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

Thursday, 01-14-16Nigeria: Buhari’s 2016 Budget Continues Use of Secretive ‘Security Votes’Under President Muhammadu Buhari, the fight against corruption in Nigeria has unquestionably turned a corner. Shortly after taking office in May, he vowed to “plug revenue leakages”, made sweeping changes in the notoriously corrupt Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and took steps to tighten control over public spending.  
Thursday, 01-14-16Nigeria's Future Hinges on Its StatesThe spotlight is on Nigeria's new president as he tries to tackle a vicious insurgency and steep economic problems but the crucial actors in trying to stabilize Africa's most populous country are at the state level, writes CFR's Matthew Page.
Friday, 12-18-15Slow Progress for South Africa’s ‘Born-Free’ GenerationSouth Africa’s university strikes and demonstrations may presage stronger pressure on the governing African National Congress for accelerated social and economic change.
Thursday, 12-10-15The Eastern CongoOver the past two decades the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have experienced fighting that has killed more than five million people. As the eastern Congo struggles to overcome years of regional war, its hard-won progress remains at risk.
Saturday, 11-21-15Lessons Learned After the Ebola CrisisThomas Frieden discusses lessons learned from the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Friday, 11-20-15A Conversation With Thomas FriedenThomas Frieden discusses lessons learned from the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Thursday, 11-19-15A Conversation With Georges Rebelo Pinto ChikotiGeorges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti discusses peace, national unity, and development in Angola as it celebrates forty years of independence.
Thursday, 11-19-15Assessing Angola's Political and Economic FutureGeorges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti discusses peace, national unity, and development in Angola as it celebrates forty years of independence.

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