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.

I once saw Taliban take Kabul. Recapture is Western fiasco.

I once saw Taliban take Kabul. Recapture is Western fiasco.

The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan after another failed foreign intervention. Will they ease their hard line? And what lessons can be learned? Taliban fighters in Afghanistan’s presidential palace, Kabul, Afghanistan, 15 August 2021 (AP Photo/Zabi...

The reconquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban is a fast-moving story, and the mainstream media is busy keeping us informed of the latest developments. It’s one of those stories that cries out for context, and Alistair Lyon delivers the goods in his tour de force, informed by his years on the ground in the South Asian nation. If those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it, then Lyon’s article might help young readers understand why the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan was almost destined to fall short — and help them avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Exercise: Ask your students to compare U.S. involvement in Afghanistan with another foreign entanglement, and to elaborate on similarities and differences between the conflicts.

Tag: Islamic State