A few recent reports and publications that readers may find useful:
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies: “Nigeria’s Pernicious Drivers of Ethno-Religious Conflict.” On causes of and potential solutions for the recurring violence in Jos.
- Human Rights Watch: “South Sudan: A Human Rights Agenda.”
- The White House: “National Strategy for Counterterrorism, June 2011.” Discusses al Shabab on page 14, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on page 16.
- The World Bank: “Is Africa More Vulnerable to Oil Price Increases?”
If you read any of these publications, stop back and tell us your impressions.
I’m in the middle of an extended analysis of Brennan’s remarks and what they mean for U.S. foreign policy. Personally I found his speech offensive, in the way he trivialized the Arab Spring and invoked U.S. values as the driving force behind the Obama administration’s response. While I didn’t find his remarks on al-Shabab enlightening, Yemen was clearly Brennan’s prime target – and here U.S. policy is currently sitting at rock bottom. He even praised Ali Saleh’s government for its cooperation in the fight against AQAP, and told his audience that Yemen’s “chaos” validates expanding counter-terror operations. U.S. officials also claim that their counter-terror strategy for the Arab Spring isn’t limited to military measures, yet Washington and Riyadh are enabling Yemen’s political deadlock.
Contrary to rational thought, their immediate goal is to further disrupt political processes in order to justify counter-terror ops. This “new” plan is a counterproductive response to security challenges created by the Arab Spring.