January 18, 2013   PARIS – Confused over the surging violence in Mali and now Algeria? Trying to find Mali on the map? War, as the great Roman historian Tacitus wrote, teaches geography. This week’s new lesson is West and North Africa, not so long ago colonial possessions of France. […]


December 21, 2012 Marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the frightful Algerian Independence War,  French President Francois Hollande did the right thing last Thursday by recognizing the “suffering” France had inflicted on its former colony. It was not the outright apology that many Algerians had demanded, but it […]


October 13, 2012 Welcome Mali, our newest crisis! Open your maps. Mali is a huge, arid nation extending from the Sahara Desert and Algeria’s border in the north to the steamy south along the Niger River. Most of Mali’s 14.5 million people eke out an existence farming and fishing. France […]