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

As U.S. Steps Up Syria Action, Where is China?

As U.S. Steps Up Syria Action, Where is China?

Friday, April 7, 2017

By: Jennifer Staats ; I-wei Jennifer Chang

Yesterday’s air strikes drove a bigger wedge between the American and Chinese positions on Syria. Although China has eschewed military engagement and lacks political leverage over major players in Syria’s conflict, Beijing could do more to provide humanitarian aid. Playing a proactive role now would not only help the Syrian people, but would also help Beijing expand its global leadership on conflict management and alleviate concerns about its intentions.

Violent Extremism; Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy

Killing of Suu Kyi Advisor Reflects Burma’s Divides

Killing of Suu Kyi Advisor Reflects Burma’s Divides

Thursday, April 6, 2017

By: Priscilla A. Clapp

The cold-blooded assassination of prominent constitutional lawyer U Ko Ni, an advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi, is emblematic of the deep political and social divisions that challenge democratic governance and political stability in Burma. As information has emerged about the case, the impact is inevitable on efforts to reform the country’s structures and unify its people.

Religion; Reconciliation; Democracy & Governance

As Trump Meets China’s Xi, North Korea Tests Resolve

As Trump Meets China’s Xi, North Korea Tests Resolve

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

By: Jennifer Staats

North Korea tested a ballistic missile this morning, just one day before President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet for the first time. The U.S. and China each blames the other for failing to curb North Korea’s missile and nuclear threat, and Pyongyang is testing their will to compromise. This summit is an opportunity for both leaders to commit to a serious discussion about meaningful action.

Global Policy; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue