Generation Jihad Ep. 100 — Squad Pops Off on Mali

Where in the world might the next state collapse into failure?

Hosts Bill and Caleb ultimately narrowed it down to two options: Somalia or Mali.

Shabaab in Somalia has aptly been dubbed “The Taliban of Africa,” given how well-organized, well-armed and effective it is there as a jihadist group.

But Mali is actually the weaker state. To boot:

— The UN has undertaken an unprecedented withdrawal of its peacekeeping forces and will no longer have a presence in Mali by the end of this year;

— France, which was a major counterterrorism partner, has already completely withdrawn its troops from Mali;

— There is currently an Islamic Statelet in northern Mali, where the Islamic State controls the majority of an entire province;

— Al Qaeda controls huge swaths of territory in both northern and central Mali, and it increasingly threatens Bamako as it slowly encroaches on the capital;

— And also in the ring: Russia’s Wagner Group.

Despite all of these excellent targets, the country’s ruling military junta in Bamako is threatening open conflict with rebels in the north — a situation that could easily erupt into war.

Bill and Caleb agree: It’s Mali on the brink.

Read more: Long War Journal