Sub-Saharan Africa and the Global War on Terrorism
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
On September 11th, 2001, terrorists hijacked commercial airplanes and attacked the U.S. by crashing them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Consequently, President Bush announced that the U.S. would use the extent of its capabilities to prevent or preempt possible future attacks, and thus the U.S. became involved in the Global War on Terrorism GWOT. President Bush vowed that al Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible for this act, could not be permitted safe havens in other countries and declared that nations would be with the U.S. or against it in the cause to defeat them. Given al Qaedas propensity to operate in largely ungoverned, austere areas and their proven ability to recruit from such environments, sub-Saharan Africa has become instrumental in the GWOT. The region vast, desolate areas are ideal for training camps and safe havens, while a large population of able bodied young men and women could be potential recruits. These factors highlight significant elements that attract al Qaeda and its network to sub-Saharan Africa. This potentially volatile situation presents opportunities for the U.S. to influence the future alignment of countries on this continent without necessarily employing the destructive might of the military.
- Unconventional Warfare