How to Ignite a Civil War

Bloody protests have rocked Burundi’s capital Bujumbura and several other cities for more than a week after the country’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, launched a controversial bid for a third term. At least nine people have died and dozens of protesters and security personnel have been wounded. Whether or not Nkurunziza’s campaign is legal depends on […]

Sending Commandos to #BringBackOurGirls is a Really Bad Idea

Despite the good intentions, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has produced a number of stupid ideas and gross misinterpretations. There is singer Chris Brown and the BBC using completely unrelated photos of girls from Guinea-Bissau—some 1,000 miles away from where Boko Haram kidnapped 270 Nigerian girls one month ago—without even asking the photographer for permission. But it […]

The Australian Navy Just Grabbed One Ton of Heroin off the Kenyan Coast

Aussie sailors found 1,032 kilograms of heroin hidden between sacks of cement on a dhow—a slim fishing boat—sailing between Somalia and Kenya. Maybe one the largest heroin seizures ever in Africa, the operation highlights the continent’s growing role as a hub for the international drug trade—a trade that intersects with the trafficking of people and […]

U.S. Special Operations Forces Screwed Up in Mali

The total collapse of the Malian army in the face of a Tuareg rebellion in 2011—and a subsequent coup by junior officers against the democratically-elected government—proves an important point. That U.S. military cooperation with Mali up to 2011—specifically, efforts by U.S. Army Special Forces to train Malian troops—was an overall failure. What’s been missing until […]