Sunday, January 15, 2017

Africa's Unique Vulnerability to Violent Extremism

Project Syndicate published on 9 January 2017 a commentary titled "Africa's Unique Vulnerability to Violent Extremism" by Mohamed Yahya, Africa Regional Program Coordinator for the United Nations Development Program.

The author argues that an exclusively military response to extremism can be a waste of resources. Poverty and underdevelopment can not be ignored if we are to combat extremism effectively.

I wrote an article on this subject for the summer/fall 2016 issue of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs titled "Poverty and Terrorism in Africa: The Debate Continues." I came to a similar conclusion, arguing that poverty is not the root cause of terrorism but contributes to an environment that has enabled terrorist organizations to draw support. Supporting poverty reduction in Africa is the right thing to do for a number of reasons, regardless of its limited benefits in the fight against terrorism.

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