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The Risks of China’s $4 Trillion 'Belt-and-Road' Plan

The Risks of China’s $4 Trillion 'Belt-and-Road' Plan

Friday, May 12, 2017

By: Jennifer Staats

Chinese President Xi Jinping is gathering 29 heads of state and officials from more than 110 countries in Beijing starting May 14 for the first summit of his high-stakes Belt and Road Initiative. The $4 trillion plan offers the promise of economic growth, stability and increased connectivity for countries around the world. But it also faces—and creates—a host of complications for China and the other countries involved.

Economics & Environment

Shock at Pakistan Lynching Opens Way to Curb Extremism

Shock at Pakistan Lynching Opens Way to Curb Extremism

Thursday, May 11, 2017

By: Moeed Yusuf; Lauren McNally

Mashal Khan’s lynching last month for alleged blasphemy by fellow university students in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province sent shockwaves across Pakistani society. It instantly stirred recollections of the 2011 murder of Salman Taseer, a former governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, by his own security guard because he had opposed laws punishing blasphemy. Both episodes highlighted the deep intolerance for diversity and the readiness to use violence over religious disagreements in Pakistan. But there was one major difference that could open an opportunity to steer Pakistan in a more moderate direction.

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance

Ebola to Piracy: Sustaining U.S.-China Work in Africa

Ebola to Piracy: Sustaining U.S.-China Work in Africa

Friday, April 28, 2017

By: Jennifer Staats

U.S. and Chinese leaders have worked with counterparts across Africa to combat a range of security threats on the continent, from Ebola to piracy to instability in Sudan and South Sudan. A recent United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning terrorist attacks and violence in the Lake Chad Basin illustrates that more joint efforts are needed to support Africa’s stability and development. Unfortunately, distrust and skepticism between the United States and China are getting in the way of further progress. But there may be a way to prevent backsliding.

Global Policy; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Violent Extremism

In Afghanistan, a Shocked Nation Again Asks Why

In Afghanistan, a Shocked Nation Again Asks Why

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By: Shahmahmood Miakhel

On April 21, a group of 10 Taliban fighters, disguised as Afghan soldiers transporting a wounded colleague, entered the main base of the Afghan Army’s 209th Corps in the northwestern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. After a five-hour rampage through the camp, as many as 140, maybe more, Afghan soldiers were dead. The government announced a national day of mourning for a shocked nation, and the Minister of Defense and the Army Chief of Staff resigned. It was not the first such incident. Nor will it be the last.

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance; Fragility and Resilience

In Afghanistan, Time for a Message More Powerful than a Bomb

In Afghanistan, Time for a Message More Powerful than a Bomb

Friday, April 21, 2017

By: Shahmahmood Miakhel

Even in Afghanistan, a country that has seen four decades of bloodshed and destruction, the ravages of a relatively small contingent of the so-called “Islamic State” extremist group have been shocking: Men, women and children beheaded, individuals blown up with explosives strapped to their bodies, children indoctrinated to commit atrocities. So the U.S. military’s “Mother of All Bombs” dropped onto a remote warren of ISIS tunnels and caves was welcomed in some quarters. But there is more that the Afghan government and the U.S. can do to reduce the frustration and despair that drives so many, especially the young, into the radical fold.

Violent Extremism; Fragility and Resilience; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Nigeria’s New Threat: Guns, Cows and Clashes Over Land

Nigeria’s New Threat: Guns, Cows and Clashes Over Land

Thursday, April 20, 2017

By: Oge Onubogu

Nigeria’s military appears to have the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram extremist group on the run. But a different kind of conflict now threatens to undermine the government’s gains in reducing violence in Africa’s most populous country. Armed clashes between mostly Muslim herdsmen and predominantly Christian farmers are fueling a new, and even more intensive, era of instability. The conflict over land and natural resources has drawn little notice internationally and urgently needs more attention from Nigeria’s federal government.

Economics & Environment; Religion

U.S. Plane Sale Misses Point in Nigeria’s Boko Haram Fight

U.S. Plane Sale Misses Point in Nigeria’s Boko Haram Fight

Thursday, April 13, 2017

By: Oge Onubogu

Nigeria’s overstretched military will be pleased that the U.S. is moving ahead with plans to sell the country a dozen small attack planes for its fight against Boko Haram. The high-tech gear on the single-engine Embraer A-29 Super Tucano should improve precision targeting by the Nigerian forces to chase scattered fighters and help avoid disastrous mistakes such as the Jan. 17 bombing of a displaced persons camp that killed as many as 236 people. But with Boko Haram already in retreat and attention shifting to more permanent safety and security, the aircraft also might be of limited use.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Violent Extremism

How U.S. Strikes in Syria Could Complicate War on ISIS

How U.S. Strikes in Syria Could Complicate War on ISIS

Friday, April 7, 2017

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Defeating ISIS was the singular goal of the Trump administration in Syria until the Assad regime provoked U.S. missile strikes with its use of sarin gas. The broadening of U.S. objectives, and extending military action in the country to include a direct hit on Syrian forces, could now complicate the fight against the Islamic State to a dangerous degree.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism