Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for June 20, 2011

Transcript: AFRICOM Commander Discusses North Africa in Interview with Stuttgart Nachtrichten
In an interview with the German newspaper, Stuttgart Nachtrichten, June 15, 2011, General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, discussed operations in Libya, security interests in sub-Saharan Africa, along with his thoughts on the criticism of NATO by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Africom


U.S. assistance to Latin American and African militaries may face cuts
[...] as the Pentagon tries to pare $400 billion from the defense budget over the next 12 years, said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen, President Barack Obama's top military adviser, said such programs may be viewed as a lower priority as the Defense Department seeks to protect personnel, spending on current conflicts and the most critical weapons programs. Bloomberg


"Failed States Are a Threat to U.S. National Security."
Only some of them. It has been a truism of U.S. foreign policy since the 9/11 terrorist attacks that the United States is, in the words of President George W. Bush's 2002 National Security Strategy, "threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones." Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that over the next 20 years, the gravest threats to America will come from failing states "that cannot meet the basic needs - much less the aspirations - of their people. Foreign Policy


Somali pirates turn violent - study
Over 4,000 international seafarers were violently attacked by Somali pirates last year, says a new report, signalling the rising human cost of piracy. The Human Cost of Somali Piracy report states that seafarers captured by Somali pirates have faced beatings, been used as human shields and undergone other forms of torture over the past year. The East African


Merchant ships could be armed to tackle pirate threat
Special report: MPs to consider allowing commercial vessels to carry weapons, as attacks off the Horn of Africa increase. Kunal Dutta, Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady report. The move is designed to protect British ships and curtail the growing unregulated market of private contractors offering armed protection. The Independant


Somalia: Britons jailed and fined over �2m piracy ransom
Three Britons accused of smuggling more than �2m into Somalia to secure the release of two hijacked ships have been jailed for between 10 and 15 years and fined thousands of pounds. Matthew Brown, a pilot, and Andrew Oaks and Alex James from Nairobi-based security firm Salama Fikira, were among six foreigners arrested after landing in two unmarked planes at Mogadishu airport last month. The Guardian


Darfur fighters 'killed by Sudanese army'
Fighters from the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) in Darfur, in the west of Sudan, have said that the north's Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has attacked them with war planes and military vehicles. The SLA said the attacks resulted in 27 deaths, 40 injuries and the displacement of thousands of people. The reports come as satellite images appeared to show the north Sudanese military massing in the southern border state of Kordofan, a monitoring group said. Aljazeera


Sudan's Bashir threatens a repeat of Abyei and S. Kordofan "lessons"
The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on Sunday accused the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) of "betrayal" in South Kordofan which is currently witnessing heavy fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the SPLA. Sudan Tribune


Inside Sudan's Nuba Mountains: Tales of Terror Bleed Out
More than once, the world has pledged never again: after the Holocaust in World War II, after Rwanda in 1994, then Bosnia in 1995, and most recently after the slaughter in Darfur. So it is no surprise that when reports of alleged ethnic cleansing begin bleeding out, Western policymakers start to squirm. This raw nerve was on exhibit once again this past week, when on Wednesday President Obama devoted a special two-minute radio address to an obscure renewed conflict in the remote mountains of central Sudan. But if the reported atrocities escalate, will words be all the world can offer? Time


Nato air strike kills civilians in Tripoli - video
Coalition forces say 'weapons systems failure' caused its biggest mistake during the four-month Libya campaign, intended to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi. The Guardian


Robert Gates vigorously backs Libya policy
In two farewell interviews Sunday as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates launched a robust defense of the operation in Libya, despite his closed-doors opposition to U.S. involvement in the mission to oust Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi. Politico


Libyan Rebel Leader to Visit China
China says the head of the Libyan rebel group opposing leader Moammar Gadhafi will visit China this week. The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement Monday that Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the Transitional National Council, will make a two-day visit beginning Tuesday. VOA


At 90 Days, Libya Conflict Has Washington Divided
The debate over what to do about Libya is coming to a head on Capitol Hill. The U.S. military intervention in Libya reaches its 90th day on Sunday. That number is significant, because according to the 1973 War Powers Resolution, Congress must authorize American engagements in hostilities that surpass 90 days. NPR


Can fresh Morocco protests build momentum for reform?
Thousands of activists took to the streets Sunday, but many Moroccans are satisfied at the pace of change in the kingdom, especially after King Mohammed VI's Friday speech promising reforms. CS Monitor


Calls grow in Egypt to delay elections
Calls are growing in Egypt for a delay of September's parliamentary elections to give parties formed after of Hosni Mubarak's ouster more time. The push, which now has the prime minister's backing, is aimed at keeping the well-organised Muslim Brotherhood from dominating the next legislature and exerting disproportionate Islamist influence over the drafting of a new constitution. Times Live


Egypt appoints new foreign minister
Egypt's interim cabinet filled its recently vacant foreign minister position Sunday with Mohamed el-Orabi, the deputy foreign minister for economic affairs. The previous foreign minister, Nabil Elaraby, was elected in May to head the 22-member Arab League after Amre Moussa decided to be a candidate in the next presidential elections in Egypt, expected to take place in December. CNN


Conflict arises over diamonds from Zimbabwe
Human rights groups say diamonds from the Mugabe regime's Marange mine should be blacklisted as 'blood diamonds' but most nations that are part of the regulatory Kimberley Process balk at comparing a government to insurgents. LA Times


Nigerian sect spreads reach with suicide bombing
The radical Muslim sect has shot police officials and clerics from atop motorcycles, torched churches and even freed hundreds in a brazen prison escape in Nigeria's restive north. But this week, Boko Haram expanded its reach and claimed its first suicide bombing in the capital of Africa's most populous nation. Mail and Guardian


How 'The Family' Controlled Tunisia
Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia's deposed president, goes on trial Monday on charges of abusing state funds and drug trafficking, providing the first public accounting of the practices of a ruler whose autocratic style first triggered the Arab Spring revolution that has swept the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal


Climate change : African Agriculture and Food Supply at Risk
Climate change and global warming are likely to have dramatically negative effects on African agriculture and food supply by reducing river runoffs and water recharge, especially in semi-arid zones such as Southern Africa, two new reports say. IPS


Rwanda goes electronic to boost tax collection
Rwanda is to introduce a raft of reforms in its taxation system that will see businesses and households file tax returns online. As the country seeks to boost its revenue to finance growing budgetary needs in the new financial year, the government is targeting an overall 10 per cent increase in tax revenues. The East African

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Please note: The following news items are presented here for informational purposes. The views expressed within them are those of the authors and/or individuals quoted, not those of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the National Defense University, or the Department of Defense.
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