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The Corruption Tango

The Corruption Tango

Any unchecked authority or power—especially when involving monies—ultimately leads to corruption. That is why it is necessary to put in place mechanisms to monitor, audit, reward, and, when necessary, punish.All laws stemming from a moral or a legal code are based on a system of rewards and punishments. By corruption I mean: Abuse of authority […]

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Egypt’s Repressive Model and Muzzling Soltan

Egypt’s Repressive Model and Muzzling Soltan

  While the coup and the ensuing repressive bloody outcome was, by and large, propelled by indigenously Egyptian political dynamics, it is naïve to assume that there were no geopolitical dynamics at play. The monarchies that poured petro-dollars into Egypt to support the coup regime were nervous about the long-term effect of any democratically elected […]

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New Deal and the Curse of ‘Community Self-Governance’

New Deal and the Curse of ‘Community Self-Governance’

  On July 21, I tweeted the following reflection: “A society can govern itself with custom instead of modern law, tribal system instead of government; (however) it cannot ride both horses at the same time.” Reacting to that old tweet, a few days ago, I received a one-liner e-mail that read “We must be doing […]

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The Politics of Political Islam

The Politics of Political Islam

I don’t know who deserves the attribution as far as the coining is concerned, I only know—like the terms Islamism, sharia, and jihad — so-called political Islam is a loaded term that stirs storms of controversy. Despite that baggage, it is the prevalent concept that defines all political parties and movements with Islamic references. This […]

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The General’s Pretext

The General’s Pretext

The General’s Pretext Unless it is averted by transcendental intervention or by the collective effort of those who possess the political or economic capacity to influence the Egyptian Army, the stage in Egypt is set for bloody massacres, or worse, a civil war. The excerpts below would underline a thinly-veiled pretext. Today, July 24, 2013, […]

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Euphoria Eclipses Nightmare in Egypt

Euphoria Eclipses Nightmare in Egypt

Today, Egypt is a dangerously polarized nation that is on the brink of a civil war. And, that worst case scenario could have broad implications far beyond that country and the Middle East. Since the military coup d’etat, the situation in Egypt has been rapidly escalating into a dangerous political dichotomy- all against the Muslim […]

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Reconciliation…One More Time!

Reconciliation…One More Time!

Ironic as it may seem, it is a statement of controversy to assert that a genuine national reconciliation is needed in Somalia. To some, that has already happened; to others, there is no need for it since the country has emerged out of the transitional period and the current government is the officially recognized representative […]

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Al-Shabaab’s Bloody Attack in Mogadishu

Al-Shabaab’s Bloody Attack in Mogadishu

The gruesome attack on the U.N. compound in Mogadishu that killed 18 people has shocked the world. Once the “Breaking News” hit the social media, condemnations, condolences, and blame started pouring. This latest bloody attack couldn’t come at a worst time — when security in Mogadishu was rapidly improving, when the country (especially Mogadishu) was […]

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Somalia and the Slippery Slope of ‘Jubbaland’

Somalia and the Slippery Slope of ‘Jubbaland’

  If the latest development in Somalia gives you the feeling of being trapped in the Twilight Zone — somewhere between relative security and renewed bloodshed — you are not alone. Due to the array of competing internal and external interest groups and the federal government’s lack of clear grand strategy or capacity to assert […]

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Somalia Conference and Rivalry of Civilizations

Somalia Conference and Rivalry of Civilizations

A few days before the “Somalia Conference 2013” held in London on May 7, a foreign journalist friend of mine sent me an e-mail asking what my thoughts were regarding the upcoming conference hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. I replied: “My heart’s belief in miracles outweighed my mind’s interest in the pursuit of objective […]

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Mogadishu, Boston and the ‘Pavlovian Response’

Mogadishu, Boston and the ‘Pavlovian Response’

The recent terrorist attacks that took place in Mogadishu and Boston were not just intended to kill and mutilate many civilians, but to create widespread terror, disarray, and insecurity that would last far beyond the initial shock of these bloody events. It goes without saying — anyone who takes part of such acts of indiscriminate […]

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Somalia, Side-effect of an Overpriced ‘Panacea’

Somalia, Side-effect of an Overpriced ‘Panacea’

With its meager financial and human resources, the Federal Republic of Somalia (FRS) has been doing better than a satisfactory job. However, in recent months, it has been profoundly frustrated by various challenges. Chief among them is what I would refer to as the first side-effect of a $60 million “panacea” known as the provisional […]

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Ending “Doormat Politics” In Somalia

Ending “Doormat Politics” In Somalia

“More than ever, foreign policy is economic policy. The world is competing for resources and global markets.”   John Kerry Considering the positive trend of the past eighteen months, Somalia is en route to recovery, and, in due course, to re-engineer a better state from the ground up. The caveat being: in the long term, this […]

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Connecting Dots in the Triangle of Threat

Connecting Dots in the Triangle of Threat

  Just as the temperature of the “security threat” slowly declines in Somalia, it rises in other parts of East Africa. Elements of mainly political, religious, and clan/ethnic nature continue to shift and create new volatile conditions. Though not entirely interdependent, these conditions could create a ripple effect across different borders. Depending on one’s purview, […]

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The Corroding “Lead Camel” Effect

The Corroding “Lead Camel” Effect

  As in old caravans “Where the lead camel goes, so shall others.” Such goes the Somali proverb, notwithstanding its regional variations and dialectical flavors. The Lead Camel Effect (LCE) describes a syndrome or a common human tendency to blindly follow leaders, role-models, and all those whom authority is attributed to even if such individuals […]

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About the Author

Abukar Arman
Abukar Arman

Abukar Arman is a former diplomat, serving as Somalia's Special Envoy to the US. As a widely published analyst, he focuses on foreign policy, Islam, the Horn of Africa, extremism, and other topics.
Twitter: @Abukar_Arman
or reach him via e-mail: [email protected]

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