Negotiations are set to resume in September between Iran and the P5+1 countries — the five permanent U.N. Security Council members along with Germany — with an eye to restarting a diplomatic process that might lead to a resolution of the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program. The question is whether something akin to the 2003 Libyan breakthrough is possible — or even desirable. By that scenario, Iran would stop all of its efforts to achieve a nuclear weapons breakout capability — notably, the ability to enrich uranium. In return, the U.S. and its Western allies would agree to lift sanctions […]

Fifteen days after twin suicide bombings killed 76 people in Kampala, Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni used an African Union summit in the capital city to declare war on the Somali group responsible for the July 11 bombing — as well as on foreign fighters aiding the group. “The terrorists should be wiped out of Africa,” Museveni said on Monday. “Let us act and sweep them out of Africa and to where they came from in Asia and the Middle East.” But to secure its borders, cities and regional interests, Uganda must do more than target terrorists. Roving rebel groups, many […]

KAMPALA, Uganda — Nearly two weeks after three bombs exploded in Uganda’s usually tranquil capital, killing at least 73 people and injuring scores more, the investigations into the attacks seem to be moving swiftly. Experts from countries including the United States and Israel are providing forensic assistance to help piece together the operation and trace those behind it. Police say they have arrested more than 40 people, including 11 Somalis and 16 Pakistanis, and images of two suspected suicide bombers, reconstructed by Interpol, were released earlier this week. In claiming credit for the attacks, the Somali insurgent group al-Shabab effectively […]

U.S. strategies in two key fronts of the ongoing struggle against terrorism and extremism — Afghanistan and Somalia — are predicated on one critical element: the eventual emergence of a central government that can establish its writ throughout the territory nominally under its jurisdiction. And in both cases, the central governments that exist on paper seem to offer little hope for success. Diplomats may recognize Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the head of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), as president of Somalia, and Hamid Karzai has held the presidency in Afghanistan for many years now. But oftentimes it seems that both […]

The warning was a dire one, especially considering its source. In the July issue of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine — the unofficial professional journal of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard — an officer of the Indian navy, Akash Chaturvedi, claimed that Islamic extremists had teamed up with sea pirates in Somalia to form a “nexus of piracy and terrorism [that] will be dangerous for both the world economy and security.” The world must act, Chaturvedi insisted, to prevent “another 9/11 — this time at sea.” Events this week only heightened the sense of alarm embodied […]

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Last month, 600 soldiers from the Forces Armées des Forces Nouvelles, a coalition of rebel movements in Côte d’Ivoire, laid down their arms as part of a process to disarm rebel groups and integrate them into the national army. In an e-mail interview, I. William Zartman, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, discusses ongoing conflict management in Côte d’Ivoire. WPR: What is the current status of post-conflict reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire? I. William Zartman: Côte d’Ivoire has had a conflict management, not a conflict resolution, situation for the last three years, in that violence has […]