Taking on Tunisia

By Brandon Scott

Written circa 2009

US policy towards Africa is controversial and varied. North Africa has its own focus for US interests which are significantly different than sub-Saharan Africa. Tunisia being in the dead center of the North African coast puts it right in the middle of US foreign policy. “Virtually all discussions of U.S. interests in North Africa start with the region’s strategic location. Perhaps the only time that U.S.-North African relations were near the top of U.S. foreign-policy concerns goes back to the early 1800s and the so-called ‘Barbary Wars.’” Later in the 20th century US policy changed course a bit. As colonial Africa fell apart into bloody independence movements the global super powers began to reach their hands in to pick up and salvage what it could for the sake of security and economic incentives. “Throughout the Cold War, U.S. relations with North Africa were defined by America’s broader struggle with the Soviet Union” (Hemmer). Read More

Media as a Weapon: Al Qaeda fii Al Islamiya Maghreb


By Brandon Scott

Written in 2010

Algeria, 0930 hours, December 11th 2007: A suicide bomber blows the front off a building that was home to the Algeria’s Constitutional Council. Barely ten minutes later, another bomber attacked a United Nations building using a “truck containing 1,800 pounds of explosives” effectively leveling part of the structure. The death total was forty-two people,”including 17 U.N. employees” with another 158 other injured courtesy of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM.[i] Read More

How Piracy Saved Somalia: The Unintended Positive Consequences of Somalia Piracy

By Brandon Scott

Piracy off the coast of Somalia splashed onto the global stage in 2009 at near epidemic levels. The impact of Somali piracy affected the entire global community as shipping costs soared costing the global community as much as $18 Billion.[i] The wave of piracy attacks however was short lived due to a quick and comprehensive response by the international community to counter piracy and its causes. The world’s response to Somalia continues today and is a reversal of 20 years of alienation prior; that made possible Somalia’s de-evolution into a failed state that the world ignored and feared simultaneously. The success countering the three-year piracy epidemic however shadows the success of piracy for Somalia by demanding attention and assistance for a withering nation – in effect: piracy saved Somalia. Read More



Bagram, Afghanistan