France Has Inflamed Saharan Africa
The kidnapping of American and other Western hostages at a natural gas plant in Algeria by Islamic militants possibly in retaliation for France’s military intervention in neighboring Mali, illuminates an unfortunate reality: France has inflamed the African region.
Initial news reports on the fate of hostages were conflicting following an operation by the Algerian military.
The larger repercussions from the military operation in Algeria and the magnitude of the risk of intervention by France in Mali are nearly impossible to determine. Will the Islamist groups in Mali and Algeria, or perhaps Islamists far from those countries and with no connection to Mali, take it upon themselves to respond to French and Algerian actions through further acts of terror?
This is comparable to the risk the U.S. runs whenever it engages in a new military operation, though unlike the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, this is less of a risk. What is different in Mali is the fact that Americans now find themselves in the uncomfortable situation of being in the passenger seat while somebody else drives.