President Donald Trump’s decision to place Chad on his revised travel ban shocked experts and former U.S. officials who warned it could have major consequences for the fight against terrorism in Africa.
And it appears Trump’s controversial decision may have already damaged alliances on the continent—which is threatened by a range of militants, including affiliates of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State militant group.
Chad has pulled hundreds of troops from neighboring Niger, where they had been stationed to assist in a regional fight against Boko Haram, the Nigerian militant Islamist group, Reuters reported.
It is possible that there is another reason for Chad’s withdrawal, but it seems reasonable to assume that the decision was influenced by the administration’s arbitrary and insulting decision to bar the country’s citizens from traveling here. We should remember that the decision to add Chad to the travel ban was made over the objections of everyone in government with expertise in that part of the world, and no one familiar with the relationship with Chad thought there was any merit to doing this. The administration’s travel ban has never made sense as a policy, and it was never going to make the U.S. more secure. Now it appears that it may be making other parts of the world less secure by undermining security partnerships for no reason. Ideally, the travel ban would be discarded all together, but in the meantime Chad should be removed from the list immediately.