President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently stepped up the fight against poachers, who kill tens of thousands of animals worldwide every year, selling their body parts for enormous profits. As well as bringing much needed political focus to the issue, their efforts include more resources to train and equip anti-poaching forces.
This attention is part of a new understanding that poachers pose a threat not only to endangered species, but to American national security. A portion of the profits from poaching is funneled to terrorist groups, including Al Shabab, based in Somalia, and the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has killed more than 3,000 people and displaced another 400,000 in Central Africa in recent years.
Read the full op-ed in the New York Times here.