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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Americans & 'bad people' in the Sahara-Sahel
Author:Keenan, JeremyISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic terms:Algeria
United States
West Africa
military bases
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0305624042000258450
Abstract:This paper comments on a briefing by Mustafa Barth (Review of African Political Economy, no. 98, 2003) which covered three areas: how northwest Africa fits into America's imperial grand design (particularly the 'War on Terror'); developments in US-Algerian relations; and the events surrounding the abduction of 32 European tourists in the Algerian Sahara in 2003 by the Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC), which US General Jeff Kohler claimed had now emerged in Europe as an al-Qaeda recruiting organization. Dubbed the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), the US is now equipping and training troops in Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger so they can better patrol their own countries and provide security that would deter terrorists. The paper argues that successful military operations against terrorists would give a big lift in confidence to both the Algerian and US military, but it is also possible that this might generate a more sympathetic climate in the region towards Islamic extremism. Finally, seeking an answer to the question of why the security situation in southern Algeria has been allowed to deteriorate so badly, the paper pays attention to bad governance in the area, and the State's association with smuggling, banditry and the harassment of local citizens. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract].