Barack Obama’s new strategy against the Islamic State commits the United States to further long-term conflict. It involves a great forgetting of the recent war in Iraq.
Despite the crumbling façade of its interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is preparing for a new century of ‘light footprint’ warfare, using Africa as its laboratory.
Whatever the benefits for Mali, the French-led eviction of jihadist groups from northern Mali may have made the wider Sahara a less safe place, and has done little to lower the capacity of such groups to threaten European interests.. In 2014, France is implementing a major redeployment of its forces in Africa into the Sahel and Sahara. Meanwhile, the US has been quietly extending its military reach from Djibouti to Mauritania. However, as elsewhere, the western military approach to countering Islamist insurgency in the Sahel rests on very unsteady foundations and the potential to provoke wider alienation and radicalisation is strong.
Not unlike the United States in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the French government has begun the intervention with talk of short timelines and minimal troops on the ground before quickly changing its tune, write Anna Alissa Hitzemann and Ben Zala for Channel 4 News .
Now well over a decade after the beginning of the so-called war on terror, yet again, another western nation is leading a military intervention against Islamist paramilitaries based in a largely ungoverned region of a state in the Global South, write Anna Alissa Hitzemann and Ben Zala for Channel 4 News.