Foreign Policy Blogs

North Africa

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 to put up a map here and […]

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Same month, same airport, same Benghazi? A prince returns

Same month, same airport, same Benghazi? A prince returns

  Going home. The resonance of that phrase is universal. The happy homecoming. The poignant or sad one. The unsure one. The second chance one. For His Royal Highness Prince Mahdi Al-Senussi that ultimate appellation of his “going home” remains to be determined. Forty-two years to the month that Prince Mahdi was forced to leave […]

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Qaddafi’s Female Bodyguards (2012)

Qaddafi’s Female Bodyguards (2012)

This short (59 min.) film was shot in 2003, well before the revolution that resulted in Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s ouster and death in 2011. While an interesting topic, it will most likely be relegated to a small footnote in Libya’s history. From the time he took power in 1969, Colonel Qaddafi surrounded himself with […]

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The Limit of Clooney’s Satellite Spy Project in Sudan

The Limit of Clooney’s Satellite Spy Project in Sudan

The current fighting between North Sudan and South Sudan in the disputed border oil town of Heglig provides a litmus test on the success of actor George Clooney’s, goal of “deterring a return to full-scale civil war” between the two sides. Clooney has even recently met with President Obama to drive home his Sudan cause, […]

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Revolution in Cairo/The Brothers (2011)

Revolution in Cairo/The Brothers (2011)

These two short pieces are Frontline mini-documentaries about the situation in Cairo during the Arab Spring, where youth movements used social media to coordinate demonstrations against the government of then-President Hosni Mubarak. The April 6 Youth Movement started in 2008 when it fought for textile workers who were on strike. It’s leaders, all around 30 […]

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Constitutional Reforms in Morocco: Outlook for Youth Rights

Constitutional Reforms in Morocco: Outlook for Youth Rights

The following is a guest post by Leila Hanafi. The profound unrest the world witnessed throughout the Middle East and North Africa over the past year has prompted some Arab governments to introduce a series of dynamic and responsive measures via reforms. At the very heart of the unrest, echoed from the Maghreb to the […]

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Africa Roundup

Africa Roundup

Here are a few stories that have caught my eye of late, with brief commentary as apt: In an interesting (but probably passing) change of direction, China is putting pressure on Sudan “to seek urgently the release of 29 Chinese workers held by rebels in the border state of South Kordofan.” China traditionally sees national […]

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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 Communications and Tweetminster which examined more than 11.5 million geo-located tweets […]

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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 in Egypt and Tunisia, […]

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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 by the push for change; […]

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Southern Africa Year in Review: Democracy without Citizens?

Southern Africa Year in Review: Democracy without Citizens?

The year 2011 for Southern Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa in general, will probably be remembered for what did not happen in the light of the people-powered uprising and protests that swept across the globe. In the Arab world, in particular North Africa, what is being now referred to as the Arab Spring made 2011 a […]

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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 description of the event, the participants and the video.) I say “interesting” because the panel […]

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News Roundup

News Roundup

Here are a few stories that I’ve been thinking about in recent days: A new report from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Africa and the Arab Spring: A New Era of Democratic Expectations, the first volume of the Africa Center’s new Special Report series, uses the Arab Spring as a lens through which […]

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Boko Haram: Today, Nigeria. Tomorrow….?

Boko Haram: Today, Nigeria. Tomorrow….?

Today, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence held a REALLY interesting hearing on Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based militant group—which they deem an “emerging threat to the U.S. homeland.” (Color me surprised… it is a rare occasion when US policymakers on the Hill focus on “emerging” threats instead of waiting until it’s […]

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Say What? A Quick Rundown of the Media’s Take on Morocco’s Elections

Say What? A Quick Rundown of the Media’s Take on Morocco’s Elections

There’s a LOT going on in the Middle East/North Africa this week—elections in Morocco and Egypt, unrest in Syria, crackdown on protesters in Bahrain…the list goes on.  Don’t have time to sift through all the commentaries and coverage?  No problem.  Let me break it down for you and give some highlights about what’s being said […]

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Great Decisions Discussion group