US General Cautions African Govts Against Over Reliance On Military For War Against Terror

HAMCOMMANDER of the United States African Command (AFRICOM), Gen. Carter Ham Friday cautioned African government not to rely solely on military solution to fight the war against terror as this posture will never guarantee long time resolution of national crisis.

Rather, he said, such long-term solution to terror attacks will only come through non-military solution including good governance.

Ham also explained that the United States is not directly involved in the military campaign that dislodged the Islamic terrorists in Mali because the Malian government did not invite it for help.

He told The Guardian in Stuttgart, Germany that “there is perhaps some necessity for some military action. But the military reaction would not be the solution. The solution lies in the non-military solution and activities that would address the underline causes of the dissatisfactions. So, I think it is important to keep this in perspective, that even in circumstances that military effort is required, that military effort is not going to solve the long-term jam.”

He added: “When you look at the places that the terrorists had been able to take root, they are typical in places where there is absence of legitimate government. Afghanistan is a good example. Somalia previously was a good example and now northern Mali where there is an absence of legitimate government. Secondly, they (terrorism) take root in places where people, mostly young men, don’t have hope; they don’t have the prospect for education, for a job or ability to take care of their families.

“If you look at the future and you don’t have any hope, then the recruiting allure of extremist organisations starts to become more attractive. And the reverse is also very true. Like people, mostly young men, with a view that they do have opportunity for education and development and participation in the government and opportunity for a better life, extremist organisations had a very difficult situation in the immediate circumstances.”