This Week: NATO in Africa and Abe in America

Senior Editor Taylor Owen runs down the week that was on OpenCanada.org.
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February 22, 2013
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French and Malian troops have Islamist rebels on the run in Mali, or so it seemed until militants snuck back into the town of Gao and had to be driven out again by Malian soldiers with French support. Will this just be another case where extremists retreat only to resurge? Alexander Moens and Jimmy Peterson argue that Islamist networks are a growing threat in a number of African countries and that neither African nor United Nations forces alone can  solve the problem. They want NATO to step in and bridge the gap.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Washington today to meet with President Obama. Gerald Wright speculates on each leader's priorities and political handicaps. Obama doesn’t want to send the wrong message to Beijing, although as John Hancock argues, the recently proposed U.S.-EU trade agreement could be interpreted as a move against China.

Disputes over sovereignty claims in the South China Sea are heating up again, but higher temperatures in waters further north are of more direct concern to Canada. As sea-ice melts and Arctic waterways open up, OpenCanada's series, Cold Calculations: The Politics of Arctic Development continues. We asked representatives of Arctic peoples and states whether Canada should push the economic development of Arctic when it takes the chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

For All Mankind
Michael Van Pelt on why Canada's new Office of Religious Freedom is an opportunity to build on Canada's vibrant pluralist heritage.

Africa Needs NATO More Than It Needs the UN
African countries will need more help than the UN can offer to stop the spread of Islamist extremism argue Alexander Moens and Jimmy Peterson.

Mr. Abe Goes to Washington
This week, the Japanese Prime Minister met with President Obama. Gerald Wright explains what they need from each other, and why they may not get it.

Should Canada Push Arctic Development?
OpenCanada asked representatives of both Arctic peoples and states whether economic development is the right priority for Canada to advance in the North.

The Mother of All Trade Blocs
John Hancock on why the proposed U.S.-EU trade deal could revitalize global trade co-operation. Or end it.