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A Wide Ocean, Difficult Days & Ties that Bind: Morocco-U.S. Relations 50 Years after JFK’s Assassination

A Wide Ocean, Difficult Days & Ties that Bind: Morocco-U.S. Relations 50 Years after JFK’s Assassination

On Friday, we will look back on the 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and how that tragic event in Dallas changed history. Also, on Friday, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI will pay a state visit to Washington, D.C. and meet with President Barack …

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Where’s a leader when you need one? In Morocco.

Where’s a leader when you need one? In Morocco.


Check out this very insightful piece from Ahmed Charai on Huffington Post, “A Regal Response to an Undue Provocation.”
Ahmed makes a very good point that what makes Morocco stand out in a region of instability is King Mohammed VI’s visionary leadership. …

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Polisario Threatens its Way to Congress: There’s Something Wrong with this Picture

Polisario Threatens its Way to Congress: There’s Something Wrong with this Picture

 
A few weeks ago, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling on Morocco and the Polisario Front to “continue negotiations without preconditions and in good faith […] with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution” to end the Western Sahara …

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Obama’s Red Line in Syria: A Case for Intervention

Obama’s Red Line in Syria: A Case for Intervention

The rapidly escalating conflict in Syria is raising the collective volume of voices asking, “What can and should President Obama do in Syria?” The reality is that Syria’s future is inextricably tied to the future stability of the entire MENA region. Today, I turn to Cassie Chesley, …

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Lights, Camera, Distraction – Polisario U.N. Theatrics Prolong Humanitarian Drama

Lights, Camera, Distraction – Polisario U.N. Theatrics Prolong Humanitarian Drama

The U.N. Security Council is currently debating a draft resolution on whether or not to extend the peacekeeping mission in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) ahead of the April 30, 2013 deadline. For more than 20 years, the U.N. Security Council has debated, then renewed the mandate of …

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Security in the Sahel: U.S. Partnerships Can Resolve Crisis

Security in the Sahel: U.S. Partnerships Can Resolve Crisis

 
As the Atlantic Community examines “What can the US do to promote security in the Sahel?” the discussion must focus on the importance of U.S. partnerships in the region. Too often, meaningful and successful U.S. intervention to address conflicts and threats to security is erroneously envisioned as …

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Tunisia: Historic Crossroads at a Critical Juncture

Tunisia: Historic Crossroads at a Critical Juncture

“There have been gains in Tunisia. Through disagreements, controversies and blunders, the new phase, once the government is fully endorsed and up and running, will usher a new realism – a wake-up call […]” – Dr Larbi Sadiki regional expert and author of Arab Democratization: Elections without Democracy …

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Shades of Grey in U.S. Policy towards North Africa

Shades of Grey in U.S. Policy towards North Africa


“The United States is struggling to confront an uptick in threats from the world’s newest jihadist hot spot with limited intelligence and few partners to help as the Obama administration weighs how to keep Islamic extremists in North Africa from jeopardizing national security without launching war. We want …

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Guest Post – “Egypt: Challenges of Crafting Leadership in Foreign Affairs” by Jean AbiNader

Guest Post – “Egypt: Challenges of Crafting Leadership in Foreign Affairs” by Jean AbiNader


In today’s Guest Post, Jean AbiNader shares his interesting perspective on a recent article on Egypt by former Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S., Nabil Fahmy which appeared in the summer 2012 issue of the Cairo Review of Global Affairs. Jean, a long-time Middle …

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Who’s Who IN the Arab World? Examining Arab Identity

Who’s Who IN the Arab World? Examining Arab Identity

So many of us whose work, lives and studies involve the Arab world have spent the last year making sure everyone realized that each country’s ‘Arab Spring’ experience is unique. That said, there is a need to step back and take a …

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@TheWorld: Can you hear us now? #Africa

@TheWorld: Can you hear us now? #Africa

As policymakers, international affairs experts and enthusiasts, we talk a lot here about Africa. But now, those on the African continent are increasingly using tools to make themselves part of the #conversation.
This week, a first-of-its-kind study, “How Africa Tweets” was published by Portland …

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2011: Change, Challenges and Reform in Morocco

2011: Change, Challenges and Reform in Morocco

2011 has been a year filled with change, reform, progress and challenges across the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco included. As we anticipate what 2012 holds for the region, here’s a recap of key moments in 2011 for Morocco:
February 20 – Thousands demonstrated across Morocco in solidarity with protesters …

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Ahead of the Arab Spring ‘Curve’ in Morocco

Ahead of the Arab Spring ‘Curve’ in Morocco

Morocco is often left out of the Arab Spring discussion by policymakers and the media, largely because the demonstrations in Morocco took place peacefully, there was no regime change and the reform process proceeded relatively swiftly and transparently. It is also due to the fact that Morocco wasn’t caught blind-sided …

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Social Media and Social Menacing…

Social Media and Social Menacing…

And you thought your biggest social media worry was being defriended.
Last week, the New York Times published an interesting piece on the use of social media by terrorist groups.  They focused on a recent Twitter battle instigated by the Somalia-based, loosely al-Qaeda …

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Morocco: Act II…or is it III…or IV…?

Morocco: Act II…or is it III…or IV…?


Today, in Washington, DC there was a really interesting roundtable, “What’s Next for Morocco? Assessing opportunities and challenges after the elections.” The experts on the panel were academics, think tank leaders and former US diplomats. (Click here for a full …

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About the Author

Calvin Dark
Calvin Dark

Calvin Dark is an international policy and strategic communications professional based in Washington, DC. For more than 10 years, he has advised US and international bodies and organizations, primarily focusing on political, economic and cultural relations with Latin America, Western Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. Calvin is also a social media enthusiast trying to connect the world one tweet, post and #hashtag at a time.

Calvin was a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco where he conducted research on civil society’s role in increasing transparency and public confidence in Morocco’s government institutions and services. Calvin received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from Duke University and has studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Paris, France. He speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and English (North Carolina’s special dialect.)

Calvin is also passionate about Southern storytelling and oral histories and is the author of Tales From My Dark Side [www.talesfrommydarkside.wordpress.com], a collection of stories about the Darks, a central North Carolina family and their unique ways of reconciling the complex notions of race, community and family.

Anything else? Oh yea, he loves to spin and is a spin instructor. http://www.expressnightout.com/2012/01/just-ask-for-directions/

Contact Calvin at [email protected]

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