Countering Terrorism in Africa Through Human Security
Last March, I pointed out a Foreign Affairs article by John Prendergast entitled Blowing the Horn. John argues that America's myopic focus on terrorism in the Horn of Africa is actually hurting our security interests. By not addressing the chronic insecurity that plagues the 16 million people in the 8 countries in the broader Horn region, America is actually accelerating the potential for terrorism and instability in the long run.
Since I read the article, I've considered it a strong paradigm for changing our approach to Africa. Today, the Fletcher School announced that it will be holding a conference entitled Countering Terrorism in Africa Through Human Security Solutions, held on February 28th and 29th. The conference will "explore the mutual concerns of development, human rights, and security professionals working in a region that, due to poverty, civil violence, and mismanaged security interventions, may be susceptible to: influence and activity carried out by global terrorist networks such as al Qaeda and affiliated movements (AQAM); radicalization and the formation of independent violent terrorist cells; and the use of violent, civilian-focused terrorist tactics."
Conferences like these go a long way towards breaking down the silos between the human and more traditional security communities.