This category contains 10 posts

Africa’s Massive Power Shortage Alleviated by China

When one flies over sub-Saharan Africa at night, there are only pinpricks of light, a stark comparison to what one sees flying over Asia, Europe, or Latin America. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the “dark continent,” seriously short of electrical energy generating capacity. Industrial development is hampered almost everywhere, even in South Africa, because of insufficiencies in … Continue reading

The Little Understood Connection between Terror and Drug Profits

Terrorists are in it as much for the loot as for the ideology. The Islamic State, or ISIS, could hardly exist, whatever its Islamist fervor, without hard cash from sales of pilfered petroleum, taxes on its subject population and kidnappings for ransom. Likewise ISIS- and al-Qaida-linked groups in Africa prosper by trafficking drugs across the … Continue reading

Confronting Drugs, Crime, and Warfare in Africa

Drug smuggling and its profits help significantly to fuel Africa’s wars as criminal enterprises. Terrorists frequently build drug-driven hybrid organizations to finance their operations and to reap illicit rents. In Mali, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, conflict is strongly tied to drug trafficking by syndicates allied to al-Qaeda–associated insurgents. The … Continue reading

What the EU Should Do to Help Fleeing Migrants Stay in their Homelands

Stopping the migrant-smuggler ships from leaving Libya and other parts of Africa for islands in the Mediterranean Sea may arrest the waves of sub-Saharan Africans, Syrians and Iraqis fleeing war-torn and economically harsh lands for freedom and opportunity in Europe. But these new desperate measures, and physical barricades in Hungary and Bulgaria to slow the … Continue reading

Failed States: A Paradigm Revived

To label as “failed” those nation-states that no longer serve their people remains a powerful indictment. It sharpens policy considerations and singles out those countries which should be of utmost concern to world order. “Failed” also focuses attention on those nation-states that may soon fail; those are countries most in imminent need of external help. … Continue reading

Overcoming Africa’s Critical Challenges

After Timbuktu: Putting the Humpty-Dumpty of Mali Back Together

Thanks to the timely and surgically effective intervention of hundreds of French paratroopers and almost 3,000 support forces, the cities and towns of northern Mali have been cleared of criminal Islamists linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Keeping them from returning, filtering in from desert redoubts, will be the job of almost 5,000 African … Continue reading

Odious States, Humanitarian Responses

            Repressive, odious, nation-states eventually implode. That is at least one of the significant messages of the Arab spring, summer, and autumn of 2011.  But such states – the worst of the worst — never implode neatly, effortlessly, or, in the most difficult cases, without external assistance.  How to calibrate that external assistance so that … Continue reading

Restoring Freedom to Mali

                  Why is the French Foreign Legion doing nothing? What is it for? French President Francois Hollande last month forthrightly said: “We cannot stand by and allow terrorists to take over an entire territory.”  But France has, and so has the United Nations and the African Union. The people of a huge … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Countries: Democratic and Stable Senegal and Coup-Torn Mali

Cape Times (Cape Town), April 2 President Abdoulaye Wade finally acknowledged that his long years of political relevance were concluded, and chose wisely not to contest his overwhelming defeat in Sunday’s run off election for Senegal’s presidency. Macky Sall is a worthy winner whose patient victory (without too many threatening histrionics beforehand) maintains Senegal’s democratic … Continue reading