Archives

Weak States

This category contains 12 posts

Curbing Ivory Trade Requires Curbing of Foreign Demand

Effectively reducing the killing of African elephants and rhinoceroses depends more on curbing the foreign demand for tusks and horn than on localized national endeavors to combat poachers. Although approaches from both angles are essential, it is the consumer appetite for elephant ivory and rhino horn that propels illegal attacks on innocent herbivorous mammals across … 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

Plunder and Succession in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

      Zimbabwe is expiring, again. More banks are failing, beer sales – a key indicator – have slumped dramatically since 2013, tourist arrivals are down, and the business confidence index is at lowest ebb since the wildly inflationary days of 2008. Most tellingly, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe in January told civil servants to … 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

Good Governance: Even Africa’s Best are Nothing to Brag About

    Africa’s development chances and social possibilities remain heavily hindered by its overall mediocre governance. Despite the talk of Africa rising and growth rates that now exceed other parts of the globe, too many of the continent’s peoples are subject to the kinds of governments that favour ruling elites rather than ordinary villagers and … Continue reading

Fixing Nigeria’s Leadership and Governance Problems

  Nigeria’s battle against Boko Haram can only be won if Nigerians begin to fix their massive leadership and governance problems.               Nigeria is as close to being a failed state as it has ever been. The key components and definitions of state failure are: The state’s loss of its Weberian monopoly of violence. … Continue reading

Zimbabwe’s Economy Circles the Drain

The city water taps run dry daily in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. Electrical power is scarce and there are frequent blackouts; private homes and all businesses need generators. Hospital supplies and doctors are scarce. So are functioning schools, street lights and all of the other daily governance items that governments, even some in Africa, normally supply. … Continue reading

Stemming the Carnage in Central Africa

“There are the people we need to kill. Why leave them alive? We need to kill them and take their things … We will kill the men first. Then we will take their possessions,” a Christian militia leader told his followers as they attacked a compound sheltering Muslims in the Central African Republic. “You are … 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