The potential benefits of smarter counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa for the United States in great power competition while improving stability and security in African states.
Smarter counterterrorism in the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa could benefit the United States in great power competition, according to Christopher Faulkner, Raphael Parens, and Marcel Plichta. The US has relied on France to serve as the counterterrorism lead in the Sahel region for the past decade, but it is now attempting to balance counterterrorism with great power competition. However, the two strategic objectives do not have to be zero-sum, and appropriate reassessment, design, and implementation of US counterterrorism in the Sahel could generate real wins for the US while improving stability and security for African states. Catalan Police officials Lluis Paradell Fernandez and Xavier Cortés Camacho discuss lessons learned from the 2017 terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils and the importance of preventing violent extremism. Lucas Webber and Daniele Garofalo report that the Islamic State is working to boost its Somalia branch’s profile and reaching out to speakers of Somali, Amharic, Oromo, and Swahili to grow its grassroots support. Finally, Nodirbek Soliev examines digital terror financing by Central Asian jihadis and suggests that understanding the mechanisms involved can help enhance countries’ response strategies against terrorism financing risks.