Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Losing Ground

Our Africa Command is responsible for an economy-of-force theater, just trying to hold the line without requiring military resources needed in higher priority theaters like Europe or Asia. Is AFRICOM losing ground?

Uh oh:

Fundamentalist Islamist movements have been gaining ground in Africa, as the Wall Street Journal reports

The rise of Islamist fundamentalist movements has never had a calming effect.

So this kind of American military and civilian training effort is really necessary:

Deep in the desert a loud explosion blows the roof off a Chevy Suburban, scattering car parts amid flames and black smoke.

Earlier, a Mercedes Benz was blown up, its doors flying open.

The recent explosions mimicked attacks by Islamic extremists, and are part of U.S.-led training of West African forces aimed at improving intelligence-gathering, cross-border communication and coordination between military forces and first responders.

I'm not sure how long Africa can remain the economy-of-force theater if this trend is not checked and reversed.

UPDATE: More from Strategypage:

Christians in the Middle East and Africa are dismayed to discover that the increasing anti-Christian violence by local Islamic conservatives and terrorists is largely being ignored in the West. One of the worst examples is Nigeria where, since 2004 over a million Christians living in the Moslem majority north of the country have been chased from their homes and over 10,000 of them killed by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. Nearly all the Moslems killed in the north are victims of Boko Haram and most of the few Moslems killed by northern Christians are Boko Haram men killed by self-defense militias protecting their homes and families.

Well, who can blame jihadis for attacking Africans, right? What with those countries invading Iraq, which obviously is the main reason jihadis are upset with non-Moslems.

Read it all, as they say.

UPDATE: This will complement our efforts, no doubt:

At a meeting in Chad's capital N'Djamena, defence chiefs from Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania -- the so-called G5 Sahel countries -- pledged to form special units to respond quickly to threats and attacks from Islamist militants.

"These groups, each composed of around 100 well-trained and very mobile men, will deploy in zones where the terrorists operate," the G5 Sahel's permanent secretary Najim Elhadj Mohamed said following the meeting late on Friday.
The French and Spanish will help set them up, with financing from the European Union.

The article says the units will be based on Spanish forces set up to fight Basque separatists.