Africa Cup of Nations

The first round is over, with a few surprises.

First, powerhouse Senegal has been eliminated and will not make the quarterfinals. Their three games were two draws and a loss to Angola. They never really got going in this tournament, despite some incredible play from Colorado Rapids keeper Bouna Coundoul (IT'S BOUNA TIME).

Other surprises include the elimination of Morocco in favor of Guinea, and Nigeria's troubles. Unfortunately for Mali, the team I picked as a dark horse for the tournament, they lost out to Nigeria on goal difference and won't advance to the quarterfinals. This hurts me too - when I interview Malians for my thesis, it will be more difficult to talk soccer!

For my bracket, I think Ghana will beat Nigeria and then Cameroon to make it to the final, while on the other side, Cote D'Ivoire will beat Guinea and then Egypt. A final of Ghana vs. Cote D'Ivoire would be a great game - I think Ghana will win.

For video of the Africa Cup of Nations head over to

Published again!

A slightly reworked version of How to Attack a National Identity has been published over at Threatswatch, the blog of the online thinktank Center for Threat Awareness (Thinktank 2.0?). Here's the link. Thanks to Michael Tanji for hooking me up with Threatswatch!

The Tuareg and modernity

A two minute video from Al Jazeera English, dated November 9th, 2007.

Giuliani's out of the race!

Phew. I figured given how much I've written on this blog bashing Giuliani, I'd get to gloat a little bit at his total failure. Apparently he will endorse McCain, the winner of Florida. I guess next week it will all be decided. My guess is that it will be Obama vs. McCain, just like TDAXP hopes.

NY Real Estate

NY Real Estate Market.

If you have been following the NY Real Estate market recently, you've definitely heard a lot about European buyers coming in and buying everything at a great bargain due to the Euro/Dollar spread.

Sales have been slowing in the "mid priced" range of apartments (600k-1.2 mil) but apartments have been selling briskly above the million mark due to a lot of foreign investment.

However, if European buyers start getting cold feet, coupled with reduced Wall St. bonuses and layoffs that could begin the bursting of the bubble.

Here is a link to the article on European buyers. The beginning of the end of the New York Real Estate Bubble?

Women's soccer spreads to an unlikely place

Congratulations to Saudi Arabia! The Saudis have held their first women's soccer game! Ria Novosti:
The first soccer match between female teams has taken place in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, the Al-Watan newspaper said.
The Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University team defeated their guests, the Al Yamamah College, from the capital, Riyadh, in a penalty shoot out after the game had ended 2-2 on Thursday. The newspaper singled out Al Yamamah College's goalkeeper as woman of the match.
Baby steps:
No men were allowed in the stadium, and the referee and her linesman, as well as the fans, were also female.
Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province is a predominantly Shiite area - I'd presume that means the Wahabbist influence (very anti-woman) is weaker than in other areas of Saudi Arabia.


While I was working at NDU, my boss Jim Keagle and I wrote a paper titled "Organizing for National Security: Unification or Coordination?" It has finally been published and is available for download at this link (thanks Gina!). It's part of the Defense Horizons series. If you want a paper copy, let me know and I'll send you one.

Tuareg MNJ get their message out

The Tuareg rebel group MNJ (Movement of Nigeriens for Justice) attacked the town of Tanout in Niger on Monday. They fought Ministry of Internal Security (FNIS), stole weapons and ammunition, and then withdrew - classic guerrilla tactics. The Nigerien government claims they lost 3 dead and 5 wounded, but the MNJ claims they killed 7 and took 11 prisoners, including the "prefet" (prefect?) of the town, and officers in the FNIS and police. After the raid, the FNIS attacked the MNJ as they were withdrawing, resulting in (according to MNJ) more FNIS casualties and the destruction of an FNIS 4x4 and military truck at the cost of no MNJ casualties.

This is an interesting example of an insurgency using classic guerrilla tactics, but adding a modern communications strategy. Hours after their attack, MNJ posted on their website their version of events, detailing casualties, loot, and exactly why they attacked Tanout - they accuse the prefect of Tanout of "subversive behavior" and of dividing Nigeriens against each other (interesting accusation from an armed rebel group). I read it as the MNJ showing their power over Tanout, including over Tanout elites.

The day after their attack they posted again, criticizing RFI for running a story without consulting their own blog first for the rebels' version, and basing the RFI story on the government's version instead. RFI claimed MNJ casualties, while MNJ claims they lost no-one. Similar to how American politicians criticize the media whenever the media runs stories contrary to the politicians' desired narrative.

Market Meltdown averted...for the time being. NASDAQ enters Bear Market.

Here is the promised post from new author Christian Flanders!

I apologize for the sensationalist title but it seems only fitting. With the DOW Futures down around 550 points overnight and overseas markets down 5 to 12% around the world, it looked like we were heading into the worst one day drop since 9/11. I was sitting at my desk around 8am when over the squawk box news of a surprise 75 point basis cut from the Fed caused a momentary spurt in future prices only to see them settle back to their levels of around -500.

However, the open was a different story. After a sharp gap down, the markets rallied throughout the day and finished *only* down 1.5%. That is still quite a bit, but compared to the indication at the open, a 4.5% drop (500 points) the markets escaped relatively unscathed. If the DOW had sold off to the equivalent levels of the asian markets, we could have easily seen a 1200+ drop. (In comparison, Japan had sold off 5% on monday then 8% on tuesday). Interday the NASDAQ did drop to the 20% from its peak level signaling the onset of a bear market. The DOW and S&P did not technically enter bear markets.

We now have a "bottom/support" at the ~11600 level approximately where the DOW opened today. Should the level crack anytime in the future, be prepared for prices to drop significantly from there.

The thing that is scary to me and probably a good indicator of how bad it is in the financial markets was that Ben Bernanke and the fed felt compelled to cut rates by 75 basis points with just 7 days to go until their scheduled meeting. The last time they cut rates 75 points between meetings was in 1985. The next few days will let us know if we have put in a short term bottom or if we will break the 11,600 mark on the DOW. Apple beat earnings after market hours but lowered their guidance. The stock has taken a hit down 10% after markets and the rest of the tech heavy nasdaq is down 1% as well in sympathy. Who would have thought that people would be unwilling to buy $400 gadgets and $2000 laptops in a recession!? Outrageous.

This rate cut only delays the inevitable. The amount of excess in the last couple years fueled by cheap money that was pumped into real estate coupled with the tremendous amount of debt we have as a nation must sooner or later be accounted for.

While we're on the topic of real estate I'm sure many of you have heard about the real estate in Manhattan. How it is so strong and will escape the wrath of the real estate bubble. You've probably heard lines like "Manhattan real estate is so strong, it always goes up." or perhaps "It's an island therefore there is a limited amount of space (scarcity) so prices will always go up, there is never a bad time to buy."

Well folks, that is the kind of talk is characteristic of a bubble. It sounds very familiar to the talk at the top of the NASDAQ in 2000. JDSU, AKAM, AMZN, EBAY, CSCO, MSFT, can't go down! All of those stocks are still dramatically below their highs set in 2000. For whatever reason, we have very limited and selective memories. Real estate brokers have either forgotten or were not brokers during the real estate recession in the late 1980's that trimmed 20 to 50% off the real estate prices in NYC.

Here is a link to a fascinating article about it:


Africa Cup of Nations!

Over the weekend, the Africa Cup of Nations kicked off, with Mali's 1-0 defeat of Benin. The Africa Cup of Nations is a biannual competition between African nations (yes George, there are multiple countries in Africa) that serves as the championship of Africa. The winner will go to the 2009 Confederations Cup, where they'll play the other continental champions, including the United States. This year, Ghana is hosting the competition.

Every competition like this has a "group of death", and the 2008 Cup of Nations is no exception. Group B has Nigeria and Cote D'Ivoire, two established countries who both reached the semifinals in 2006 and both with established stars in Europe. Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Aruna Dindane, Yaya Toure, Didier Zokora, Arouna Kone are big stars for Cote D'Ivoire, while John Mikel Obi, Nwankwo Kanu, Joseph Yobo, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu, and Peter Odemwingie are big stars for Nigeria. But Mali is a dark horse, with Momo Sissoko and Freddy Kanoute. Too bad for Benin, the fourth team in the group.

And in this gropu, Cote D'Ivoire won their opening game against Nigeria 1-0 on an amazing goal by Saloman Kalou. For video see here.

The other story in the 2008 Cup for me is Ghana. The host nation has won the last two Cups - Tunisia in 2004 and Egypt in 2006. Ghana did the best of any Africa team at the 2006 World Cup, and they have three of the best midfielders in the world, in Essien, Appiah and Muntari. Plus their old-school uniforms are awesome:

Ghana won their first game against Guinea 2-1. A fantastic winning goal in the last minute of the game. Only the quality of the field prevented a larger win by Ghana. The video is at the bottom of the post.

Other teams to look out for are Senegal, Egypt and Cameroon. But I will be rooting for Ghana!

Finance, and a new author

Will there be a financial black swan tomorrow?

Because I don't understand finance very well, a friend of mine is going to start writing for this blog on financial-related matters. He's a friend from high school who is currently a fixed-income trading clerk in New York. Look tomorrow for his thoughts on the current state of the market.

Government to gather your biometric information, then lose it

Michael Tanji highlights a key point in the debate over domestic wiretapping:
That our intelligence agencies can intercept adversary communications is largely a given, they just want to do it from the convenience of the homeland, not some remote switch in the darkest hinterlands.
Tanji doesn't talk as much in his post about the FBI's desire to spend $1 billion setting up a giant biometric database, which he also links to, but his post's general point applies: the fact that the FBI and other US agencies are trying to suck in huge amounts of data is worrisome as it suggests they have no ability to target their collection efforts on specific targets (for example, through human intelligence).

I agree, but the FBI's desire for this giant biometric database worries me for privacy reasons as well - not because I fear the next Hoover setting up a police state (although it's always a possibility), but because such a database would be a goldmine for hackers, criminals, etc. The value in this type of database would be dependent on the ease of access to it - if nobody can get into the database, it's useless. The way I see it, the FBI would be gathering up a large amount of data and presenting it to Russian cybercriminals.

Plus, who will actually run the thing - the FBI themselves, or some contractor who hires numbskulls? The FBI is a law enforcement agency, not an intelligence agency - they might very well decide to outsource this as its not their core function. Even intelligence agencies who's job it supposedly is to maintain intel databases outsource the actual databases to contractors, like when CIFA outsourced TALON to Booz Allen.

But of course, since it's the FBI, the thing probably won't work anyways.

How to use Google Earth

Sean O'Connor at the IMINT & Analysis blog has a post detailing how he uses Google Earth to search for the interesting things he posts about (aircraft, SAM sites, submarines, etc.). Google Earth is great - I recently used it while writing a military counterfactual in lieu of aerial reconnaissance to map out landing zones for an Allied amphibious invasion of Yugoslavia in WW2. Now I plan on using it to do a bit of research on the Tuareg situation.

Tuareg blues

While I've been poking around the internetz looking for stuff on the Tuareg rebellion, I came across Tinariwen. Tinariwen are a blues band from the Sahara. Here's a documentary on them, with video of them playing as well as interviews with assorted members and other random people. 18 minutes long but very interesting. I found it via Ghasbouba.

Here's another video of them performing with Carlos Santana.

Pay the man his money!

English club Preston North End put in a $2 million offer for Revolution striker Taylor Twellman. MLS turned it down, and Twellman's not happy.
"My salary would have tripled what it is now," said Twellman, who has completed one year of a four-year contract worth $395,000 annually. "There has to be an adjustment and the fair thing to do would be either to sell me or adjust my pay accordingly."
Preston is doing pretty poorly in the Coca Cola Championship (the league right below the Premiership) and they might actually get relegated to the First Division. That might have played a role in MLS' refusal to send Twellman over there - they don't want the US' best goalscorer stuck on a 3rd tier English side.

The same situation happened to Shalrie Joseph last year when Celtic put in a $2 million offer. During the offseason after Celtic's offer, Joseph got a raise. Since MLS just raised the salary cap level, I'd hope that Twellman gets the same. However Twellman already makes the league maximum for non-marketing cash cows, so Kraft would have to pay Twellman out of his own pocket by making Twellman the designated player. Given Bob Kraft's notorious cheapness when it comes to the Revs, I think that's unlikely.

End result, an unhappy Twellman to go along with the unhappy Joseph.

Bombing our way to 'victory' in Iraq

As part of Operation Phantom Phoenix in Iraq, the US is stepping up its use of air power.

American bombers and fighter aircraft dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on suspected militant hide-outs, storehouses and defensive positions in the southern outskirts of Baghdad on Thursday, the United States military said.
In one of the largest airstrikes in recent months, two B-1 and four F-16 aircraft dropped 38 bombs within 10 minutes near the Latifiya district south of Baghdad, the military said. The airstrikes were accompanied by a large Iraqi and American ground assault.
38 bombings in 10 minutes in Baghdad alone. Operation Phantom Phoenix is nationwide, so I'd assume many more air operations throughout the country, especially in Miqdadiyah (in Diyala province) and Samarra (source). That is a bad thing.

Airpower --> collateral damage --> pissed off Iraqis --> creating more insurgents --> bad counterinsurgency practice. Airpower in terms of dropping bombs didn't work for the Israelis in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, and it hasn't worked for the US in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"No, we don't use airstrikes because we don't have enough troops. We use airstrikes because they're in our repertoire."

Check out this Abu Muqawama post on airpower in counterinsurgency if you are interested.

Also on Iraq, this piece by Brian Katulis and classmate Peter Juul on "Four Ticking Time Bombs" in regards to Iraq:
  • The collapse of “bottom up” reconciliation among Sunnis
  • Increased instability in northern Iraq
  • The continuing plight of refugees and internally displaced Iraqis
  • Continued deadlock among Iraq’s national political leaders

Mobile phones in Africa

I've written before a bit on mobile phones in Africa, specifically as platforms for banking. Ethan Zuckerman gives an interview on how mobile phones can be used for citizen media (like what CNN tries to do, but substantive).
In most African nations, radio is still the most powerful source of information - unfortunately, radio is a one-way, listen only medium.

The mobile phone changes that dynamic, allowing people to collaborate in the production of radio. Throughout the continent, call-in shows that invite citizens to talk to political leaders offer a form of direct democratic participation that more developed nations may be envious of. Mobile phones also enable ordinary citizens to perform "sousveillance" - surveillance from the bottom up. This has become important in monitoring elections - citizens with mobile phones can call radio stations and report situations where they are prevented from voting.”
More on it at his blog, on mobile phones and activism, and on wiring Africa via mobile infrastructure.

Iowa and New Hampshire

Lots of hot air has been expended on the Iowa and New Hampshire results. I don't really know much about American elections (who caucuses? just vote!), but at least I am cognizant of that fact. Our mainstream news outlets are apparently clueless about their own ignorance ("We were wrong? Must have been those New Hampshire racists!"). After Obama won Iowa, he was about to be crowned king and Hillary was finished - a few days later, and it's neck-and-neck. McCain was supposed to be finished this past summer, now he's the new front-runner. has a fascinating graphic showing McCain's comeback. The graph shows how much traders valued contracts on McCain winning the GOP presidential nomination. The payoff of the contract, if McCain wins the nomination, is 100; otherwise it is zero. So in November and December of 2006, traders valued McCain's stock at 55ish. By July 2007 it fell to around 5, and after New Hampshire it has climbed back to around 35 - the highest of the Republican contenders.


National polls largely mirror this trend. I assume traders were trading on the information of national polls, Iowa, New Hampshire and other primary polls, the financial situation each candidate is in, etc. The problem is that people look at all this data and think it means more than it does, because it's all we have - and any pundit that says "I don't know" won't be invited back on TV.

Soft support for candidates means that poll numbers are flexible. High voter turnout also upsets polling data, which is based on sampling from different demographics based on who has historically turned out to vote in the past. I'm sure lots of other things confound poll numbers too. Thus the polling numbers that our chattering classes obsess over in truth don't mean very much. And so to take it one step further, the output of the chattering classes doesn't matter very much either (except to the degree that other people take it seriously).

My point is not that McCain was always going to make a comeback and that pundits should have known - there was nothing fated about his remarkable turnaround. My point is that the value-added of these pundits is minimal and that their assertions are almost always over-confident.

Aftermath of winter break

Classes start up tomorrow, so I'll be posting again as I desperately try to procrastinate (like Calvin said, it's only work if somebody makes you do it). I'll be writing my thesis (see this related request for information) and taking classes on conventional weapons technology and human intelligence operations.

I have stacks of books from Christmas as well - I'm currently reading T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The other books on my reading stack are Eric Hoffer's The True Believer, Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam, Thomas Power's Intelligence Wars, Kenneth Macksey's The Hitler Options, Tip O'Neill's All Politics is Local, Dave Grossman's On Killing, Fawaz Gerges' The Far Enemy, Andrew Bacevich's The New American Militarism. As well as Ben Franklin's On the Choice of a Mistress, given to me by my apparently tolerant fiance.

Also, on an admin note, I just added some stuff to the blog's sidebar, including a list of highlighted posts (copying MountainRunner's and TDAXP's idea from their sites). I did this to make it easier for me to keep track of the posts that I put effort into, and in the hope that if potential employers stumble across this site, they'll look at those posts before my posts of silly cat pictures.

Request for Info on Tuareg Rebellion

I'm back in DC for my last semester, when I have to write my thesis. I'm thinking about writing on the Tuareg rebellion(s) in Mali and Niger. For background on the conflict, this Reuters article is a good source.

It seems a pretty good potential case study, as similar rebellions have taken different courses in the two countries, plus there is the role of environmental change and desertification as a driver of conflict, and U.S. involvement through the Trans-Sahel Counterterrorism Partnership. The problem is that most of the material on the rebellions is in French, which I don't speak or read. There doesn't seem to be much stuff on the military situation in English other than occasional news articles. I'll have plenty of material on the Tuareg themselves thanks to my mom and her contacts (she is an expert in African art). I think I'll have plenty of information on U.S. involvement as well - I just need information on the rebellion itself - military aspects, who's involved, countermeasures, any journal articles on it, etc.

I found a few useful links:

Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Sahel: The Tuareg Insurgency in Mali, by Lieutenant Colonel Kalifa Keita.

The site, with chronologies of the Tuareg rebellion of the 1990s in Mali and Niger, as well as other cultural information on the Tuareg.

An American University ICE (Inventory of Conflict and Environment) case study titled The Tuareg in Mali and Niger: The Role of Desertification in Violent Conflict.

Some IRIN (UN agency) articles on the resumption of violence in Niger and allegations of atrocities.

There's some information on the ICG's website, on Niger and Mali.

Tiemoko Diallo seems to be covering the conflict for Reuters

There was a slight news bump on the Tuareg back in September when they fired at an American plane, but Western news articles have little information other than the basic facts about the insurgency.

The Tuareg rock band Tinariwen has a chronology of the conflict on their site.

There is also the website for the Mouvement des Nigeriens pour la Justice, unfortunately only in French, as well as the Alliance Touaregue Niger-Mali, which I assume is another rebel group.

If anyone finds more stuff, please email it to me or leave it as a comment!

I'll be updating this post as I come across more stuff.

A Resurgent Tuareg Insurgency? Neil Thompson

Making Sense of the New Tuareg Rebellion, David Zounmenou

Tuareg rebellion in Niger - lots of photos

A drugs-smuggling connection? Articles on possible connections between Tuaregs and cocaine smuggling at the Taipei Times.

It appears that contacting the NMJ or similar groups will be difficult - two French journalists were arrested for trying to do so and may be executed. Perhaps in Mali it might be easier.

The Niger Movement for Justice posted a yearly assessment of their activities on their blog, from their leader He celebrates the defection of some Nigerien soldiers to the NMJ, and an alliance between the NMJ and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Sahara, a group that kidnapped a couple Italian tourists in 2006. He also promises better discipline to stop civilian casualties, and declares against uranium mining. has a couple pieces on the Tuareg rebellion, focusing on the uranium question.

Jeremy Keenan is an expert on the Tuareg and has also written on US counterterrorism policies in the Sahara region.

Fake Terror and Instability in North Africa by Sam Urquhart - challenges the notion that there is a terrorism threat in North Africa, or at least that there was before U.S. involvement.

A blog called the Head Heeb has some posts on the Tuareg rebellion. The latest one is from May 18th.

Another piece related to the uranium mining: Niger rebels pressure uranium miners, by James Finch

Another piece from April 10 2006 on uranium mining in Niger doesn't mention the conflict, and is unintentionally funny.
"We were concerned with any political situations, but both North and Kreczmer assured us the country is stable. “When I first went to Niger in November 2004, and that was during the last election, it honestly looked like a lot of fun... My experience with Niger is that it’s a peaceful, democratic country with no civil unrest. Let’s put it this way. They have less civil unrest than France."
Blogger Bouba has a few posts on the Tuareg, including a petition for Tuareg independence, an interview (unfortunately for me in French) and a video of the music group Tinariwen.

From Reuters, INTERVIEW-W.Africa is crime, terrorism "black hole"-UN expert
[Antonio Mazzitelli] cited indications that armed rebellions by Tuareg desert fighters in northern Niger and Mali, ostensibly launched on political grounds, were actually a front for large-scale trafficking of drugs and arms.
Tuareg Insurgency Spreads to Niger's Capital, by Nana Adu Ampofo, at Global Insight Daily Analysis (via Factiva):
With the death of journalist Abdou "Jeannot" Mahamane, the Tuareg insurgency raging in northern Niger since February 2007 appears to have spread to the capital, Niamey, for the first time. Mahamane was killed by a landmine Tuesday (8 January) evening. Quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP), government spokesperson Mohamed Ben Omar has attributed the attack to the Movement for Justice in Niger (MNJ), which has led the violent campaign in Agadez province, ostensibly for Tuareg rights. The MNJ has denied responsibility for the Niamey mines and counters on its Web site that the attribution is a government effort to turn public opinion against it. A second, unexploded mine has been found in the area by the authorities.Significance: The international non-governmental organisation (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently criticised the MNJ for conducting an indiscriminate land mine campaign in northern Niger.
An estimated 80 people have been killed or injured since February 2007 by land mines in the troubled region, a third of them civilians, HRW reports. The government was also criticised for targeting the civilian population. However, despite the length of the conflict and the apparent ineffectiveness of the exclusively military government response, there has been little change in strategy on either side. Until recently Nigerien president Mamadou Tandja would only refer to the MNJ as bandits. Tandja still refuses to recognise any legitimate basis for negotiation with the MNJ and has referred to MNJ activities as terrorism. That being the case, Global Insight expects to see the conflict continue through 2008.
See other stories here. Journalists have been targeted by the Nigerien government - I wouldn't be surprised if MNJ is correct and the government killed a journalist and blamed it on MNJ.

Human Rights Watch has documented atrocities on both sides in Niger. Amnesty International is alarmed at Nigerien Army's killing of civilians. The Nigerien Association for the Defence of Human Rights has condemned government killings (via Factiva). The Nigerien Army disagrees, but admits that it has killed civilians (Factiva).

Omar Ansari and Slimane Chenine are apparent experts on the Tuareg situation (Factiva).

Endangered Peoples of Africa and the Middle East - has a chapter by Susan Rasmussen on the Tuareg.

Art of Being Tuareg - interesting book.

Tuareg nomads set to intensify rebellion in Niger, Christian Science Monitor, Tristan McConnell

How Tuaregs, Hausas are avoiding another Darfur, CSM, Tristan McConnell - about how Tuareg are fighting desertification

Africa's Unfolding Desert War, ISA Consulting, Dulue Mbachu

Famine not Fanaticism the Real Enemy in West Africa

Thanks goes to New Yorker in DC for helping me figure out how to put most of this post behind a cut!

Stratfor has two pieces related to the conflict - Mali: Rising Tensions and Interests in the Sahel, and Niger: Rebels, Resources and the Niger Delta Parallel.

BBC - Secrets in the Sand, Part 1 and Part 2 - audio program.

West Africa leaders plan Sahara security conference - in part to deal with the Tuareg rebellions in Niger and Mali. AFP article also.

BBC - Tuareg rebels abduct town's mayor
Tuareg rebels in Niger have attacked a town killing or abducting several people in the biggest raid in recent months.
The West African regional body Ecowas is increasingly concerned and is to hold a summit soon to tackle the issue.
They will also consider a smaller rebellion in neighbouring Mali.

Summary of Baz Lecocq's thesis on the Tuareg. I emailed Mr. Lecocq for a copy but unfortunately he is out of copies. Baz Lecocq has also written many other papers on the Tuareg, including "The War on Terror in a Haze of Dust: Potholes and Pitfalls on the Saharan Front", by Baz Lecocq and Paul Schrijver, in the Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 25, 1, Jan. 2007. From that same issue, David Gutelius' paper "Islam in Northern Mali and the War on
Terror" is also very good.

Other scholarly articles include ICG's "Islamist Terrorism in the Sahel, Fact or Fiction?"

I am trying to get a handle on the relationship between the Tuareg and the GSPC.
Articles which reference antagonistic relationships:
Algeria Watch, Mali Tuaregs say Algerian militant killed in clash
Reuters, Algerian Militans Ambush Malian Tuaregs, Kill 9

Articles that reference cooperative relationships:
An article on Winds of Change - seems like speculation though.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar is the GSPC leader that supposedly has Tuareg links - he has married Tuareg women for political reasons, but I'm not sure whether that gains him support or just being left alone.

I posted an RFI at the PMC discussion group.

Ethnic Conflict and Regions of Wealth in North Africa - Dar Al Hayat opinion piece, Nov 23 2007. has lots of good coverage, pulling articles from various sources that I'd otherwise miss (thanks to a poster at PMCs discussion group).

The Tuareg Culture and News blog is a goldmine of information.

The local websites Temoust and have good coverage, and has an English forum.