West Africa

  • Trainee health workers preparing to don protective suits at a World Health Organization training session in Freetown September 30, 2014

    Commentary

    What the Ebola Crisis Taught Us About Emergency Preparedness

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the most severe of its kind. At the height of the crisis, 800 to 1,000 new cases were reported per week in Africa across the three most heavily affected countries. As of last week, there were only 12 confirmed cases. What must be done to prevent and mitigate future crises of this nature?

    Jun 4, 2015

  • A Malian soldier speaks with Tuareg men in the village of Tashek, outside Timbuktu, July 27, 2013

    Report

    Achieving Peace in Northern Mali

    What will it take to build durable peace in northern Mali? Successes and failures from past peace agreements can inform future efforts. There are also lessons to be gleaned from the stability of Niger, Mali's neighbor.

    May 1, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Three Studies in Conflict

    Uses a variety of social science research methods to explore the use of conflict prevention, cessation, and recovery interventions.

    Apr 28, 2015

  • Supporters of Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari gesture in front of his election posters in Kano March 27, 2015

    Commentary

    What's at Stake in Nigeria's Elections

    Next to ethnic and religious predilections, security is by far the biggest issue for Nigerians in Saturday's election. For more than 50 years, since Nigeria's independence from British rule, its military has played an important role in peacekeeping across the continent. Paradoxically, the country has struggled with an insurgency within its own borders.

    Mar 27, 2015

  • A soldier stands outside La Terrasse restaurant where militants killed five people in a gun attack in Bamako, Mali, March 7, 2015

    Commentary

    Help Malians Fight Back

    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

  • Fighters from the Tuareg separatist rebel group MNLA take shade under a tree in the desert near Tabankort, February 13, 2015

    Commentary

    Mali's Peace Accord Offers Little More Than an Opportunity

    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

  • News Release

    News Release

    New Tool Can Help Identify Nations That May Be Vulnerable to Ebola or Other Public Health Emergencies

    Public health experts can identify nations that are vulnerable to the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies by using a screening tool that evaluates a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Government health workers administering blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 2014

    Report

    Mitigating the Impact of Ebola in Potential Hot Zones

    The experiences of African countries that successfully contained Ebola early can be informative for government officials, international organizations, and aid agencies seeking to capture the underlying factors that affect countries' resilience to such outbreaks and can help them prepare for high-risk scenarios.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • Health workers don protective gear before entering an Ebola quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 19, 2014

    Commentary

    What Have We Learned from the Ebola Outbreak?

    For much of 2014, the world has confronted the most deadly Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. What lessons have emerged? What should the world do to better prepare for transnational outbreaks?

    Dec 31, 2014

  • A protestor demonstrates in favor of a travel ban to stop the spread of Ebola, in front of the White House, October 16, 2014

    Q&A

    Your Questions on Ebola, Answered

    Melinda Moore, a RAND public health physician and senior researcher, hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit to answer questions about Ebola, including whether a U.S. travel ban would help prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

    Oct 21, 2014

  • Brigade General Gregoire de Saint-Quentin (L), head of France's Operation Serval in Mali, stands with General Nabere Honore Traore, army chief of Burkina Faso, during a handover ceremony of the Timbuktu mission, April 23, 2013

    Report

    What Can the U.S. Army Learn from France's War in Mali?

    French Army operations in Mali provide an example of how a technologically sophisticated army organizes and fields an expeditionary force. While the French way of war may not be optimal for U.S. commanders, who have greater resources at their disposal, the Army should still examine it for useful insights.

    Oct 17, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers, earmarked for the fight against Ebola, put on protective suits during training before their deployment to West Africa, October 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Declaring War on Ebola

    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

  • A burial team wearing protective clothing prepares to enter the home a person suspected of having died from Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone, September 28, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Outbreak: Putting the Public Back in Public Health

    Medical and public health systems are crucial to controlling the transmission of Ebola and treating patients. But the public's role in becoming aware and engaged, both in West Africa and the United States, cannot be overstated.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • French President Francois Hollande arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris to speak about French airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic State militants, September 19, 2014

    Commentary

    Does France Have the Master Plan to Defeat ISIS?

    In Mali, France stopped jihadists from taking over, ejected them from the country almost entirely, and struck a major blow to their ability to threaten France and the region. This success story provides important lessons for the U.S. debate about how to deal with ISIS.

    Sep 24, 2014

  • Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion in an undated handout colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM)

    Commentary

    Ebola: The Faceless National Security Threat

    The rapid, uncontrolled spread of aggressive diseases such as Ebola is often a matter of national security. U.S. intelligence professionals must establish relevant information collection and dissemination mechanisms to deal with such contingencies.

    Sep 10, 2014

  • Medical staff put on protective gear before taking a sample from a suspected Ebola patient in Kenema, Sierra Leone, July 10, 2014

    Commentary

    Six Takeaways from the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

    No amount of research can save those who've already perished from Ebola in West Africa, but our capacity to learn from such tragedies is a silver lining that has historically enhanced global resilience to disease. With that in mind, here are six key lessons from the outbreak.

    Aug 8, 2014

  • French Army General Bernard Barrera (L) speaks with a soldier during a patrol in northern Mali, March 23, 2013

    Commentary

    France Gets Tougher on Terrorism

    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 U.S.

    Jul 29, 2014

  • Protesters outside Nigeria's parliament demand security forces search harder for the 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram

    Commentary

    The Risks of Rescue

    As appealing as a successful mission to rescue the 200 school girls held hostage by Boko Haram in Nigeria might appear, the use of U.S. military assets to mount a rescue attempt would be a mistake.

    Jun 13, 2014

  • A child receives polio vaccination during an anti-polio campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan

    Commentary

    An Outbreak of Outbreaks

    Lately, stories about outbreaks seem to be spreading faster than the diseases themselves. An outbreak of measles in Ohio is just part of an 18-year high of U.S. cases. Meanwhile, polio continues to circulate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, while spreading to other countries.

    Jun 11, 2014

  • Woman attends a health education session in northern Nigeria

    Commentary

    Insurance and Incentives: A Dual Approach to Try to Improve Maternal Health in Nigeria

    Less than 5% of Nigerians have insurance; two-thirds of all health care costs are paid out of pocket. When people must pay out of pocket for health care at the point of service, this restricts access, excludes the poorest and most vulnerable, and leads to delays in patients seeking help.

    Jun 10, 2014