The recent coup in Niger presents the United States with a familiar dilemma in how it conducts security assistance. There is no easy solution, but current dynamics in the Sahel, which indicate that without outside help al-Qaeda and Islamic State-affiliated groups will rapidly gain strength in the region, call for U.S. policymakers to pursue a pragmatic course.
Four years after the Philippine government signed a peace accord with an Islamic militant group establishing an autonomous region in the country’s southern province, a tense encounter between the group and government forces has highlighted the fragility of the peace process leading up to the region’s first elections in 2025.
The end of the war in Tigray in November 2022 brought relative peace to the region and eased international pressure on Addis Ababa. Yet, it has precipitated the explosion of another devastating war, this time between Ethiopian government forces and their erstwhile partners in the Tigray war from the country’s Amhara region.
In the past two weeks, the coup in Niger has snowballed into a confrontation pitting the civilian-led states of ECOWAS against military juntas in West Africa. But the standoff is a symptom of broader dysfunctions in the global system that underscore the need for the EU and its members to reassess their approaches to foreign policy.
U.S. President Joe Biden recently stirred controversy by stating that al-Qaida no longer has a presence in Afghanistan—thanks, he suggested, to the Taliban. The Taliban predictably applauded his statement, but others pointed out that it contradicted recent U.N. reports. How are we to make sense of these conflicting characterizations?
If there has been a significant difference between the coup in Niger and others across the region in recent years, it has been in ECOWAS’ response to it. That highlights a nascent transition between waning Western power structures in the region and efforts to construct a new system of collective security there.