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Africa Security

Mozambique and the Fight Against Insurgency

Following a lack of progress in combating the Islamic insurgency in Cabo Delgado, President Filipe Nyusi has turned to private military contractors for help. With so many PMCs operating within the same conflict, it is worth examining who they are and how effective they can be in tackling the insurgency.

Africa Security

What do Divergent Security Interests between the Malian and French Governments mean for the Future of French Operations in the Sahel

Growing divides in security approaches between the Malian and French governments are making security objectives harder to achieve in the Sahel. Recent developments are likely to complicate the issues further, as the new prime minister Moctar Ouane calls for more negotiations with armed groups in the north. 

North America Security

Sunburst: US Government Bodies Face Most Seismic Cyber Breach Since Cold War

Over the weekend of 12th-13th December 2020, it became apparent that a number of US Federal agencies and departments had been hacked as part of one of the “worst ever” cyber attacks in history. The intention of the attack appears to have been to conduct a “high-end espionage operation”, with the goal of stealing government and military secrets. The true scale and significance of the breach remains unknown. However, the attack has shaken governments around the world, exposing the fact that their defences are not strong enough, and that the security of software suppliers is an issue of vital importance.

Africa Security

Counter-terrorism in the Sahel: Can Task Force Takuba be a Game Changer for France

In 2021, Task Force Takuba, bringing together the special forces of 7 European countries to fight terrorism in the Sahel, will become fully operational with an initial mandate of 3 years. France, stuck in what looks like an unwinnable war despite the mobilisation of 5,100 troops as part of Operation Barkhane since 2014, has been advocating for a “Europeanisation” of the military intervention in the region for quite some time. While Takuba will enable more tactical wins against terrorist groups and enable France to break with its diplomatic and military isolation, it is unlikely to change the direction of the conflict. In this context, what is the future of operation Barkhane?

Africa Security

Water Security and the GERD: Is Conflict Brewing on the Nile?

Egyptian and Ethiopian tensions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have been escalating over the past decade. Whilst Egypt’s concerns over water scarcity could lead to conflict in the long-term, internal development could alleviate worries over scarce water resources. Egypt’s desire to recoup their position as regional hegemon, however, may prove influential in the escalating tensions. 

Middle East/North Africa Politics Security

Israel Continues to Gain Alliances Through US Deals

The strengthening of former diplomatic ties and the establishment of new ones, have poised Israel for greater security amongst its regional counterparts. As Israel’s evolving role in global politics is continuously being shaped by the policies of the countries around it, the ardent support by the US has allowed for this nation to gain more legitimacy in the eyes of its former enemies.

Europe Security

Jihadist Terrorism: Italy the Next Target?

An often-overlooked aspect of Jihadist terrorism in Europe is Italy’s exceptionalism in avoiding it. Does this come down to mere luck, or is Italy taking a different, more effective approach to counter-terrorism? And, most importantly, how long is Italy going to be able to keep this up?

Europe Security

Absence of an EU-Turkey strategic partnership undermines regional security

The European Council summit in December 2020 presented an opportunity for Brussels to formalise a strategic partnership with Turkey to manage the crises in the Eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Libya. Instead, it exposed divergence between France and Germany over how the EU should confront Ankara’s assertive foreign policy. Whilst French President Macron is in favour of putting strong pressure on Turkey’s President Erdogan, German Chancellor Merkel believes that it is vital to remain open to dialogue. This lack of strategic clarity puts regional security at risk given the importance of Turkish cooperation with Brussels over handling common issues in irregular migration and local conflict.

Latin America Politics Security

Forever War: The Unfulfilled Peace in Colombia

Despite the signing of a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla organization in June 2016, Colombia continues to struggle with armed violence by far-left guerrilla groups including the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and FARC dissidents, as well as by right wing paramilitaries and criminal cartels. The causes of this continued violence are numerous and range from the attitude of the Duque administration towards the peace agreement, to the situation in neighbouring Venezuela.

Africa Security

Conflict Moves West in Mali, Towards the Senegalese Border

The Katiba Macina, a jihadist group originating in the Mopti region in Mali, has started in the recent months to settle in the Kayes region, in the West of Mali. This situation threatens to extend the Malian unrest into neighboring countries, particularly Senegal, which has been safe up to now from attacks by jihadist brigades.