A lot of neighbors in our subregion were skeptical of Liberia, so after the new Armed Forces of Liberia were formed, they were watching carefully. The story is different now.
The western African nation of Liberia underwent a period of significant unrest and violent beginning with a military coup in 1980 and culminated with a very bloody civil war in 2003, which saw the ouster and exile of an autocratic leader. Under watch of the United Nations Mission to Liberia, the nation successfully transitioned to democratic rule, signified by the free and fair election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2005. In the years that followed, the U.S. assisted in the demobilization of the old Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the establishment of a new AFL, operating under civilian rule, by 2010.
So what has transpired since? Is the new AFL operating as a professional force similar to the U.S.? To what extent does it contribute to enduring peace in Liberia at home and to international peace efforts elsewhere? These and many other topics are explored in this special episode where we welcome Lieutenant Colonel Roland Murphy of the Liberian Armed Forces who provides an insiders' view of the AFL's professionalization. These may inform future U.S. efforts to build partner capacity in other nations. U.S. Army War College Director of African Studies Chris Wyatt moderates.
Roland Murphy is a lieutenant colonel in the Liberian Army, a member of the 2nd Cohort of the new Armed Forces of Liberia, and an International Fellow of the U.S. Army War College resident class of 2020. Chris Wyatt is a colonel in the U.S. Army and the Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Photo: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf inspecting AFL soldiers on board USS Fort McHenry in 2008
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Elizabeth Merriam
Democracy in South Africa is still fairly young. ... The people of South Africa are still not enjoying the fruits of prosperity or economic growth
As South Africa faces its May 2019 Presidential elections, the nation finds itself at a crossroads. Support for the African National Congress, the party of Mandela that ushered in post-Apartheid democracy, is waning as other political parties mature and charges of corruption has engulfed some ruling officials. But the momentum for change is not going as fast as perhaps eighteen months ago, so the outcome is far from clear. But this does not deter returning guest Dan Hampton of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and War College professor Chris Wyatt from using their 'crystal ball' and forecasting the results. Regardless of what transpires, South Africa remains an important partner for the U.S. in Africa, and therefore the U.S. is monitoring closely.
Dan Hampton is Chief of Staff and Professor of Practice at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Chris Wyatt is a colonel in the U.S. Army and is the Director of African studies at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or the Department of Defense.
Image: Hand and voting box from Elements5 Digital via Pexels.com, public domain under the creative commons license; South Africa flag via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Elections in Nigeria are not about issues. They are about personality and personal and ethnic alliances
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Ambassador John Campbell to the studio to discuss the upcoming Nigerian elections and describe the very complex political and social landscape in Nigeria. Contrary to the mythical 'north-south' divide, Nigeria comprises about 350 different ethnic groups and languages such that being Muslim or Christian is just one differentiating factor. With 20,000 candidates vying for political office on the 16th of February, this weekend could signal a significant change in direction for the country.
John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations. Chris Wyatt is a colonel in the U.S. Army and Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers are do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Image: Map of Nigeria from the United Nations, public domain. Image composed by Tom Galvin
Subsequent events after the election seem to bear out that perhaps we do have old wine in new bottles.
In February 2018, Chris Wyatt and Jacqueline E. Whitt discussed the Strange Bloodless Coup in Zimbabwe in which Robert Mugabe was quietly deposed and new President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed power. At the time, there were a lot of questions about what would happen next. Would Zimbabwe normalize its international relations? Would Zimbabwe transition to a peaceful democracy? Or would the roots of authoritarian rule stand firm and the military retain a stronghold on power? With the 2018 Presidential elections complete, Chris and Jackie return to the studio to report on what has happened in the six intervening months and what it portends for the future.
Chris Wyatt is a colonel in the U.S. Army and is the Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College. Jacqueline E. Whitt is the WAR ROOM podcast editor. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Photo: Activists and demonstrators protest following election results in Zimbabwe, outside the Zimbabwe embassy in London, Britain, August 4, 2018.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville