For over a year, American Special Forces have been operating in the African nations bordering the Sahara desert. This effort was to help these nations deal with Islamic terrorists. Most of the assistance is in the form of training, some new equipment and generally providing these nations with the means to better deal with terrorists. This Summer, that program will be expanded as the Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative. The nations involved include Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Chad, Tunisia, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Chad and Niger. This effort means more Special Forces troops going into these nations, and intensifying intelligence collection and analysis SOCOM has been doing on the region. The Special Forces troops are popular in these countries, because many speak local languages. This is rare with foreigners. The Special Forces troops also understand and respect local customs, another major plus with the local population. The Special Forces reputation as skilled warriors also goes over well, as many of the rural areas still respect men who are good with weapons.