It is hard to overstate the degree to which Chad is no softy on terrorism. President Trump’s travel ban for the country sends a chilling message to other nations: Even if you stand by the United States and the West — and spill blood to combat terrorists in the process — you still might end up on the president’s list of U.S. undesirables.
Few remember how hard-pressed France and the United States were in 2013 to find African nations willing and able to contribute effective combat troops to dislodge al-Qaeda affiliates from northern Mali. Yet despite the United States’ well-justified skepticism of African military capabilities, Chadian troops ended up spearheading the offensive to liberate northern Mali from terrorist rule after France launched “Operation Serval” that January. Having earned a reputation for possessing some of the best desert-warfare troops in the world, Chad then sent troops to northern Nigeria, where they were often considered more capable than the Nigerian military.