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Trouble amid plenty in emerging Africa

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Africa is changing dramatically—and so are outsiders’ attitudes toward it, with the United States finally seeming determined to catch up with China, Europe and India in their interest in the continent. US President Barack Obama’s recent summit with 40 African heads of state and more than 200 US and African business leaders suggests a new, more confident mood. That is encouraging; but as long as parts of Sub-Saharan Africa continue to struggle with violent conflict, poverty, and corruption, the continent’s economic potential will not be fully realized.

Posted: August 18th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The silver fox of dictatorship and democracy

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Throughout his years in power, Eduard Shevardnadze was known as the “silver fox,” a man who seemed to glide effortlessly from leader of Soviet Georgia and Kremlin Politburo member to Mikhail Gorbachev’s reform-minded foreign minister, before reemerging as post-Soviet Georgia’s pro-Western president, ironically opposing Gorbachev.

Posted: July 11th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Middle East and the return of history

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Ever since Francis Fukuyama argued, more than two decades ago, that the world had reached the end of history, history has made the world hold its breath. China’s rise, the Balkan wars, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, the “Arab Spring,” and the Syrian civil war all belie Fukuyama’s vision of the inevitable triumph of liberal democracy. In fact, history could be said to have come full circle in the space of a quarter-century, from the fall of communism in Europe in 1989 to the renewed confrontation between Russia and the West.

Posted: July 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

How to end an insurgency

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When the Moro Islamic Liberation Front took up arms in the Philippines in the 1960s, Ferdinand Marcos had yet to become the country’s president—let alone its dictator.

Posted: June 30th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Military transparency and Asian security

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We have all heard the saying “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” That is particularly true where Asian security is concerned. Indeed, I believe that a framework under which Asian governments publicly disclose their military budgets needs to be established if we are to build trust and avoid a regional arms race.

Posted: June 25th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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