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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - John Price
Nelson Mandela, at age 95, lost his battle with a long illness contracted during his years of confinement — with 27 years in a prison cell, 18 years of which were on South Africa's Robben Island.
Africans anxiously awaited President Obama's return to sub-Saharan Africa, but they may be disappointed when he leaves Wednesday unless he announces a major initiative to promote trade.
Mali's interim government and ethnic Tuareg rebels last month signed a peace accord that will allow elections to proceed this month in the war-torn West African nation. International donors have committed $2.6 billion in aid to help rebuild Mali on the condition that a presidential election takes place July 28.
During my visits to Kenya, Mali, Ethiopia and Somalia over the past 12 months, I was told that U.S. influence is becoming less relevant because of our inconsistent foreign policy. African countries are depending more on China and other nations for their economic growth.
On May 30, Army Brig. Gen. Kimberly Field announced the formation of a new "rapid response force" to be established at Camp Lemonnier in the East African nation of Djibouti.
The United States must do more than lecture embattled Nigeria, a strong U.S. ally in West Africa under assault from al Qaeda-linked Islamists sweeping across the region.
African leaders are skeptical about President Obama's engagement of sub-Saharan Africa, in part, because he has been there only once since becoming president, visiting Ghana in 2009 for less than 24 hours.
The Arab Spring that prompted the ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya also led to the rise of Islamists who are bent on creating Islamic states that adhere to Shariah law — and that fate could await Syria after dictator Bashar Assad falls.
A former U.S. ambassador with extensive knowledge of terrorist operations in North Africa warned Thursday that the Benghazi debacle will hurt the State Department's ability to recruit diplomats for dangerous duty if they fear Washington will ignore their concerns about security.
The world's most famous prehistoric art is in caverns in Europe, but the most recently discovered ancient cave paintings are in a country no other nation recognizes in a region of Africa associated mostly with terrorism, pirates and famine.
The influence of radical Islam is on the rise around the world — and in the United States.
Nearly taken for granted by the West, education is a noble struggle in Somalia, requiring generous contributions from citizens and foreign donors to help ensure a future of stability and prosperity for Somali children.
President Obama's plan to renew sanctions against Somalia to weaken Islamist militants would wrack the war-torn country's economy just as an elected government is restoring stability for the first time in 22 years and as thousands of refugees are returning to their homeland.
Bin Laden, the al Qaeda terrorist leader, issued his "fatwa" only seven months before the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed on Aug. 7, 1998. The United States could have increased our security measures everywhere, yet Washington remained unprepared to avoid the disastrous destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb infiltrated Mali's northern frontier in 2003, after a 10-year civil war to overthrow the Algerian government. This desert region has become a safe haven for numerous Islamists linked to al Qaeda.
"Everyone knew in real time what was transpiring," Mr. Price said.
"It was obvious for political reasons that the 'blinders' were put on and no support was forthcoming," Mr. Price said. "No one wanted to admit it was a terrorist attack."