In This Review

African Counterterrorism Cooperation: Assessing Regional and Subregional Initiatives
African Counterterrorism Cooperation: Assessing Regional and Subregional Initiatives
Edited by Andre le Sage
Potomac Books, 2007, 240 pp

Even before 9/11, Washington was concerned about the threat of terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa. A collection of the revised presentations from a conference held in 2004, this book provides a factual assessment of terrorist threats in the region and describes the various programs that the U.S. government has developed in recent years in cooperation with African governments and regional organizations. Groups within the loose and ill-defined global terrorist network appear to be present mostly in African countries with substantial Muslim populations, that is, in countries in northeastern Africa and in the Sahel, on the southern flank of the Sahara Desert. The twin attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 remain among the single most deadly attacks on U.S. targets outside the United States, and the authors are convinced that the region's many "soft" targets leave it vulnerable to other attacks. The book's argument that Africa's importance is growing in the global war on terrorism seems incontrovertible. Unfortunately, counterterrorism in Africa remains a sideshow compared with the more critical struggles taking place in the strategically important arenas of the Middle East. Indeed, readers will be struck by the modest size and narrow scope of the efforts described in the book.