A U.S. war with Iran would be a big set back for longterm American interests and values in Africa as well as elsewhere

1. The basic rationale would be a version of the thinking in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2001-03: sanctions do not work forever, we have been in a low grade conflict mode for years against an intransigent…

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South Sudan: new Salva Kiir—Rannenberger Foreign Agent filing shows $1.2M non-refundable retainer “already paid” and $3.7M flat fee (contra Reuters)

COMPENSATION 6. The Consultant will charge the Client a flat fee of $3.7 million dollars for the services (the “Compensation”) for this two-year Contract. 7. The parties acknowledge that $1.2 million dollar’s ofthe Compensation has already been paid to the…

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East Africa is the pits for press freedom, but congratulations to Namibia, Ghana and South Africa for outranking France, the U.K. and the U.S. in the World Press Freedom index

Here is the new 2019 World Press Freedom index from RSF, with the United States down to No. 48 (!) and France and the U.K. at 32 and 33 respectively. Namibia at 23, Ghana at 27 and South Africa at…

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Should the United States support “political confederation” of the East African Community? Can we do so while also supporting democracy?

What are the basics of our current foreign policy in East Africa? According to the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs there are now "four pillars" to our policy towards Africa: 1) Strengthening Democratic Institutions; 2) Supporting African economic growth…

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“Another Fine Mess” in Uganda? Time to read Helen Epstein on “America, Uganda, and the War on Terror” if you haven’t yet

I first bought a copy of "Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda and the War on Terror", by Helen Epstein, then "hot off the press" as a “sizzling indictment" of our policy in Uganda while evacuated to the Florida Panhandle from…

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Carson finds best hope for U.S. Africa policy to be “benign neglect” outside security sector (update)

[Update: Rex Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State today, with the votes of those Republicans who had raised questions about his commitmant to human rights and other issues related to his career long tenure at oil major Exxon.  He takes…

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Expect US Africa policy to be led from Pentagon rather than State Department or White House, in near term if not for the next four years [updated]

(https://flic.kr/p/6fgHxc) The President himself has never been to Africa and has shown no particular interest or inclination toward engagement on any of the various issues on his plate regarding the United States' activities in and relationships with African countries. In…

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U.S. fights in Somalia; Old lions–Kissinger, Moi, Scowcroft, Brezenski–outlast the post-Cold War democratization era in East Africa 

Things had gone so far awry on the democratization front by last year  to trigger a Washington Post editorial noting the authoritarian trend in East Africa. Recently we have news of a major U.S. airstrike (manned and drone) on an al-Shabaab…

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