Thursday, July 05, 2018

Killing Jihadis in Africa ... from the Sea

The jihadi problem in Africa has been growing the last decade. Al Qaeda and ISIL both have followers in the Sahel region.

It's a Vox product, but is adequate. Although it is not the case that "poverty" causes people to go jihadi. There are a lot of people around the world who are poor who don't go jihadi just as the non-impoverished and well off have become jihadis. And the region experiencing jihadi growth today in the Sahel previously hadn't been home to jihadis despite poverty.

It is true that a vacuum of government authority provides room for jihadis to exploit. So sure, drone strikes can't cure the problem. But military action surely is needed to contain the threat so it doesn't reach out as jihadis in equally poor and remote Afghanistan did on September 11, 2001; and to weaken the jihadi control to give local states a chance at extending government authority and protection to the region.

To enable more military action to contain and weaken jihadis, while keeping the American footprint as small as possible, The AFRICOM Queen could, depending on the number equipped, provide a mobile reserve and strike force to kill jihadis. Such ships can't replace inland deployments with local forces. But the ships could project forces inland via staging areas to reinforce the inland forces.

The countries affected could use all the help we can give them.