The Salafi-jihadist movement is winning
Katherine Zimmerman | RealClearWorld
Local conflicts and popular grievances create openings for the Salafi-jihadist movement to grow its influence. Working to resolve these conflicts will block its efforts to infiltrate communities. Reducing the movement’s ability to interact with populations is the only way to weaken it. America’s strategy must change to reflect this reality.
AFRICOM Adds Logistics Hub in West Africa, Hinting at an Enduring US Presence
// Katie Bo Williams
From Ghana's capital, a new supply network will ferry supplies and arms to special forces troops across the region.
Understaffed AFRICOM CuttingHundreds More Troops
By Tara Copp, Military Times: “U.S. Africa Command has begun cutting up to 10 percent of its forces from the continent in response to U.S. security challenges elsewhere, the top U.S. commander for Africa told reporters at the Munich Security Conference."
CTP’s Threat Update series is a weekly update and assessment of the al Qaeda network and its affiliates in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Maghreb and Sahel. CTP’s Iran team follows developments on the internal politics, military capabilities, and regional conflicts closely.
Paraguay Is a Fiscal Paradise for Terrorists
Emanuele Ottolenghi — Foreign Policy
The U.S. Department of Justice last year designated Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militant group, as a transnational criminal organization, thanks to its long-standing and well-documented partnership with Latin American drug cartels. A focal point of Hezbollah operations in the Western Hemisphere is the Tri-Border Area ... Read more
Europe: Trying to Legitimize Iran's Regime by Giulio Meotti
Will Germany, Not Ready & Slow To Invest, Keep EU Leadership, Deter Putin
By Robbin Laird, Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:41 PM
The Cold War has not returned, but the Russians have. The challenge for the Trump Administration is less about whether the US cares about European defense; it is much more about a strategic shift of American attention to dealing with the Chinese and North Korean threats.
German Foreign Policy is Stuck in Neutral by Julianne Smith
Is Mexico a Failing State?
By Alexander Grinberg, Strategy Bridge: "In 2009, U.S. Joint Forces Command released a statement expressing concerns over Mexico, highlighting the potential even then for a total collapse."
AL-QAEDA IN THE AFRICAN HORN: PUSH BACK ON AFRICOM, ASSASSINATING SOMALIA LEADERSHIP & RAND CORPORATION STUDIES MIDDLE EAST SECTARIANISM
Middle Eastern Communities Can Resist Sectarianism
Sectarian violence in the Middle East has been destructive, but it is still the exception rather than the norm. Communities are generally resilient to the worst sectarian impulses. Lessons from Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, and Iraq show that there are a range of actions that can curb sectarianism. Read more »
US MUST COMPETE WITH RUSSIA, CHINA IN LATIN AMERICA & VENEZUELA: ITS ALL ABOUT RUSSIAN MONEY-LAUNDERING AND SANCTION EVASION
Get China and Russia Out of Venezuela - and the Western Hemisphere by Gordon G. Chang
Rent-seeking behavior in US international food aid programs
Stephanie Mercier | American Enterprise Institute
Food aid programs provide rents to interest groups through cargo preference requirements and purchasing requirements raising program costs. As a result, US food aid is not efficiently achieving its goals of increasing US soft power and alleviating global hunger.
UK Parliament wants new Brexit talks
BY ASIA TIMES STAFF
Brussels reiterates best deal has already been offered
Does Sterling Back Brexit?
Editorial of The New York Sun | January 31, 2019
Modi plays temple politics, minorities set to play key election roles
BY KANCHAN SRIVASTAVA
The BJP will lean on upper caste Hindu voters in the 2019 Indian elections, as opposition parties look to consolidate other sectors of the vote
Can India weather the Middle East Strategic Alliance?
New Delhi may never have felt more vindicated in its Middle East policy than it does now. Its close ties with all the major powers in the Middle East, including Israel, Iran and the Gulf monarchies, have shielded its interests from the region’s geopolitical fluctuations. Yet, going forward, the region’s increasing polarization, of which the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) is but the latest manifestation, poses a considerable challenge for India. Signs of this are...
AL-QAEDA WINNING IN THE AFRICAN TRANS-SAHEL: FREDRICK KAGAN'S AEI'S CRITICAL THREATS PROJECT COVERAGE & US AFRICOM HITS THE WALL ON SOMALIA DOMESTIC POLITICS
The US Needs a Real Plan to Counter China in Africa
// Adam Ereli
The current toothless strategy won't prevent Beijing from, say, squeezing supply lines to America's biggest African base.
Trump’s Africa Surprise
By Jonathan Gass, Atlantic Council: "Africa has generally ranked near the bottom of U.S. foreign policy priorities. Historically, two-term presidents have waited until their second term to establish their legacies on the continent, and many one-term presidents have neglected it altogether. U.S. President Donald J. Trump has surprised many by bucking this trend."
The Saga of Mukhtar Robow and Somalia’s Fractious Politics by Christopher Anzalone and Stig Jarle Hansen
Noninterventionist US foreign policy in two African nations
Roger Bate | AEIdeas
Trump administration levies devastating sanctions against Venezuela
(New York Post) National-security adviser John Bolton said penalties would be imposed on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company.
Untangling Venezuela’s authoritarian web
Clay R. Fuller and Ryan C. Berg | The American Interest
HOW ASSAD SURVIVES, TURKEY RUSHES TO HELP VENEZUELA & MOSCOW WANTS TO HELP SYRIA; WHY ISN'T THE S300 BEING USED?
Trump’s Syria Pullout Plan Cannot Win Turkey Back by Merve Tahiroglu and Aykan Erdemir
Why Hasn't Syria Used the S-300? by Seth Frantzman
Bashir will survive as he firms up Sudan’s ties with Turkey, Qatar
Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, will survive the recent protests in his country. But in his political survival, Sudan also will see itself more tightly binding itself to Turkey and Qatar. The cause of the protests has been economics. The government withdrew subsidies on bread, and thereby caused a tripling of prices. This was done against a backdrop of already runaway inflation (prices rose 72% in December), government limits on bank withdrawals, and a...
Alexander Decina writes: Western governments have repeatedly had to downgrade their expectations for Syria. After nearly eight years of war, demands for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s immediate departure slowly whittled down to a reluctant acceptance that no political transition is forthcoming. Now, Western countries find themselves deliberating whether to participate in Syria’s reconstruction without the political transition they have long demanded. – War on the Rocks
Philippine rebels clinch the spoils of a bloody war
BY BONG S SARMIENTO
Moro Islamic Liberation Front's long struggle for an autonomous region has likely passed a plebiscite but whether the rebels can administer as well as they fight is yet to be seen
Europe Does Not Exist
by Josef Joffe via Commentary
By the numbers, the European Union is a giant. Its economy exceeds China’s by $7 trillion and is just a bit smaller than America’s $20 trillion. Russia? Its GDP of $ 1.7 trillion is petty cash. On paper, the EU nations marshal as many soldiers as does the United States, and half a million more than Russia. Their combined population dwarfs both. But if one measures by its weight in world affairs, Europe is a runt.
The European Alliance That Never Was
by Angelo M. Codevilla via Strategika
The notion of an Atlantic alliance consisting of Europeans and Americans as full partners was once a useful fiction. Today it is a dysfunctional one, an obstacle to all sides’ understanding of what useful cooperation may yet be possible.
Why Russia’s economy is headed for trouble
Michael Rubin | The National Interest
Michael Rubin writes: Putin’s lasting legacy, however, will not be his wars in Georgia or Ukraine nor the new submarines , fighter jets , nuclear weapons , or hypersonic missiles whose manufacture and unveilings he has overseen. Rather, Putin’s historic legacy will likely be inheriting a country with great economic potential and leaving it an empty husk. After so many years in power, Putin has no one to blame but himself. Arguments that the West humiliated Russia after the Soviet Union’s fall are nonsensical. – The National Interest
DoD Developing Supply Route From Djibouti to Somalia
By Amanda Sperber, Foreign Policy: "The U.S. Defense Department is in the early stages of a project to develop land-based supply routes from the main American military base in Africa, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, to other U.S. camps across the eastern part of the continent."
For decades, Kenyan authorities have struggled to contain the threat of extremism in their country. And on Tuesday morning, the militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for another attack there, this time on a hotel in the upscale Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi. […]Tuesday’s attack also came three years to the day after al-Shabab attacked a Kenyan-run military base in El Adde, Somalia, Williams noted. In that instance, militants detonated explosives and stormed the base, leaving as many as 141 Kenyan soldiers dead, according to a CNN investigation. – Washington Post
Caroline Goodson writes: Why should the US commit resources to a far-away fight? Because al Shabaab and al Qaeda are part of a broader Salafi-jihadi movement that has spread across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. […]And once they’re settled in Africa, we can be sure they’ll be on our doorstep once again. Far from walking away, the US and its partners must address the governance deficit in Somalia and the broader region. Walking away is little more than surrender. – American Enterprise Institute
Nicholas Kristof writes: These protests are unfolding in Sudan against the regime of President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide. Other presidents have committed genocide over the last century, but Bashir has the distinction of conducting three different genocides by my count: in South Sudan, in the Nuba Mountains and in Darfur. He is not just a serial killer; he is a serial genocidaire. – New York Times
Two deadly terror attacks rocked Syria and Kenya and show that extremist groups such as Islamic State and Al-Shabab have not been dented in their ability to strike at the most sensitive and important targets. On Wednesday, an attack claimed by ISIS struck Americans meeting with locals in the sensitive town of Manbij in northern Syria. Four Americans were reported killed. In Nairobi, Al-Shabab attacked a luxury hotel on Tuesday and murdered more than 20 people. – Jerusalem Post