Author: Tim Sample

Reflections on 9/11 – The need to Wage Peace

Today is, rightly, a day of reflection and memory. For those in New York, at the Pentagon, and who lost loved ones on a plane in Pennsylvania, it marks specific and tangible tragedy. For our nation, it marks a day of shock, horror, pride in those who immediately responded to the crises, and resolve to not allow terrorists to weaken our spirit or our way of life. For many, 9/11 was a new phenomenon of national tragedy for marking time. Where were you on 9/11? For others, it was the second such event, the first being when John F. Kennedy Jr. was shot. For a very few remaining, it was the third such moment with the first being the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But through each of these horrible events, America steeled its resolve and resolved to persevere. In the cases of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we struck back with the full measure of our conventional military might. But there, the similarities stop and today one must ask whether such a military response alone can end this period of war? Certainly for WWII, there was a definitive end to hostilities and the countries involved went back to being sovereign states (taking into account the split of Germany). After 14 years, however, al Qaeda still exists, moves freely among several sovereign states, and continues on its original mission to utilize...

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Are You Bold Enough to Save a Life?

Everyday we hear about violence caused by religious extremism and ethnic conflict. The rise of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Shabab and others is as scary as it is real. Recently, much of this type of violence is being fed from the arc of instability in Northern Africa. Today, there are meaningful actions we can take to get in front of these conflicts and stop the flow of extremism into Eastern and Western Africa. You can help. Check out our campaign on Indiegogo, share it, we appreciate your prayers and support. Save a Life! Click here to read about the Indiegogo fundraising campaign and help us Save a Life by making a...

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Pay Attention to ISIS but Don’t Stop Watching Nigeria

Although the world is understandably fixated on ISIS, Europe, and Ukraine, the current political and security situation in Nigeria holds a significant strategic challenge for the United States.  The prospect for regional destabalization on a massive scale is not trivial, but finding political motivation to address the situation in a meaningful way and ahead of a crisis is seemingly illusive.  As most people know, on February 8th, the upcoming nation-wide elections, including election of a President, were postponed.  The explanation for the postponement was the decreased security situation in the Northeast because of the Boko Haram attacks, and the subsequent multi-national military response against Boko Haram that will supposedly take away the security forces expected to ensure a safe and secure electoral process/environment.  There is no doubt that given Boko Haram’s recent activities, including cross-border attacks in neighboring countries, the likelihood that those in the Northeast regions would have a peaceful election process was minimal, at best.  That said, the delay has caused Nigerians and the international community to be concerned about the reasoning behind the postponement as well as its ultimate result on the democratic process. There is an excellent Policy Brief by WANEP related to this issue.  WANEP’s “Very Likely” scenarios should give us pause.  They are: The INEC Chair, Professor Attahiru Jega whose tenure is originally ending in June 2015 is disgusted with the influence and...

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Kerry’s ISIS Insights Echo Extremist Predictions of Musharraf

I was disturbed a few days ago in reading reports that the U.S, State and Defense Departments were trying to bolster their success against ISIS, saying that coalition bombings in Iraq and Syria had halted momentum, had killed a significant number of ISIS fighters (6000 was the number being bandied about), and that that included a significant percentage of ISIS battlefield leadership. I noted, with a mixed reaction of disgust and humor, that the Pentagon Spokesman, RADM John Kirby was going out of his way to say that the Defense Department wasn’t keeping a body count; instead it was a tally, as though that somehow made things better.  My overwhelming reaction was that, once again, the U.S. was going to misjudge and misplay our approach to Islamic Extremism. We continue to believe that this is a “war on terrorism” where the Department of Defense is in the lead, rather than just a component, albeit critical, of a larger whole. A few days later, I took some comfort in hearing words from the Secretary of State, John Kerry, at the World Economic Forum at Davos. He noted that the fight against violent extremism will continue for decades unless the root causes of despair and hopelessness are addressed. As he explained:  “Ultimately, this fight is not going to be decided on the battlefield. The outcome is going to be determined in classrooms, workplaces, houses...

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Our Fundraising Challenge: Five Days to $50,000

Thanks to your generosity, we’re making real progress in our fundraising efforts to create sustainable peace. And while we’re off to a good start, we have far to go. The video below explains our ambitious, but attainable, push to reach the $50,000 mark by the end of this month. With your help, we know we can do it. Click here to Take Up the Challenge, and make a donation to 72 Africa!  Thank you, as always, for your faith and...

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