Even as fighting in Libya continues, Pentagon officials and US commanders overseeing operations on the ground are wrestling with tough questions about the future of the campaign – and what military forces still need to do before they can consider it a victory. Here are the top three:
Algerian moves to increase security after a terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in January don't address the underlying security threat of doing business there. Energy and other companies must beware of the destabilizing rivalries among Algerian leaders, who use extremist groups for their own ends.
A secret letter written by Al Qaeda's leader in north Africa during his 10-month rule of Timbuktu reveals the internal contradictions of jihadists that will end their appeal.
The group that claimed responsibility for the attack may have links to Boko Haram, a militant group known for its terror campaigns in the region.
France says it will withdraw from Mali once an African peacekeeping force is in place. To keep Islamists at bay, the US is considering increasing its military presence in the region. A better approach is to focus on fixing the governance issues that fuel radicalism to begin with.