground in Myanmar continues to deteriorate. In the initial days after the February 1 military coup, the junta seemed somewhat reluctant to use brutal force to disperse demonstrat…

Anti-coup protesters stand at a barricade as they clash with security forces on Bayint Naung Bridge in Mayangone, Yangon, Myanmar, on March 16, 2021.

May 16, 2022

Nigeria
Gruesome “Blasphemy” Killing Brings Nigeria’s Long-Running Ethno-Religious Divide Into Sharp Focus

Last week’s gruesome murder of Deborah Yakubu, a home economics sophomore at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, comes at a time of escalating social and economic tension in Nigeria, and will most certainly raise the political stakes as the country enters electioneering season in preparation for next year’s presidential election.

A sign that reads "Higher Shariah Court," a child with a bucket in the background, and an old looking building.

September 2, 2021

Southeast Asia
Thailand Roiled by Violent Unrest and COVID-19 Decimation

Amid a COVID-19 surge, Thailand's escalating protests are getting more dangerous. 

People protest over Thai government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's resignation, in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 2, 2021.