NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN FORECASTS NAVAL CONFRONTATION OFF WEST AFRICA IN AL-QAEDA’S ECONOMIC WAR AGAINST AMERICA

September 14, 2006

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, forecasts that if al-Qaeda is serious about its announced strategy of economic warfare against the United States, then a likely target will be the vulnerable hydrocarbon facilities and shipments off the coast of West Africa—that is, the attack will be waterborne.

According to Dr. Pham, “The threat to America’s West African supply, which has historically been low, especially in contrast to the volatile Middle East, and remains so, is nonetheless steadily increasing.” Consequently, he recommends that “without taking funding from the other much-needed U.S. security cooperation programs in Africa, the Congress and the President need to make adequate provision in the upcoming FY 2007 budget for increased naval engagement with and capacity-building of our partners on the continent.”

Dr. Pham’s article, “West Africa and the Coming Naval Battle in al-Qaeda’s Economic War against America,” can be accessed online by clicking here.