Attacks by Islamist insurgents on US outposts in Benghazi, Libya, at a gas plant in Algeria, and in Mali expose several reasons for persistent security weakness across Africa. For one thing, many countries are too poor to supply the funds and soldiers for regional peace efforts.
Initial French estimates of a brief conflict may be revised as militants are not breaking quickly, French airstrikes continue, and more French troops are on the way.
As President Obama watches Islamic extremists gain power in the chaos of the Syrian uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime, he should consider the precedent of the US intervention in Kosovo – where extremists have been kept at bay and democracy is growing.
Per capita ownership of firearms in the US has doubled since 1968.