As the Pentagon contemplates a drawdown of the U.S. military presence in Africa, it is imperative for the U.S. military to reaffirm its non-counterterrorism missions in the region and reform how it executes its counterterrorism programs.
Latest in Horn of Africa
Editor’s Note: Turkey has emerged as an important, but confusing, actor in the greater Middle East and beyond. Its policies have oscillated as its role has expanded, and it now plays an important role in the Horn of Africa as well as with its neighbors. Zach Vertin, a colleague in the Brookings Foreign Policy program, assesses the changes in Turkey's foreign policy and explains how the country's domestic politics and the ambitions of the Erdogan regime interact with the broader strategic realities the country faces.
The at-times fraught relationship between Kenya and Somalia took a new turn in 2014, when Somalia submitted a compromis before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) claiming that Kenya was conducting illegal acts in what Somalia claimed to be part of its territory. The territory in question is a 100,000 square kilometer (38,610 square mile) triangular patch created by projecting the Kenya-Somali border eastward into the Indian Ocean.
This morning, the Kenyan Supreme Court announced it cancelled last month’s presidential election and ordered a new election within 60 days. Chief Justice David Maraga affirmed that the August 8th election, which declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes, was not “conducted in accordance with the constitution.” Justice Maraga stated the election commission had committed irregularities “in the transmission of results,” although more details on this conclusion have not yet been provided.
On March 17, 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to mount an operation in the Rift Valley to quell hostilities in the region. KDF has also been deployed to conduct an operation in Boni Forest in coastal Kenya to flush out suspected Al Shabaab militia reported to have taken refuge in the forest.
Barak Mendelsohn comes on the show to discuss his new book, The al-Qaeda Franchise: The Expansion of al-Qaeda and Its Consequences. Some of the topics covered include:
Editor's Note: The United States has long depended on a worldwide network of military bases to project power, reassure allies, contain enemies, and fight terrorism. Indeed, as the Islamic State has metastasized, the Pentagon is considering expanding the U.S. basing network in the developing world, particularly in Africa. Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship of Columbia University describe how China and other countries are joining this quest for bases. They argue the resulting competition is creating a market, and a dysfunctional one, for access.
Harun Maruf comes on the show to discuss jihadism in Somalia. Some of the topics covered include:What al-Shabab has been up to since the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya Background on al-Shabab’s leader Ahmad Umar and how he compares with its former leader Ahmed Abdi Godane The state of foreign fighters in Somalia The status of The Islamic State’s efforts in Somalia
Will McCants comes on the show to talk about jihadi governance. The conversation is based on a chapter in his new book The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State. Aaron and Will discussed numerous cases of jihadi groups attempts to govern, including the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Shabab, AQAP, AQIM, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Islamic State.