Radical Islam in East Africa

Radical Islam in East Africa

Radical Islam in East Africa

Radical Islam in East Africa

Synopsis

American geopolitical interests and the potential threats to those interests are both on the rise in East Africa. The author places the spread of militant Islamism and the development of radical Islamist networks in East Africa in the broader context of the social, economic, and political factors that have shaped the region's security environment.

Excerpt

Historically, Africa has not been a central theater in U.S. strategic planning. U.S. interests there have been viewed as marginal, and the threats to those interests have not been considered serious enough to require the deployment of significant resources or policy attention. in recent years, however, Africa has come to be regarded as an increasingly important region, where American geopolitical interests and the potential threats to those interests are both on the rise. Consequently, the Department of Defense is abandoning its traditional policy of strategic minimalism in favor of a more robust approach, signified most prominently by the establishment of a unified combatant command for Africa.

This monograph is part of a broader study of U.S. security roles in sub-Saharan Africa that is meant to inform ongoing efforts to restructure the U.S. military command arrangements in Africa and to posture air and space capabilities, as well as other U.S. government assets, to more effectively protect and advance American national interests on the continent. the monograph deals with the rising threat to U.S. interests represented by the spread of militant Islamism and the development of radical Islamist networks in East Africa. Equally important, however, it seeks to place those trends in the broad context of the diverse currents of Islamic practice in the region and the social, economic, and political factors that have shaped the security environment in East Africa.

The monograph examines the complex ethno-religious landscape in East Africa, the characteristics of the East African environment that have produced failed or weak states susceptible to exploitation by . . .

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