Slate Video

Is Mali the New Afghanistan?

Islamist fighters are a menace, but they’re unlikely to form a unified terror base in the Sahara.

The French military intervention to break the 10-month hold of Islamic extremists on cities in northern Mali has some politicians and officials worried about a possible resurgence of international terrorism from a new safe haven in the Sahara. But as with so many issues in the realm of international affairs and global security, things are not always what they seem. 

And that’s the opening for Slate’s new video series The World Decrypted, featuring Carne Ross.

A former British foreign service officer who now runs the nonprofit diplomatic advisory group Independent Diplomat, Ross has an insider’s perspective that often runs counter to how things are portrayed in the press. In this series, Ross serves as a kind of decoder for stories that are drawing lots of attention, while at the same time zeroing in on overlooked items with potentially seismic consequences for all of us. 

In this first episode, he takes on Mali and a worrisome development in international banking.