The New York Times recently reported on new routes for smuggling hashish from Morocco to Europe via Libya that raise suspicions about whether ISIS is profiting off the drug trade. While Libya’s criminal economy has flourished, there are risks in overstating the links between drug smuggling and terrorism.
Middle East & North Africa
U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, has turned into an integral player in responding to African security challenges. But its expanding mandate is dogged by the reality that the relationship between combating terrorism, safeguarding national interests and fostering political stability is not always clear.
Last week, U.S. airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State instead struck a group of Syrian army forces. The incident’s aftermath highlighted the Middle East’s propensity to turn to conspiracy theories to explain the Islamic State’s rise and the widespread confusion on the Syrian battlefield.