Friday, August 15, 2014

Countering Extremism in Africa

The New York Times published on 15 August 2014 an important op-ed titled "Handmaiden to Africa's Generals" by Alex de Waal, director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University, and Abdul Mohammed, chairman of the InterAfrica Group in Ethiopia.  They focus especially on US policy and the situation in South Sudan and Nigeria.

I have a high regard for both authors.  They make a critically important point that the policy response to extremism and terrorism in Africa needs to focus more on addressing the root causes of the problem rather than military support for Africa's strong men.  Where I think the op-ed tends to veer off track is the implication that somehow Washington is responsible for significant fraud or the improper allocation of resources by certain African governments, even in countries where the United States provides little or no military assistance. 

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