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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:35 PM

Why the Sahara is not the 'new Afghanistan'

The brazen attack on a desert gas plant in Algeria last month and the French-led campaign against Islamists in northern Mali have triggered stark warnings in the West of a new front opening in the campaign to combat Islamist extremists but there is a danger of exaggerating the threat, analysts say.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of the need to prevent northern Mali becoming a "safe haven" from which militants could launch attacks against America.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said this "global threat" required a response that would take "years, even decades".

"Just as we had to deal with that in Pakistan and in Afghanistan so the world needs to come together to deal with this threat in North Africa," he said.

But militancy in the Sahara and Sahel, which stretches across the desert regions of Mali, Algeria, Libya, Niger and Mauritania, is tied to local dynamics and plays on local grievances and it would be a mistake to see all of the region's numerous armed groups as always acting in unison.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21299153

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Reply Why the Sahara is not the 'new Afghanistan' (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #1
Robb Feb 2013 #2
JCMach1 Feb 2013 #3

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:56 PM

1. But let's just stuff these conflicts in the procrustean bed of the war on terror.

Keeps things nice and simple for us.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:59 PM

2. Some are zealots, some are hungry, some are just assholes.

Some are all three.

K&R.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:35 PM

3. Not just local... extremism has been internationalized by the Saudis

spreading their flavor of radical Islam.

Al Quaeda blooms in that garden.

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