Posts Tagged ‘africa’
May 26th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Will Obama Blame Bush for America’s Popularity?

It’s become a bit of a cliché in the Obama Administration to blame George W. Bush for…well, just about everything wrong with the country.  Job numbers are down because of the previous administration’s mismanagement of the economy.  The deficit is exploding because Bush & Co. started two allegedly needless wars.  Even the Gulf Oil Spill catastrophe is being laid at the feet of alleged coziness between Bush Era regulators and BP management.  If nothing else, the Obama White House knows how to trace problems occurring on its watch to other people.

Will it do the same with success?  According to Gallup polls of foreign nations, America is most popular in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The fact that President Obama’s ancestry touches the region doesn’t explain fully the reason.

So you might be asking yourself, “why Africa?”

It’s a good question, one our friends over at Gallup have given some consideration in past surveys. Since 2008, Sub-Saharan Africa may be the one region of the world where the United States has reaped the highest benefits of what has been termed “The Obama Effect.” Being of Kenyan descent, Obama enjoys high approval ratings throughout much of Africa. More substantively, 5 out of the 7 listed nations have been targeted in the president’s $3.5 billion Feed the Future initiative.

And let’s not give the 44th president all of the credit. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, invested American aid and resources into Africa at a record pace. President Bush’s PEPFAR program was a groundbreaking policy endeavor, and while Bush’s domestic approval numbers were low upon leaving office, U.S. approval throughout much of Africa remained rather strong.

As with much of his social spending, the most recent President Bush doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the good – and goodwill – many of his initiatives achieved.  Still, it must give W some sort of quiet pride to know that America’s popularity in Africa can be traced directly to his policy decisions.

H/T: RealClearWorld

May 19th, 2010 at 7:26 pm
US Military Addressing Al-Qaeda’s Expansion in Western Africa

Eric Holder may be unwilling to identify radical Islam as a driving force behind the recent surge in terror threats to the United States, but American special forces aren’t so hesitant.  The Economist reports that the American military is engaging in joint operations in the west African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal to combat the growing presence of “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” (AQIM).

Tuned-in Americans understand that in places like Somalia, radical Islam has found a fertile breeding ground for creating converts out of oppressed, deprived young men and women disgruntled with their lot in life.  It is logical that a place so close to the Middle East, only a short boat ride from Yemen, and so lacking in governance is a training ground for terrorists.

But American intelligence has been keeping an eye on the Sahel for some time.  The Sahel is a stretch of grassland that runs just south of the Saharan Desert, through the aforementioned west African countries.  It is an area subject to extreme drought and is only sparsely populated by tribal people.  Away from the attention of governing authorities, terrorist organizations from countries like Algeria have been able to set up training camps and are attempting to unite a coalition of jihadist organizations that have become increasingly problematic in the region.

Our support goes out to the American servicemen charged with the difficult task of training local forces to combat this growing threat to the security of free people.