The possibility of The United States expanding its Global War on Terror is not idle speculation it is happening. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom has grabbed all the headlines, but years ago the Bush administration established an American military presence in central and east Africa. These troops, based out of places like Djibouti, have been training and advising weak democracies like Ethiopia and Kenya.
Jihadi Violence has been part of African history since Islamic armies first spread into North Africa in the 7th century. Algeria, the Sudan and Somalia are only the most recent flare ups. So far, media accounts seem to indicate the military's COIN, advising and training missions have been going well, but they have also been growing as underscored by the creation of the new Africa Command at the end of the Bush administration.
Like fire fighters, the goal the U.S. troops in Africa is to help local governments damp down local militant Islamists before another Sudan or Somalia is created. Hopefully this long term commitment will prove to be a success and demonstrate that not all the battles we fight with the militant Islamists have to be large-scale endeavors like Iraq and Afghanistan.