The French military intervention in Mali illustrates what the fight against radical Islamists might look like in the future.
The fragile states of the Sahara and just below the desert pose significant challenges—not just for the United States and Europe, but also for the North African states themselves.
The Arab Spring has created new opportunities for the Kingdom to engage regionally—as the upcoming Community of Sahel-Saharan States meeting is likely to reveal.
As the crisis in Mali threatens to grow into a full-fledged regional security and humanitarian nightmare, nervous neighboring countries are looking to Algeria to lead a conflict management effort.
State complicity with organized crime is at the heart of instability in the Sahel and Sahara region, fomenting conflict and fueling the rise of al-Qaeda.
While much attention has been focused on the crisis provoked by the March 22 coup in Mali's capital, events in the northern part of the country may have greater regional implications.
Regional cooperation and discreet aid from the West are critical for countries to regain control of their territory and prevent al-Qaeda from gaining ground in Africa.