The mercury level of the national violence continues to rise in Libya, with a constantly growing number of significant armed political groups coming to prominence. Two rival national governments continue to claim legitimacy: one in Tobruk (the duly elected Council of Deputies) and one in Tripoli (the non-elected New General Congress, a self-proclaimed continuation of the previous General Congress elected in 2012 that agreed to dissolve itself after the June 2014 elections).
The Western powers, many of which concerned with the threat of Boko Haram, are watching the path towards the Nigerian federal elections very closely. The U.S. and Britain both expressed dismay with the February 9 decision by President Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling Peoples' Democratic Party to delay the scheduled election from February 14 to March 28.
In regard to the fight against terror, much of the world's attention is currently centered on the Middle Eastern region, and deservedly so. However, the West would be remiss to forget that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its militant Islamic allies, Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) and Ansar Dine, an AQIM-aligned jihadist group, controlled over half of the sovereign territory of Mali prior to French intervention. This two-year mission by France and accompanying nations may provide a promising alternative to anti-terror approaches of recent decades.
The U.S. is currently in its third month of its strategy to "disrupt and eliminate" the Islamic State. President Obama proclaimed from the outset that the United States would not commit ground troops to the conflict, but would instead conduct a calculated bombing campaign against the Islamic State (IS) and both train and arm designated rebel groups fighting against IS. Currently, the U.S. strategy is revealing some weaknesses.
As the fighting continues in Syria and Iraq, much discussion has fallen upon the military response to the Islamic State (IS) and the Western bombing campaign and training efforts. What tends to be overlooked by the media, however, is the unique composition of the forces that make up the Islamic State (IS).