• About Irwin Arieff

    Irwin Arieff is a veteran writer and editor with extensive experience writing about international diplomacy and food, cooking and restaurants. Before leaving daily journalism in 2007, he was a Reuters correspondent for 23 years, serving in senior posts in Washington, Paris and New York as well as at the United Nations. He also wrote restaurant reviews for The Washington Post and Washington City Paper in the 1980s and 1990s with his wife, Deborah Baldwin.

    If Africa Is So Rich, Why Is It So Poor?

    by  • May 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 
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    Coltan mining in DRCMining coltan, a mineral used in the fabrication of cell phones, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Responsible Sourcing Network

    They call it the Curse of Riches. Although the African continent is blessed with gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, iron ore and other valuable resources, its inhabitants have long numbered among the world’s poorest. While a few sub-Saharan African nations are doing relatively well, most are mired in poverty. That a country’s abundant...

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    Netanyahu’s Scorched-Earth Campaign Destroys US Plea for Bilateralism

    by  • March 19, 2015 • WORLDVIEWS • 
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    Benjamin Netanyahu’s desperate 11th-hour election strategy has left in tatters the main United States argument for aggressively protecting Israeli interests in the Middle East peace process, a development that will most likely weaken the Obama administration’s already strained fervor for shielding Israel in international diplomatic battles. A new dynamic will surely surface in the...

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    China in Africa: When Is a Win-Win Deal a Loser?

    by  • January 1, 2015 • BOOKS • 1 Comment
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    A Chinese-built light-rail system under construction in Lagos, Nigeria. JOE PENNEY

    Chinese officials often describe their growing economic involvement in Africa as a “win-win” arrangement. As they see it, African nations gain investment and infrastructure, make progress toward development goals and benefit from the creation of jobs and other economic activity. China lands contracts for its state-owned enterprises, enhances its image as a global leader,...

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