Entries by Jean AbiNader

Fair Trade Lebanon Has a Banner Year Developing Local Communities through Jobs and Business Development

In the past few years, it has been instructive to see the achievements of Fair Trade Lebanon (FTL), an organization dedicated to empowering rural communities and women’s organizations through economic development. At a time when a great deal of attention is focused on megaprojects to advance Lebanon’s economy, FTL works at the local level to […]

International Donors Conference on the Sahel, Much Ado…Will It Make a Difference

  According to a number of reports, more than 60 delegations and 14 partner countries gathered in Brussels last month to put meat on the bones of the G5 Sahel force set up in 2017 to enable Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad build their military capabilities to conduct anti-terrorism operations in their countries […]

Russia Benefits from Lack of US Leadership in the Levant

One can argue that America’s absent leadership from the quagmire of Libya to the ongoing shame of civilian casualties in Syria, through to border tensions between Lebanon and Hezbollah and Syria, to the gradual erosion of Iraq’s sovereignty, is a strategic choice by the Trump Administration, in some ways mirroring the Obama posture of light-handed […]

Rome Donors Conference Supports ISF and LAF Security Efforts, Emphasize Importance of Dissociation

 Some 40 countries gathered in Rome last week to hear details of the updated Capabilities Development Plan of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the first-ever strategic plan for the Internal Security Forces (ISF). The key question from the donors was about the government’s intention to take a more active role in extending its security […]

ECFR Report Gives Mixed Grades on Counterterrorism Strategies to Morocco and Tunisia – Part 1

A recent study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) illustrates the challenges of proposing approaches to terrorism prevention in other countries whose methods may at times conflict with Western values of due process, reflect local power dynamics that are unique to each country, and reflect how those governments view tradeoffs between short vs […]

The Way Forward – Counterterrorism Cooperation between Morocco and the EU – Part 2

In many ways, the headline Morocco: capabilities and deficiencies of a strong state sums up the section of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) study on counterterrorism cooperation between the EU and Morocco and Tunisia. While it notes Morocco’s breadth of capabilities and its reputation as “a model of political stability, economic development, and […]