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Algerian Special Forces “stormed a natural gas complex in the Sahara desert on Saturday to end a standoff with an Al Qaeda-linked terror group that left at least 23 hostages dead and killed all 32 militants involved.” President Obama stated that “the blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms.” He further stated the United States has been in contact with Algerian officials and that the US is ready to provide any assistance required. Obama went on to say, “this attack is another reminder of the threat posed by Al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups in North Africa.”
The siege began after a group of radical Islamists stormed the complex that had hundreds of plant workers within it, and then held them hostage for four days. Algeria responded to the attack with military action rather than negotiation, which caused “an international outcry from countries worried about their citizens.” The Algerian route of choosing military action rather than negotiating was a typical course of action Algeria has taken when dealing with terrorists in the past. Following the military action by Algeria, President Hollande of France supported Algeria’s tactics believing that no negotiations were possible. Hollande said that the hostages were “shamefully murdered” and believed the hostage crisis was a response to France’s military operation in Mali. A total of 685 Algerians and 107 foreign workers were set free during the crisis.
Based on the the limited information available thus far, it seems that military action was the best plan of attack. The radicals were found with “heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, missiles and grenades attached to suicide belts.” Similar to the views our government holds, one of the main reasons for not negotiating with terrorists is that it rewards terrorists for their actions that are illegal. With that being said, even though military action may not completely deter actions such as this from happening again, it certainly does not increase the chances of such an event taking place, which is possible if the terrorists were able to receive something from the negotiation type strategy.
Please consider the following questions when preparing your response: (1) Do you believe that Algeria’s response with military force was the proper course of action? (2) What can be done on an international scale to help prevent these terrorist attacks? (3) What type of involvement or retaliation should the United States take, if any in response to this hostage crisis?
Source: Fox News