This week's presidential election in Niger is of real importance for U.S. interests in Africa and the global campaign against militant Islamists. A clean and peaceful election would constitute a step forward that could help secure an effective counterterrorism partner in both the short and long term.
Feb 26, 2016 Quartz
The United States often approaches security assistance the same way it did in Vietnam, with the same results. A better way would be to focus on politics and shaping the political context.
Nov 18, 2015 The Cipher Brief
Burundi has been afflicted by political violence since April. President Pierre Nkurunziza, who helped bring peace to the country in the last decade, is risking everything for the sake of staying in power. He is dragging the country backwards after 10 years of progress.
Nov 18, 2015 Newsweek
There is a French way of warfare that reflects the French military's lack of resources and its modest sense of what it can achieve. They specialize in carefully apportioned and usually small but lethal operations, often behind the scenes.
Nov 17, 2015 Politico
President Obama's decision to deploy 300 soldiers to Cameroon to help combat the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram is welcome news. The U.S. is stepping in at the right time, in the right way, by providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support that will greatly enhance Cameroon's and others' chances.
Oct 18, 2015 U.S. News & World Report
While there is a need for stepped up military and police efforts against the self-proclaimed Macina Liberation Front, Mali's policymakers and their international partners need to focus on countering revivalist Islam, ideally by promoting Mali's other Islamic traditions, while finding ways to calm the inter-communal competition.
Sep 8, 2015 Newsweek
The United States' relationship with France should be recognized and strengthened. France retains the military capability and the political moxie to contribute significantly and aggressively to collective responses to security threats to the Atlantic Alliance.
Mar 30, 2015 Newsweek
The March 7 terrorist attack that killed five people in a nightclub in Bamako, Mali, underscores the importance of international support for the West African country, which has become another front in the struggle against Islamist radicalism.
Mar 13, 2015 U.S. News & World Report
The good news is that Mali's latest attempt at peace presents a real opportunity. The bad news is that all the reasons that previous agreements failed are still present.
Mar 11, 2015 The RAND Blog
France is not the problem when it comes to defending Jewish lives and Jewish rights. With a few exceptions, the French state and nation have been stalwart on these issues, if only because the French government has understood that those who strike at Jews usually are striking at values dear to France.
Feb 13, 2015 U.S. News & World Report
Operation United Assistance, which includes the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to respond to the Ebola crisis, is a welcome recognition of the range of missions the military is increasingly able to tackle, particularly in disaster-management assistance.
Oct 10, 2014 Modern Healthcare
The launch of Barkhane, a new military operation by France, signals a change. Rather than simply reacting to an emergency as it did in Mali, France is committing to a long-term counterterrorism campaign, a much greater and more public commitment. This is welcome news for the United States.
Jul 29, 2014 U.S. News & World Report
There needs to be more frank and precise thinking about the kind of support allies are able and willing to provide. Counting on Europeans even just to pull as much weight as they have in the past is an increasingly doubtful proposition.
Apr 9, 2014 Defense One
The coincidence of the passing of Nelson Mandela last week with France's decision to intervene in the Central African Republic highlights a number of inconvenient truths about Africa and the role of the international community in its affairs.
Dec 13, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
Free and fair elections are important, to be sure, but what Mali really needs is a leader who is dedicated to democracy, unity and reform of Mali's politics and institutions, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin.
Jul 26, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
Last week's terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas complex in Algeria, along with the recent success of the militant groups fighting government forces in Mali, indicate al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are gaining influence in North Africa. RAND experts weigh in on the latest developments.
Jan 24, 2013 RAND.org
There is a danger in viewing Mali through the prism of counter-terrorism, since the rebel element there is tangled up in movements and groups with a wide variety of interests and motives, ranging from sincere religious conviction to local political rivalries to base economic opportunism, writes Michael Shurkin.
Jan 18, 2013 USA Today
No solution is likely to offer more than a short-term reprise if it is not accompanied by real progress toward resolving Mali's political crisis and strengthening the Malian state and Malian democracy, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin.
Jan 17, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
France should coordinate military action with efforts to engage with local factions to use as partners and proxies, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin. This is, in effect, how France conquered and secured northern Mali in the first place a century ago.
Jan 17, 2013 CNN