Posts by: Alex DeWaal

The Carnegie Working Group on Corruption and Security last month published a paper, Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security.

It’s an important paper: it points to the striking fact that corruption is closely associated with state fragility, and that militant insurgencies are closely associated with opposition to kleptocratic regimes.

It’s also work in [...]

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As the Second World War drew to a close, Winston Churchill remarked, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” Even though historians read Churchill’s magnum opus on the war with a highly critical eye, observing his selectiveness and slant, his narrative of the decade from 1935-45 still dominates the popular [...]

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Two significant events occurred in Sudan in the last week. Neither gained much publicity.

On June 30, Sudan marked 25 years of the National Salvation Revolution—the military coup instigated by the Muslim Brothers to forestall the peace agreement, due to be signed between Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi and SPLA Commander-in-Chief John Garang, on July [...]

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South Sudan ranked lowest on the Foreign Policy/Fund for Peace 2014 Failed States Index, pushing Somalia off that uncoveted spot for the first time. The Deputy Speaker of South Sudan’s parliament, Mark Nyipuoc, protested, complaining, “Sometimes our people begin to wonder and question the credibility and the impartiality of these ranking institutions. [We] [...]

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The central lessons are well worn but nonetheless worth re-stating. First, the main effort in counter-terrorism should be social and political reform in affected countries, and second—for the United States—a national security strategy cannot substitute for a foreign policy that is aimed at finding political solutions to political problems.

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Here’s the paradox: successive governments in Khartoum have managed their peripheries on the basis of individual bargaining. It is sometimes derogatively called “Jellaba politics” with reference to the northern Sudanese traders who dominate the retail business in small provincial towns. The ruler cuts deals with members of the provincial elites—administrators, tribal chiefs, militia commanders, rebels—on [...]

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