Schrödinger’s Election

April 2014 seems to be election month: presidential elections in Afghanistan and parliamentary elections in Hungary have already taken place, and the staggeringly vast Indian elections are in progress (and will be for the next month).  Yesterday, Guinea-Bissau went to the polls (finally), as did Macedonia.  Finally, on the 30th of April, to everyone’s trepidation, Nouri al-Maliki will probably manage to wring another term as Prime Minister from the Iraqi people.  All of these votes have received or will receive a lot of publicity, but there is another country whose election process this month has been resolutely out of the … Continue reading Schrödinger’s Election

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Mali (in Algeria)

France has now gone into Mali, or rather over it (edit: no, I was right the first time), Nigeria is preparing to send troops, ECOWAS cannot be far behind, and the US is making noises.  While I cautiously admit that in this case, a solution is likely to be at least partly military, the intervention does raise a few points. (An abbreviation guide and links to other resources are at the end.) 1. It’s quite evident that some countries – particularly France, but also the US – are using the Mali crisis as an excuse to do something in the absence of clear and uncontroversial steps … Continue reading Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Mali (in Algeria)