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Terrorism

This category contains 16 posts

The Little Understood Connection between Terror and Drug Profits

Terrorists are in it as much for the loot as for the ideology. The Islamic State, or ISIS, could hardly exist, whatever its Islamist fervor, without hard cash from sales of pilfered petroleum, taxes on its subject population and kidnappings for ransom. Likewise ISIS- and al-Qaida-linked groups in Africa prosper by trafficking drugs across the … Continue reading

Confronting Drugs, Crime, and Warfare in Africa

Drug smuggling and its profits help significantly to fuel Africa’s wars as criminal enterprises. Terrorists frequently build drug-driven hybrid organizations to finance their operations and to reap illicit rents. In Mali, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, conflict is strongly tied to drug trafficking by syndicates allied to al-Qaeda–associated insurgents. The … Continue reading

Africa’s Future is Bleak unless Economic Growth Revs Up in China

As China slows economically, so Africa’s future hopes of continued prosperity fade. Since about 2005, much of Africa south of the Sahara has been the fastest growing part of the globe, with common national GDP increases of 6 per cent or more annually. But no more. China’s slump threatens to depress Africa’s rising standards of … Continue reading

Going to Kenya Is a Dumb Idea, Mr. President

    This week, Secretary of State John Kerry paid a welcome, quick and clandestine visit to troubled Somalia after a short, heavily protected stop in Kenya. But that doesn’t make President Obama’s plan to visit Kenya in July any less misconceived or dangerous. To uphold the dignity of his office, and for the good … Continue reading

Why Not Back the Houthi in Yemen?

  Let the Houthis slug it out with al-Qaeda. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Why does the United States want to be fighting both the Houthis and al-Qaeda when the Houthis, now a major force in Yemen, are strongly opposed to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? With help from us (or at … Continue reading

Drugs, Crime, and Terror in Africa

The wars of Africa are fueled by narcotics. That is an exaggerated over-simplification, but what is less well known than it should be is that many of the internal conflicts of today’s Africa are driven in part, sometimes  a substantial part, by profits being made from the trafficking of hard drugs and precursor chemicals. The … Continue reading

Is Boko Haram Emboldened by ISIS Victories?

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Boko Haram is poised to overwhelm Borno state, the home in northeastern Nigeria to five million Kanuri and many other peoples, nearly all Muslims. Boko Haram threatens to establish an Islamic caliphate on the ferocious model of the Islamic State (IS) extremists active in Iraq and Syria. Last week, Boko Haram militants, possibly emboldened … Continue reading

Fixing Nigeria’s Leadership and Governance Problems

  Nigeria’s battle against Boko Haram can only be won if Nigerians begin to fix their massive leadership and governance problems.               Nigeria is as close to being a failed state as it has ever been. The key components and definitions of state failure are: The state’s loss of its Weberian monopoly of violence. … Continue reading

Washington’s Good Intentions for Africa are Not Enough

Ebola epitomizes Washington’s Africa problem. With more than 40 African leaders meeting President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the U.S. capital this week to celebrate the continent’s burgeoning economic prospects, governance weaknesses remain sadly real and a big drag on development. The presidents of Sierra Leone, Liberia and … Continue reading

Nigeria Should Accept Outside Help

Nigeria must shortly agree to accept Western help in locating and rescuing the 250 or so teenage girls abducted last month by Boko Haram, the shadowy al-Qaeda-linked terrorist movement that has been killing boys, burning schools, pillaging villages, destroying churches and setting off bombs in the nation’s capital. Another eight school girls were taken yesterday. … Continue reading