Tag: Africa

My latest long essay for Quillette

Not a traditional subject for a light weekend reading. I apologise.

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PODCAST: In case you didn’t have enough hilarity this week, Belgium joins Syria bombing campaign


How will that make any tangible difference in operational outcome, is however, anybody’s guess.

(In the immortal words of William Hague, “oooh scary!”)

Really…Belgium, of all countries suddenly decided to drop a few bombs. I mean, seriously, I am just a humble political scientist, but strictly by the dictates of logic and prudence, shouldn’t that money be better spent on Human Intelligence (HUMINT) gathering inside Belgium? Or Counter Terrorism operations? Or securing borders and improving surveillance and monitoring within Europe? 1448313843772

How much does one laser guided bomb, one mission, one sortie, one refueling cost, compared to CCTV monitoring, or a yearly salary of a beat-Cop or intelligence officer in Molenbeek, Europe’s jihadist breeding ground and capital? Considering the fact that the majority of Euro terrorists are from within Europe, often second generation, disgruntled urban youths, lonely losers, listening to hip hop and smoking pot, and looking for ultra-violence and misogyny, wouldn’t it be logical to monitor and control that, rather than providing them with more narrative of West interfering in the Middle East?

Just this morning, there was report, how migrant flow from Libya is not controlled. The migrants are not even war refugees, widows, elderly, infirm or children from Middle East, but healthy young men looking for jobs from Sub-Saharan Africa. Shouldn’t the money be better spent in stopping that?

I’ve written an entire essay before for War on the Rocks, on how Libya intervention was a mistake and how there are other ways of containing ISIS and stopping mass migration. But nothing really changes as Europe tries the same process of coalition, bombing, and state building, when the strategy should be one of containment and tactical amputation.

On that frustrating note, here’s the podcast.

In the words of David Petraeus, “Tell me how this ends”?

Listen, and share.

 

Weekly Reading List: China in Africa, and Le Pen wins in France

Apologies, my week was brutal, with conferences, seminars, presentations, and research training. But I managed to write my two pieces somehow…so here they are.

  1. The Far Right march continues in Europe, and France is the third largest country to fall, after Hungary and Poland. With the rise of xenophobia and borderline fascist rhetoric rising on both sides of the Atlantic, it might be an interesting year in 2016. My first weekly column.
  2. However, one good news, for Realists across the world. As Kenneth Waltz stated, power begs to balance itself, it seems China is now firmly and irrevocably being entrenched in Africa, as not just the biggest economic balancer but also a security provider. For a continent which has seen it’s fair share of violence and poverty, it is a welcome development. My second weekly column.

 

Editor’s Exclusive: Chinese Foreign Policy Realism and Africa

What China understands about Africa that the West doesn’t

As China’s president Xi Jinping toured Africa for a China-Africa forum aimed at deepening economic and security ties, the visit is increasingly asking deeper questions about world order. President Xi mentioned recently, that “China supports the resolution of African issues by Africans in the African way.” That’s an extremely important quote, to be highlighted, which underscores Chinese diplomacy as Xi channels a Sun Tzu realism, in his way of handling one of the most important regions of the world. It also highlights a very Chinese way of statecraft, which differentiates her from the Western Neo-Liberal globalist perspective. It is important to note, as it provides answers to deeper questions about Great power behavior in a changing global order.

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