• Africa,  China,  Peacekeeping

    China and Peacekeeping

    Stratfor published a useful chart depicting China’s increased participation in peacekeeping operations. This is a semi-regular topic on this blog.  Back in 2003, the PLA Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese Army, stated the intent to increase participation in peacekeeping operations to raise China’s global profile.  In other words, peacekeeping would be a tool of both public diplomacy and traditional diplomacy. In 2005, China was the 15th largest contributor of forces, moving earlier this year to 12th, which included increasing its contribution to 1,000 in Lebanon in 2006 for the declared purpose of raising its profile in the Middle East and in Europe. Not surprisingly, China prefers to send its peacekeepers to Africa…

  • Africa,  China

    Nigerian Saying: “The chicken that is searching for food in the rain must be very hungry”

    "The chicken that is searching for food in the rain must be very hungry" is a Nigerian proverb the Chinese hope won’t become their fortune. China is not yet hungry but it is looking to get in front of the rain that is sure to come in the form of a Western rush. The Chinese footprint in Nigeria is expanding quicker than most would think or admit. While oil and other natural resources are essential to Western economies, there is more to Nigeria and the region. There are other business opportunities the West in general, except for French Alcatel’s lucrative partnership with China, are missing out on.

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    Africa in the QDR

    The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) published by the DefenseDepartment is generally taken as a (not ‘the’) roadmap for future strategy and force structuring of United States Armed Forces. As such, it is a good read. Frequently, the more interesting read is what various groups "hear" in the document and what they highlight. Looking at the Voice of America (VOA), it is noteworthy they highlighted a small theme in the report: Africa. Within the 92 page report, Africa does not get too much attention.

  • Africa,  China,  ICT

    Lucent Talks Raise Issue of Security (Updated)

    The way the Lucent (NYSE:LU – news) buyout by Alcatel (ALA) (NYSE: ALA – News; Paris: CGEP.PA – News) plays out will be telling. Without an Arab company involved, it will surely not raise to the level of "sophisticated" political discourse that we saw with the "Dubai Ports" deal. The reality is this deal should raise greater concerns (especially since the port deal was a red herring), which I doubt it will.

  • Africa,  Public Diplomacy

    US Military practicing effective public diplomacy in Africa

    The distinction that the military does not conduct public diplomacy — it practices public affairs — is disappearing by the day. A four country tour by Admiral Harry Ulrich,commander of US naval forces in Southern Europe and Africa, was more military-led diplomacy. Will there be follow up w/ civilian resources? State Department teams of public and cultural diplomats?

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    Practicing Effective Public Diplomacy in Africa (or elsewhere)

    Let’s say you’re charged with finding the path to partnership with a few dozen African countries that have resources you want and need. How would you approach the them to establish a relationship to establish a partnership? This might be especially important if you are locking for priority treatment or even to lockout a competitor. A blocking strategy would really entail developing a deep partnership of trust, or coercion. If you want to go with the trust route, believing that it will cost less in the long run (i.e. soft power vs hard power) it would make sense to establish and build trust and understanding. Perhaps even a spirit of…

  • Africa,  China

    African oil is an American security challenge

    News brief from David Wood at Newhouse News Service. David writes about the Gulf of Guinea security problem, which is becoming appearing in the headlines more often these days. The United States is becoming increasingly dependent on oil from a region beset by official corruption, tottering governments, violent criminal syndicates and religious and ethnic strife: West Africa…. "We can’t afford to have a ship there 365 days a year," said Rear Adm. D.C. Curtis of the U.S. 6th Fleet, which oversees naval responsibilities in Europe and Africa from its headquarters in Naples, Italy. "The days of getting an aircraft carrier off the coast are gone." That leaves most security in…

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    China’s Africa expansion

    News briefs from UPI and People’s Daily Online. First, the raw story, later an analysis. First, from UPI: China’s Africa expansion   Over the last decade China and the continent of Africa have gradually been building diplomatic and economic ties in the hopes of further advancing globalization and enjoying mutually beneficial cooperation. But now with a mounting global oil crisis and reforms underway at the United Nations, China has emerged as a growing ally to most of the 57 African territories, stepping up efforts to expand its ties to the continent, host of the world’s least-developed countries.

  • Uncategorized

    CT in the Horn

    The American and British presence on the Horn is sneaking into the news more often. The secrecy over military operations in the region is slowly being lifted. From the rescue of cheetah cubs to this AP story, a new front is being readied in an area International Crisis Group lists as a "Conflict Risk Alert":