From the Taipai Times, with thanks to Counterterrorism Operations:
The US is pouring more soldiers and millions more dollars into its anti-terrorism campaign in Africa, including in Algeria and chaotic Nigeria, both oil-rich nations where radical Islam has a following.
A new north and west African effort outlined Wednesday in a statement from the US Embassy in Senegal proposes spending US$100 million a year over five years to boost security in some of world’s least policed areas, starting with a joint military exercise in the region next month.
An earlier anti-terror exercise with a budget of just US$6 million focused on troop training in four west African nations. The new campaign will target nine north and west African nations and seek to bolster regional cooperation.
Analysts were waiting to see if the program would be fully funded — but said the intended budgetary increase shows the US is taking West Africa more seriously.
“If they’re turning the corner to US$100 million, that’s graduation into something much larger,” said J. Stephen Morrison, Africa director at the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s still modest, but it’s a dramatic step up.”
Major Holly Silkman, a US military spokeswoman, said underpopulated border areas in the region could be sanctuaries for “terrorists or would-be terrorists.”…
“We’re concerned with the radical movement,” said Silkman. “Islam isn’t the problem, it’s only the radicals.”…
Great, Major. Now please explain to us how you propose to tell the difference.