Bronwyn Bruton

  • Bruton on Boko Haram Student Abduction

    Africa Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton joins The Takeaway to discuss the abduction of more than one hundred Nigerian female students by Boko Haram: 

    Read More
  • Africa Center Hosts Leslie Lefkow of Human Rights Watch

    The Atlantic Council's Africa Center hosted a roundtable discussion with Leslie Lefkow, deputy director of the Africa division at the Human Rights Watch. Lefkow presented the findings of the recently released HRW report, They Want a Confession: Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia's Maekelawi Police Station.
    Read More
  • IntelBrief: South African Peacekeeping - Punching Below Its Weight

    Bottom Line Up Front
    • South Africa, one Africa’s more successful democracies and its largest economy, has mostly resisted Western pressure to intervene in other nations’ conflicts
    • President Zuma has shown some enthusiasm for foreign engagement, but has been stymied by the poor condition of South Africa’s undersized and under-resourced military, with limited capability to project force in peacekeeping operations
    • Declining domestic confidence in government has further complicated matters, as have strategic missteps, such as the Central African Republic mission that resulted in the deaths of South African soldiers. 
     

    Read More
  • IntelBrief: Somalia - The Problem with Proxies

    In the latest in the series of "IntelBriefs" on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council's Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Africa Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton argues that the US support of proxy forces in the conflict in Somalia has failed to achieve a number of counterterrorism objectives in the region.
    Read the IntelBrief

    Read More
  • Cut-Rate Counterterrorism

    As the attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall and the failed Oct. 4 raid by Navy SEALs in Somalia have reminded the world, the fight against terrorism in East Africa is far from over. It's a fight that has been ongoing for two decades, but since 2001, the United States has outsourced much of the effort to a series of local proxies -- forces from Ethiopia, the African Union (AU), and, most recently, Kenya. This has allowed Washington to execute its war against the terrorist group al-Shabaab without getting sucked into a quagmire: There have not been American soldiers on the ground, except for the occasional special-operations mission like the one on Oct. 4. Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary of state for Africa, has referred to Somalia as one of his greatest successes, and the AU has taken to describingits engagement in the country as an "African solution to an African problem."
    Read More
  • IntelBrief: Al Shabab's Split and the Qaeda Influence at the Westgate Mall

    In the latest in the series of "IntelBriefs" on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council's Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Africa Center Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton and Program Assistant Sam Fishman argue that the recent attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya was made possible by the newfound autonomy of the radical wing of al-Shabaab.
    Read the IntelBrief

    Read More
  • Al Shabab Mainly a Local Problem in Somalia

    With Al Qaeda on the back foot in the Middle East, Africa is widely regarded as the next frontier in the war on terrorism and the next source of terrorism in the United States.

    But across Africa -- in Addis Ababa, Kampala, Lagos and Nairobi -- Christians and Muslims cheerfully rub shoulders. And Islamist militant groups, whether in Mali or in Somalia, with Al Shabab, tend to be regarded by Africans as not only intolerably harsh, but also parasitic and foreign.

    Read More
  • Why Nairobi

    The attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall is a vicious development in the war on terrorism: It signals the evolution of an unpopular splinter faction of a radical Somali group into a truly transnational terrorist organization.

    It also marks a major failure for the United States’ counterterrorism strategy in Somalia.

    Read More
  • The Real Reason al-Shabab Attacked a Mall in Kenya

    Kenya has suffered devastating terror attacks in the past, worst among them al-Qaeda’s bombing of the American embassy in Nairobi (and simultaneously in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) in 1998. That attack killed almost two hundred Kenyans, and was followed in 2002 by an attempted missile strike on an Israeli commercial airline and the destruction of an Israeli-owned hotel. Terrible as they were, those attacks were committed by foreigners and aimed not at Kenyan but at American and Israeli interests.

    The horrifying strike on the Westgate mall -- which so far has killed 62 people and injured 175 -- is different. An al-Qaeda proxy in Somalia, al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the violence wasn’t aimed at America or the West: Shabab says it was intended as a punishment for Kenya’s two-year military foray into Somalia.

    Read More
  • IntelBrief: Zimbabwe's 2013 Elections

    In the latest in the series of “IntelBriefs” on African security issues being produced by the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center in partnership with the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy, Africa Center deputy director Bronwyn Bruton and assistant director Kristen Smith discusses the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s July 31st elections, which resulted in a landside win for President Robert Mugabe and his party, Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
    Read More