Africa: Testing Ground for the new U.S. Defense Guidance for the 21st Century›By Ann Phillips // Thursday, September 20, 2012
The Pentagon’s new strategic guidance, “Sustaining U.S.Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” released in January 2012 outlines major changes in the U.S. defense posture, from a geostrategic shift toward Asia and the Pacific to restructuring its forces. The section on stability and counterinsurgency operations states that the U.S. will no longer “…conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations” as it has done in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather, the U.S. will “emphasize non-military means and military-to-military cooperation.” Specifically, the U.S. will focus on building the capabilities of partners in regions at risk and rely more heavily on Special Forces, technology, and intelligence, as well as diplomacy and development assistance to promote U.S. national security.MORE
The Escalating Crisis in Mali Requires Decisive Leadership›By David Zounmenou // Monday, September 17, 2012
It has been seven months since Mali descended into the abyss of instability and, to date, a solution still seems elusive. The March 2012 Malian crisis started in a region that has been historically marred by four major civil wars: Liberia 1989-1996 and again in 1999-2006; Sierra Leone 1992-2007; Guinea Bissau 1998-1999; and Cote d’Ivoire 1999-2011. Indeed, the challenges in this Sahel region are a historic manifestation of stalled and failed democratization processes, exacerbated by serious deficiencies in anticipating and addressing the structural bases of conflict.