Category Archives: US policy

How to avoid Ebola-inspired violence in West Africa

Last month, I wrote another short piece for Consultancy Africa Intelligence’s “Africa Conflict Monitor,” this time about the international community’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. It was published as the “featured analysis” in the December 2014 issue. … Continue reading

Posted in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, US policy, West Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should the U.S. be training and equipping African armies? The logic of security assistance and its discontents

This month, I wrote a short piece on U.S. security assistance in Africa that was published as the “featured analysis” in the August 2014 issue of the “Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor,” compiled and edited by Consultancy Africa Intelligence. CAI has … Continue reading

Posted in Niger, Nigeria, terrorism, US policy, West Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colombia’s peace process: a current overview

The talks in Havana between the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla militant “terrorist” group, have already had a significant impact on an important region in the global economy due to a loosening of … Continue reading

Posted in Colombia, drug trafficking, Latin America, terrorism, Uncategorized, US policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book thoughts: “The Dispensable Nation” by Vali Nasr (2013)

A Middle East scholar and former aide to the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke at the State Department, Vali Nasr holds back no punches. His latest book, The Dispensable Nation, rips into the Obama administration—particularly the White House—on one foreign policy … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Book reviews, Central Asia, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Asia, US policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defining “success” in proxy arming: the Afghanistan case

As expected, my recent post on arming Syria’s rebels (see here) generated a bit of debate among Notes on the Periphery readers. Danny, among others, made an important conceptual point: in assessing the “success” of four past cases of proxy … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Syria, US policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

US security assistance: Leahy Law under fire

In April I wrote a lengthy post on the logic of U.S. foreign military assistance that you can read here. Last week the New York Times ran another instructive piece on the issue, focusing on a key component: the 16-year-old … Continue reading

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Arming Syria’s rebels: Will it work?

After two years of cautious restraint, the Obama administration has reportedly directed the Central Intelligence Agency to begin supplying and distributing small arms and ammunition to elements of the Syrian opposition. What pushed President Obama over the edge? The answers … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Angola, Central Africa, Central Asia, Chad, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, Nicaragua, Syria, US policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment