Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin.

Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin. With the business increasingly a destabilising force in West Africa, G8 ministers meeting in Deauville next week will discuss a new initiative to tackle it.

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US Indian Ocean strategy

The US is likely to use the region as a staging area for counter-terrorism efforts in and around the Persian Gulf, and as a secondary theatre in the country's deepening strategic competition with China.

US Afghanistan policy: regional aspects

Donald Trump's new 'Afghanistan and South Asia' policy identifies Pakistan and India as key players but ignores or minimises other influential regional actors with vested interests in Afghanistan.