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American geopolitical interests and the potential threats to those interests are both on the rise in East Africa. The author examines the threat represented by the spread of militant Islamism and the development of radical Islamist networks and places them in the broader context of the diverse currents of Islamic practice in East Africa and the social, economic, and political factors that have shaped the region's security environment. He analyzes the complex ethno-religious landscape in East Africa, the characteristics of the East African environment that have produced failed or weak states susceptible to exploitation by extremist groups, and the factors that have contributed to the emergence of these groups. Building sustained national resilience that is intolerant of terrorists and extremists and effective against them, he says, can only be accomplished by linking hard security initiatives with a broader array of policies designed to promote political, social, and economic stability.

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