Radical Islamic Terrorists: An Ongoing And Deadly Threat

Radical Islamists Continue To Kill Civilians In Nigeria
 The radical Islamist group Boko Haram launched another attack on innocent children – in this case, killing nearly 60 students asleep in their boarding school rooms in northeast Nigeria.

The terrorist organization has demonstrated no reluctance to kill civilians. At least 170 students and teachers were killed last year in Boko Haram attacks targeting schools in the northeast, according to Amnesty International, and the Nigerian government says they razed more than 50 schools in the region in the past year.

Two weeks ago Boko Haram attacked Christian fishermen in the villiage of Izghe, killing at least 106 people.

Attacks by radical Islamist groups, which is not isolated to Nigeria, poses a threat to both the citizens, as well as the stability of many nations in North Africa and the Middle East. With the goal of addressing this threat, the foreign ministers of 19 states met in Rabat, Morocco in November 2013 and pledged to coordinate their intelligence efforts to take on al Qaeda and its off-shoots.

Ahmed Charai writes the group signed an agreement known as the Rabat Declaration, which would create a “terrorism intelligence fusion center” and formalizes its plans to share secret reports on terrorists.

“The Rabat Declaration has gotten little notice in Washington, but it signals that some major changes are underway in Europe and Africa. France and Morocco have acted with vision and boldness. France sent French forces in Mali to combat al Qaeda affiliates there. For the first time in nearly 50 years, French ground forces fought the terrorists of Sahara and routed the Islamist enemy,” Charai notes in the Eurasia Review.

Their challenge, as the situation in Nigeria reflects, will be difficult. Despite efforts to counter Boko Haram, many analysts concede the Nigerian government has been mightily overmatched.

Femi Odekunle, a professor of criminology at the University of Abuja, tells The Voice of America, “The government must double its efforts with more men and more resources to contain them and to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the country.”

Why Asia May Not Surpass The US Economy
Are headlines announcing the death of America’s economy at the hands of the Asians premature? James Clad and Robert Manning contest the assertion by many that China’s economy poses the largest threat to the US in the next decade, in particular, the argument made by former Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani in his book The New Asian Hemisphere.

One reason why the US may be stronger than anticipated is the flexibility and dynamic nature of the economy.

“Instead of an up/down zero-sum world, power and influence have other, vastly more subtle metrics. Since the new century, the U.S. has been adjusting – gradually, inconsistently and erratically, but adjusting nonetheless – to a world in which power grows ever more diffused, Whether in embracing the G-20 or Asian multilateral fora, the United States has been accommodating change,” the pair argue.

On the other hand, they say, “China’s economy is still heavily investment driven, has a fragile financial system, is SOE-dominated, and innovation-challenged (quick, how many Chinese brands can you think of?) Linear thinking also overlooks the difficult reforms China faces, which could see growth over the next five years tapering to perhaps close to America’s pace – say, 4-5 percent – with the U.S. potentially reaching the 3 percent range.”

Clad is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Manning is a senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security and formerly served on the State Dept.

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