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28 October 2016 21:37 (South Africa)

The Obama doctrine's tough Sahel test

  • J Brooks Spector
    brooks spector 02 BW
    J Brooks Spector

    Spector settled in Johannesburg after a career as a US diplomat in Africa and East Asia. He has taught at the U. of the Witwatersrand, been a consultant for an international NGO, run a theatre, and been a commentator for South African and international print/broadcast/online media, in addition to writing for The Daily Maverick from day one. He says he learned everything he needs to know about politics from ‘Casablanca.’ Maybe he's cynical about some things, but a late Beethoven string quartet, John Coltrane’s music and a dish of Pad Thai will bring him close to tears.

Brooks obama doctrine sahel
South African children from the Cape Mental Health Special Care centre play with kites as part of a special preview for the Cape Town International Kite Festival in Khayelitsha, South Africa, 27 October 2015. International kite flyers from United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and South Africa assisted disadvantaged and handicapped children to fly kites during this annual event. The same group of international flyers will be showcasing their kites at Africa's biggest kite festival on 29-30 October during the Cape Town International Kite Festival main event in Muizenberg.  EPA/NIC BOTHMA

While you were sleeping: 28 October 2016

By John Stupart
Photo: President Zuma is welcomed by Minister of International Relations and Cooperations Maite Nkoana Mashabane on arrival at N'djiili International Airport in Kinshasa, 29-30/10/2013. Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Op-Ed: By withdrawing from the ICC South Africa loses much more than just the argument

By Nicole Fritz
British actor Hugh Laurie pretends to sleep on his star during a ceremony honouring him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, US, 25 October 2016. Laurie received the 2,593rd star in the television category. EPA/MIKE NELSON

While you were sleeping: 27 October 2016

By John Stupart
Photo: Fans of Barcelona wave flags prior to the the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Juventus FC and FC Barcelona at Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany, 06 June 2015. EPA/MARCUS BRANDT

Unlocking Potential: How fan engagement and brand equity drive on-field performance

By Daniel Gallan
Photo: Ukrainian servicemen fire a 152mm ‘Msta B’ Howitzer during military exercises on the Devichki shooting range, about 85km from the capital Kiev, Ukraine, 21 October 2016. EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

S-RM: New talks on Ukraine bring little hope for peace

By Saif Islam
Photo: US Republican candidate Donald Trump looks on at the start of the final Presidential Debate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 19 October 2016 EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

US 2016: Donald J Trump and the ripping of GOP’s heart

By J Brooks Spector

ISS Today: Fulfilling the promise of the Lomé maritime summit


Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte ditches the US for China

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: A photo provided by the South African Government Information Service shows South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (L) speaking to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) attending a session of the 24th African Union Summit of the NEPAD Heads of State/Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) at the African Union Headquaters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 29 January 2011.  EPA/Ntswe Mokoena.

Justice minister confirms ICC exit, defends the indefensible

By Simon Allison
Tourists walk on the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province, central China, 20 October 2016. Claimed by China to be the longest and highest glass bridge in the world, the tourist attraction measures 430 metres long, six metres wide and is suspended some 300 metres above ground. The floor of the bridge is made of 99 pieces of reinforced glass. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

While you were sleeping: 21 October 2016

By John Stupart
Photo: President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer listens to a statement during the 8th High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 16 Decembre 2015. EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

Red Cross boss: ‘The space for humanitarian work is shrinking’

By Simon Allison
Photo: Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (L) welcomes South Africa's President Jacob Zuma in Khartoum July 8, 2011. Zuma will be attending South Sudan's independence day celebrations on Saturday. REUTERS/Stringer

South Africa begins process to exit International Criminal Court

By Simon Allison
Photo: Republican candidate Donald Trump (R) and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton (L) during the final Presidential Debate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 19 October 2016. The debate was the final of three Presidential Debates and one Vice Presidential Debate before the US National Election on 08 November 2016. EPA/JOE RAEDLE

US 2016, Final Debate: Donald Trump fails to "Bend Steel"

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: Figurines depicting US Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (R), of the Democrats, and Donald Trump (L), of the Republican Party, are prepared to be arranged within the traditional 'Neapolitan Presepio', a Nativity Scene crib, at the San Gregorio Armeno street in Naples, 18 October 2016. EPA/CESARE ABBATE

The US 2016, Final Debate: Opening Statements, before they happen

By J Brooks Spector
US businessman and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses a little girl he called up from the audience during a campaign rally at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 17 October 2016. Trump and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton will meet in the final presidential debate on 19 October. EPA/TANNEN MAURY

While you were sleeping: 19 October 2016

By John Stupart
The Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying China's Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft takes off from the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, 17 October 2016. China launched the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft carrying two crew members into orbit to dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab on a 30-day mission. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

While you were sleeping: 18 October 2016

By John Stupart
Photo: Stones are left behind as tribute and in commemoration of the victims on steles in the former Nazi concentratiuon camp Buchenwald Memorial, near Weimar, Germany, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January 2016. Attending to a wreath-laying ceremony on the same day together were concentration camp survivors, representatives of the state government and parliament. In Buchenwald with its 136 satellite camps, the SS detained approximately 250,000 people from around the world, of which about 56,000 did not survive. EPA/MARTIN SCHUTT

Op-Ed: Coming to terms with the past – lessons from Germany

Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) talks to Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev (R) after laying flowers on the tomb of late Uzbek President Islam Karimov at the Shakhi-Zinda cemetery in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 06 September 2016. EPA/ALEXEI DRUZHININ/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL

ICG: Starting anew in Uzbekistan

By International Crisis Group
Photo: Supporters Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro attend an event where he presented the budget for 2017 in Caracas, Venezuela, 12 October 2016. EPA/Cristian Hernández

ICG: Crisis-hit Venezuela’s political rivals stumble towards talks

By International Crisis Group
Photo: Supporters hold placards as US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, 14 October 2016. The US presidential election is scheduled for 08 November 2016. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER

US 2016: Trump’s ultimate descent into total darkness

By J Brooks Spector
More than 150 surfers dressed as the characters of fairy tales and cartoons take part in 1st SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) festival 'Fontanka-SUP' in central St. Petersburg, Russia, 15 October 2016. Originally an off-shoot sports of surfing originating from Hawaii, Standup paddling has meanwhile found its way to European coastal and inland waters. EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

While you were sleeping: 17 October 2016

By John Stupart
Photo: Yemenis take part in a rally in solidarity and honor of the victims of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting a funeral hall a week ago, outside the destroyed hall in Sana'a, Yemen, 15 October 2016. According to reports, a Saudi Arabia-led investigation into the 08 October-airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition on a packed funeral hall in the Yemeni capital Sana'a concluded that the coalition's warplanes had wrongly targeted the funeral ceremony, killing more than 140 Yemenis and injuring hundreds more. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

ICG: Yemen’s terrible war is about to get worse

By International Crisis Group
Photo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) speaks at the Federation of German Industry's (BDI) Day of German Industry 2016 in Berlin, Germany, 06 October 2016. EPA/BERND VON JUTRCZENKA

Open Letter to Angela Merkel: Thanks – and more please

By Babatunde Fagbayibo
Photo: A girl look as Syrian refugees arrive to a camp on the Jordanian side at the north east of Jordan border with Syria, Al-Hadalat crossing point near Royashed Town, Jordan, 04 May 2016.

An Open Letter to the BRICS Heads of State: Urgent response needed to continued violations of international humanitarian law in Syria

By Daily Maverick
Philippines National Police officers conduct a 'knock and plead' operation in Payatas, Quezon City on September 16, 2016 as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs. Over 3,600 drug users have been killed in the last three months in the country, many of them in police operations such as this. Photo: Shaun Swingler/Chronicle

While you were sleeping: 14 October 2016

By John Stupart
A handout photograph made available 10 October 2016 by the Zoo Aquarium of Madrid showing a Panda cub in Madrid, Spain, 10 October 2016. The zoo has invited members of the public to vote on a name for the cub. The cub was born 30 August and the proposed names are Hua Hua, Hua Bao and Chu Lina. EPA/ZOO AQUARIUM MADRID

While you were sleeping: 13 October 2016

By John Stupart
An injured student protester is apprehended by private security during FeesMustFall protests on CPUT Bellville campus, 11 October 2016. SHAUN SWINGLER/CHRONICLE

While you were sleeping: 12 October 2016

By John Stupart
Democrat Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican Donald Trump (L) during the second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 09 October 2016. The third and final debate will be held 19 October in Nevada. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

While you were sleeping: 11 October 2016

By John Stupart
Photo: Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their presidential town hall debate with Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, US, October 9, 2016.

US 2016, Second Debate: A town hall mud wrestling match in Missouri

By J Brooks Spector