Archives

United States

This category contains 23 posts

Going to Kenya Is a Dumb Idea, Mr. President

    This week, Secretary of State John Kerry paid a welcome, quick and clandestine visit to troubled Somalia after a short, heavily protected stop in Kenya. But that doesn’t make President Obama’s plan to visit Kenya in July any less misconceived or dangerous. To uphold the dignity of his office, and for the good … Continue reading

Why Not Back the Houthi in Yemen?

  Let the Houthis slug it out with al-Qaeda. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Why does the United States want to be fighting both the Houthis and al-Qaeda when the Houthis, now a major force in Yemen, are strongly opposed to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? With help from us (or at … Continue reading

Drugs, Crime, and Terror in Africa

The wars of Africa are fueled by narcotics. That is an exaggerated over-simplification, but what is less well known than it should be is that many of the internal conflicts of today’s Africa are driven in part, sometimes  a substantial part, by profits being made from the trafficking of hard drugs and precursor chemicals. The … Continue reading

Washington’s Good Intentions for Africa are Not Enough

Ebola epitomizes Washington’s Africa problem. With more than 40 African leaders meeting President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the U.S. capital this week to celebrate the continent’s burgeoning economic prospects, governance weaknesses remain sadly real and a big drag on development. The presidents of Sierra Leone, Liberia and … Continue reading

Slaughtering the Innocent: The Possible End of Elephants and Rhinoceroses

  Three hundred gentle rhinoceroses have been killed by poachers since the beginning of 2014 in South Africa alone.  About 15,000 unsuspecting elephants have similarly been gunned down by poachers so far this year throughout the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are dying out, too. Fabled Africa, with its profusion of big game, is now … Continue reading

Is Africa’s Meteoric Economic Rise Sustainable?

Sub-Saharan Africa is indeed rising. Thanks to Chinese demand for raw materials, especially petroleum and iron ore, much of Africa is growing (as measured by GDP per capita) at nearly 6 per cent per annum. Many of the globe’s fastest advancing countries are in Africa. But is this meteoric economic rise sustainable? Will African economies … Continue reading

Nigeria Should Accept Outside Help

Nigeria must shortly agree to accept Western help in locating and rescuing the 250 or so teenage girls abducted last month by Boko Haram, the shadowy al-Qaeda-linked terrorist movement that has been killing boys, burning schools, pillaging villages, destroying churches and setting off bombs in the nation’s capital. Another eight school girls were taken yesterday. … Continue reading

China Slows, Africa Suffers

As China goes, so goes Africa. If the Chinese economy continues to cool, the raw material and commodity exporters of Africa will suffer correspondingly. Neither American nor European buyers will be able to replace Chinese purchases. Two surveys released in early April revealed that China’s manufacturers are struggling to maintain their accustomed high levels of … Continue reading

Chinese Trade with Africa Hits Record High

China’s enduring importance for Africa was strengthened again in 2013, when trade between the globe’s most populous country and its poorest continent soared to a record total of $200 billion. That included a 44 percent spurt in Chinese direct investment in Africa. U.S. trade with Africa, but only in goods, not services, totaled $85 billion … Continue reading

Zimbabwe: A Captive Nation, or Ten Steps to Ruination

             President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, an audacious autocrat, turned 90 last week. Gimlet-eyed, and as avaricious and assertive as ever, he has ruled his singular southern African country for 34 years. Despite preying relentlessly on the people of the country, since 2000 he and his governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) unexpectedly have … Continue reading