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US/UK Increasing Presence in West Africa

By William Tucker The U.S. has been active in North Africa for quite some time – much of it related to the war on terror and the ensuing chaos in Libya – but the superpower has not yet managed to establish a significant, permanent presence. Currently, many U.S. operations are run from Djibouti and assorted forward operating bases scattered across the continent.

The Arab Spring Turns Two

By Dr. Laura Culbertson
Faculty Member, International Relations at American Public University

It was two years ago this December when protests erupted across the Arab world following the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi on Dec. 17, 2010. During these two years, the world witnessed the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, as well as the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen.

Head of Benghazi CID Kidnapped

By William Tucker The newly appointed head of the Benghazi Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Abdulsalam Al-Mihdawi, and an associate were kidnapped by gunmen while waiting at a stop light. There isn’t much information to go on as to the culprits behind the attack, although eyewitnesses to the kidnapping claimed the attackers were militant Islamists. Benghazi has suffered from regular violence in the last few months.

Libya Closes its Southern Borders

By William Tucker In an attempt to stem the flow of people illegally transiting Libyan territory and the rather robust black market activities, the Parliament in Tripoli has ordered the borders with Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Algeria to be temporarily closed. Furthermore, the southern regions of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, Al-Shati, Sebha, Murzuq and Kufra would be "considered as closed military zones to be ruled under emergency law."

Libya Suffers Massive Prison Break

By William Tucker Media outlets are reporting that some 120 inmates of the al-Judaida prison in Tripoli escaped yesterday. Details of how the escape happened have not been publically released, but suspicion has fallen on a mix of causes including insufficient security and rampant militancy. Libyan officials did say that half of those who escaped have been recaptured, though. The nationality and ethnicity of the al-Judaida prison inmates is quite diverse.

Disarming Libya’s Militias

By William Tucker In the wake of the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi security in Libya has been tenuous at best. The new government has struggled to simultaneously improve security, provide basic services, and stabilize crude oil production. The struggle, however, does not indicate the government has completely failed in this regard, instead it simply recognizes the challenges of reestablishing governance and security in a large nation with a small, widespread population.

Syria: “Yea” to Intervention?

By Kyler Ong

World leaders know that they have no reason to believe that Syrian bloodshed will come to an end anytime soon, or that Annan’s peace plan will even be half-achieved, if not without more aggressive measures from the international community – that is to say, military intervention. Yet, these leaders need to weigh the options and assess the potential cost of an all-out war.