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Russia and Eastern Europe

Russian Theater: How to Respond to Moscow’s Return to the African Stage

Russia is preparing to launch its first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on Oct. 24. President Vladimir Putin and the summit co-host, Egyptian leader and African Union Chairman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, invited all of the African heads of state along with the leaders of major subregional associations and organizations. Russia almost certainly will advertise the summit as an emblem of its triumphant return to center stage in Africa.

Foreign Policy Essay

To Promote Stability and Democracy in Africa, Focus on Its Militaries

Editor's Note: The United States is more engaged in Africa than ever before. This increasing role is occurring as Africa struggles with political liberalization: although we’ve seen impressive successes, much of the continent is mired in authoritarianism. Kristen Harkness of the University of St. Andrews explains the different ways that militaries can interfere with successful democratization. She argues that the West should focus on reforming militaries as part of a broader effort to democratize and stabilize Africa.

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Foreign Policy Essay

Djibouti’s First, But Will it Last?

Editor's Note: The United States has long depended on a worldwide network of military bases to project power, reassure allies, contain enemies, and fight terrorism. Indeed, as the Islamic State has metastasized, the Pentagon is considering expanding the U.S. basing network in the developing world, particularly in Africa. Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship of Columbia University describe how China and other countries are joining this quest for bases. They argue the resulting competition is creating a market, and a dysfunctional one, for access.

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