Council on Foreign Relations


Foreign Affairs

China Comes to Djibouti
Why Washington Should be Worried
John Lee
Summary: 
Tiny Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is a key strategic outpost for U.S. armed forces. But with China getting in on the act, Washington would do well to pay more attention to the country—or risk losing its foothold there.
The tiny African nation of Djibouti is the unsung hero in the United States’ ongoing war against terror and piracy. A few security scares notwithstanding—the U.S. embassy was briefly closed earlier this month for unexplained reasons—the country is a rare oasis of stability in the Horn of Africa. Camp Lemonnier hosts U.S. Special Forces, fighter planes, and helicopters, and is a major base for drone operations in Yemen and Somalia.

Get Happy, Get Rich
The Relationship Between Depression and Poverty
Catherine Thomas and Johannes Haushofer
Summary: 
Mental health is not just a First World problem. In the developing world, depression is often a cause, not a result, of poverty.
The world’s poor, whether they live in dangerous urban slums or in the remote countryside, are often in dire need of food, clean water, and basic medications. So it might appear misguided to argue that mental health should be a primary rather than secondary concern in developing countries. But the reality is that mental health is not just a First World problem: disorders such as depression are pervasive in developing countries. Depression of course exacts a heavy psychological toll, but it also has economic costs because it impairs individuals’ ability to function in everyday life.

The Algeria Alternative
Why Algiers Defends Order at Home—But Not Abroad
Geoff D. Porter
Summary: 
From conflict in Mali to Libya's dangerous morass, Algeria has never faced such serious threats directly on its own borders. For the moment, the country appears determined to follow its usual strategy of pushing for political solutions to the external crises while beefing up its internal security as a safeguard if these solutions fail. The problem with this strategy is that asks too much from ordinary Algerians, who can only hope that it’s the best way to protect the normalcy that they hold so dear.
The upheavals of the Arab Spring seemed to pass one country by: Algeria. To its east, Libya collapsed into civil war, and Tunisia suffered an upsurge of terrorism that imperiled its democratic transition and economic recovery. To the south, Mali is holding together, if barely, thanks to a French-led stabilization force. But all the while, Algeria has remained a reliable bulwark—if also something of a riddle.

Council on Foreign Relations

Tuesday, 06-23-15Ex-Im Bank Key to Economic DiplomacyThe Ex-Im Bank is a necessary tool to involve American companies in emerging market growth and deepen economic ties.
Saturday, 06-20-15Africa's Moment to Lead on ClimateClimate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today. To avoid catastrophe, we must dramatically reduce the carbon intensity of our modern energy systems, which have set us on a collision course with our planetary boundaries.
Sunday, 05-31-15Nigeria's New President: Three Things to KnowThe inauguration of opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari after credible elections should advance democracy for all of Africa, says CFR's John Campbell in this video explainer.
Monday, 05-18-15Increase U.S. Presence in African Peace Operations, Argues Author of New CFR ReportWith nearly 110,000 uniformed deployed “blue helmets” worldwide, the number of UN peacekeepers at a record high and most are in Africa. Paul D. Williams argues that increased U.S. involvement and leadership is necessary to combat the "untenable" situation facing UN peace operations in Africa. 
Friday, 05-15-15Four Questions-And Answers-About U.S. Support of Peacekeeping in AfricaThe United States provides the greatest financial support to peace operations in Africa. Drawing on a new Council Special Report, Paul D. Williams discusses the United States’ efforts to “shape the strategic direction and design of peace operations on the continent.”
Thursday, 05-14-15Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in AfricaIn a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa, Paul D. Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
Wednesday, 05-06-15How Castro's Doctors Could Stop the Next Ebola OutbreakWest Africa’s medical system was brought within an inch of its life by a devastating epidemic. But Cuba could nurse it back to health.
Tuesday, 05-05-15Remarks by Secretary Kerry in Mogadishu, SomaliaU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was the first secretary of state to visit Somalia. He announced that the United States plans to reopen its embassy in Somalia, which was closed in 1991.

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