FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

FAO Reading List and PQS

FAO Blog/Online List (3 FEB2016 Last updated)

For Unofficial Use Only is essential daily reading for African and foreign affairs aficionados (geared toward Foreign Affairs Officers (FAO)) with an emphasis on the North African, Maghreb, and West African Region.  Also, occasional musings on Navy in the PGON (Pentagon). 

China in Africa: The Real Story digs into the myths and realities of Chinese aid, investment and economic engagement.

The author is a Drift Generation poet, fiction writer, and social and political commentator. He left Morocco one summer and have since been wandering around the world. 

African Arguments is a series of short books about Africa today. Aimed at the growing number of students and general readers who want to know more about the continent, these books intend to highlight many of the longer-term strategic as well as immediate political issues confronting the African continent. They will get to the heart of why Africa is the way it is and how it is changing. The books are scholarly but engaged, substantive as well as topical.
African Arguments Online is a counterpart to the African Arguments book series, edited jointly by Alex de Waal and Richard Dowden.

Africa is a Country is primarily concerned with media representations of the African continent and its peoples, especially in Western media. It wants to have fun while doing so.

A not really academic blog for family, friends and others.
Nick Ericsson writes this blog.  BBC Focus on Africa magazine, produced by the African Service, contains the continent's best writing and photographs.

Blog by a Moroccan mother (parents were from California).

forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Author is a humanitarian policy specialist who wears an evaluation and monitoring cape while roaming around field sites in conflict and post-conflict zones.  He's worked in Rwanda, Burundi, the Eastern DRC, and Liberia, land of never-ending bushmeat and baking soda. He speaks French and Swahili and can whip out a survey from his belt much like a gun. This is a blog about culture, conflict, and causality in Central Africa and beyond.

A place for lifestyle and design: and the bemused tales of an American family's quest to build a guest house in Marrakesh.  I find this one interesting but it's an especially good one for your wife for your wife to follow.

Read Moroccan Blogs,Websites, and News.  This one is good!

Solo Kinshasa is a blog exploring the remarkable Central African city of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo and home to perhaps 9 million people (nobody knows the real number).

An academic blog about African politics, security, development, and advocacy.

Life in Derb Djedid. Lots of photos of Marrakkesh in Morocco. Daily life, decor. Architecture. This blog has nothing to do with FAOs or our security cooperation efforts in Africa, but its beautiful photographs make it one of my guilty pleasures.


A great resource for major world-wide events as well as historical landmarks. 

Small Wars Journal facilitates the exchange of information among practitioners, thought leaders, and students of Small Wars, in order to advance knowledge and capabilities in the field.

This blog explores the issues impacting the global psychological struggle for minds and wills of men and women in the 21st century, whether bullets and bombs are flying or not.

From the Council on Foreign Relations, a sortable index of online analyses and inquiries on foreign policy.

The Army's official blog site features a plethora of writers, but the real reason it's one of my RSS feeds is because occasionally Army FAOs will publish here and I love to glean from their experiences.

CI is billed as a general interest magazine of culture, politics and current affairs. More informatively though, I enjoy their writers immensely.

Project Syndicate: the world's pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries. A unique collaboration of distinguished opinion makers from every corner of the globe, Project Syndicate provides incisive perspectives on our changing world by those who are shaping its politics, economics, science, and culture. Exclusive, trenchant, unparalleled in scope and depth: Project Syndicate is truly A World of Ideas.
Ushahidi, which means ”testimony” in Swahili, is a website that was developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. We’re working to build a new platform that can be used anywhere in the world, and this blog tells some of that story.

... photography and the world, from the writers and editors of Current Intelligence


The Moor Next Door purpose is to explore the politics, foreign policy and diplomacy of the Maghreb and the Arab Middle East. North Africa is the primary area of interest from a geopolitical, cultural, and historical perspective.

The Angry Arab News Service is a source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry, and art.

Abu Aardvark’s Middle East Blog

Major Wayne Wall writes of his experiences as an Army FAO in Amman, Jordan


Occasional postings on from the DIA Special Office for Foreign Language Management.


Registan.net covers Eurasian politics and news, seeking to draw more attention to issues and news rarely covered in much depth, if at all, by Western media.

None...that I know of...then again, I am not a SOUTHCOM FAO...