News Decoder
As in Afghanistan, Islamist extremists endanger West Africa

As in Afghanistan, Islamist extremists endanger West Africa

Islamist extremists are threatening fragile nations in West Africa. Will Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban yield lessons for France in the Sahel? A soldier guards a Western military base in Gao, Mali on 6 June 2021, days after France announced the end of its...

When it comes to world politics, major news outlets often focus on one place at a time, obscuring important events unfolding elsewhere that can cause geopolitical ripples. In this article, News Decoder’s Jessica Moody shines a light on extremist violence plaguing West African nations in the Sahel, the semi-arid region below the Sahara. She draws parallels between French military involvement in the region and the United States’ recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, highlighting the global challenge of preventing extremist groups from proliferating in fragile states.

Exercise: Ask students to search news sites or newspapers for a global story that is not on the front page, then have them share their findings and explain why we should pay attention.

U.S. blunders in Afghanistan recall Vietnam

The stark missteps recorded in the Afghanistan Papers recalled an historic about-face by an architect of the U.S. war in Vietnam. He was Robert McNamara, the Defense secretary who played a key role in escalating the conflict, only to end up wrestling with his...