Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

French Strikes in Mali Supplant Caution of U.S.
New York Times ^ | January 13, 2013 | ADAM NOSSITER, ERIC SCHMITT and MARK MAZZETTI.

Posted on 01/13/2013 11:16:07 PM PST by Seizethecarp

French fighter jets struck deep inside Islamist strongholds in northern Mali on Sunday, shoving aside months of international hesitation about storming the region after every other effort by the United States and its allies to thwart the extremists had failed.

For years, the United States tried to stem the spread of Islamic militancy in the region by conducting its most ambitious counterterrorism program ever across these vast, turbulent stretches of the Sahara.

But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials.

“It was a disaster,” said one of several senior Malian officers to confirm the defections.

Then an American-trained officer overthrew Mali’s elected government, setting the stage for more than half of the country to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists. American spy planes and surveillance drones have tried to make sense of the mess, but American officials and their allies are still scrambling even to get a detailed picture of who they are up against.

Now, in the face of longstanding American warnings that a Western assault on the Islamist stronghold could rally jihadists around the world and prompt terrorist attacks as far away as Europe, the French have entered the war themselves.

First, they blunted an Islamist advance, saying the rest of Mali would have fallen into the hands of militants within days. Then on Sunday, French warplanes went on the offensive, going after training camps, depots and other militant positions far inside Islamist-held territory in an effort to uproot the militants, who have formed one of the largest havens for jihadists...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 201301; africom; france; libya; mali; militarycoup; northafrica; obama; prezflustercluck; sahara; sahel; shadowwars; threatmatrix
This NYT article is a non-stop put-down of Obama's Africom training program in Mali and its failure to stem the Islamist exploitation of the all of the newly available weaponry of the former Libyan army.

Apparently Malian elite special forces that the US military trained defected to the Islamists and seized a safe-haven months ago in the north from which they launched an effort to seize the rest of the country...including a lot of Frenchmen. France couldn't wait for Obama's go-slow Africom to react.

1 posted on 01/13/2013 11:16:13 PM PST by Seizethecarp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp

This was a top of the page story in the online NYT and A1 in the print version.

It makes Barry’s Africom strategy for the past four years seem like a total shambles...leading from behind!


2 posted on 01/13/2013 11:21:53 PM PST by Seizethecarp (Defend aircraft from "runway kill zone" mini-drone helicopter swarm attacks: www.runwaykillzone.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp
Good for the French, and for the rest of the free world. The French have always had no qualms taking matters to the next level via stern action (which makes the usual internet memes of 'cheese eating surrender monkeys' quite obsolete ...that phrase is far more aptly descriptive of the British). The French have always had no problems getting their hands dirty, whether it is in Libya (where the performance of the Rafale and the Hammer LGB more or less led to the sale of the Rafale to India), in Cote d'Voire when things went south, and now in Mali (not to mention prior engagements, including some funny ones like sending frogmen to sink a GreenPeace ship that was protesting against French nuclear tests). The French also have the most draconian rules against Islamic fundamentalism in Europe, where judges have almost godlike powers against suspected zealots (compare this with British reluctance to even deport wanton criminals), and we saw how the French went ahead to bad hijabs and burkas.

Staying on point, action had to be taken in the area now, or else in another 7 years you'd be seeing a far more massive action (with the US now being forced to be involved) as Mali, and the surrounding region, becomes a super-charged, pre-911, Afghanistan. The French are doing the world a favor. If the situation was given another 5-7 years you would see a situation that would require far more extensive 'action,' and the end-play would either be something similar to Afghanistan or, dare I say, Viet Nam ...which began in a similar manner come think of it.

Right now the Islamic rebels running amok in Mali are mostly gun-totting brigands that can easily be routed by an advanced army. If they are given the time to take over the entire country, and to liaise and integrate with other Islamic groups within and without Africa (e.g. Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al Queda proper elsewhere), and to meld into the populace, it will be much harder to rout them.

The French are doing a good job. Far better than the Brits, who, according to the Daily Mail, have Labour MPs saying that assisting the French may attract terrorist attacks on the UK! As if the terrorists would refuse to attach London, given the chance, whether or not the Brits stepped in or not.

3 posted on 01/13/2013 11:28:39 PM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp
Mali is a perfect example of flawed colonial boundaries

The northern portions are completely Tuareg and have been for centuries.

They shouldn't have been coupled with the south who are black Africans.

from wikipedia:

4 posted on 01/13/2013 11:30:43 PM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

Mali is a former French colony. France still maintains significant commercial interests there including the gold, uranium and phosphates industries. France probably doesn’t care much about the fertilizer, they have plenty of their own. But if the gold or uranium production is threatened look for guys in fuzzy green hats with dragon style hat badges to start showing up and spray painting “LPNE” on the walls of mosques.


5 posted on 01/13/2013 11:58:27 PM PST by InABunkerUnderSF (Because 2 terms with Jerry Brown as Governor was all I could take.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp
Now, in the face of longstanding American warnings that a Western assault on the Islamist stronghold could rally jihadists around the world and prompt terrorist attacks as far away as Europe,

This administration seems fixated on the suicidally stupid idea that jihadists need "provoking," as if jihadists will be peaceful so long as they are not "provoked."

The last time it only took a video to provoke them according to the administration, which has been acting utterly clueless that jihadis jihad, it's what they do, no outside trigger needed.

6 posted on 01/14/2013 12:49:15 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: piasa

Funny how they constantly go out of their way not to provoke the moslems because they can become violent. Yet, they never seem to worry much about provoking normal traditional Americans.

Theres a lesson in there somewhere.


7 posted on 01/14/2013 12:59:13 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DesertRhino

I noticed that. the only thing liberals have the courage to fight are Americans.


8 posted on 01/14/2013 1:07:41 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

Boko Haram’s already been seen in Mali.


9 posted on 01/14/2013 1:08:45 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp
But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials.

"So long, and thanks for the logisitcs support, Infidel dogs!"

10 posted on 01/14/2013 1:28:11 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ApplegateRanch
"So long, and thanks for the logisitcs support, Infidel dogs!"

Sudden Jihadi Syndrome is as old as Islam, but our "elites" think they can make it go away by pretending that it doesn't exist.

I tried wishing things away when I was eight, and found out that it doesn't work.

11 posted on 01/14/2013 1:49:14 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp
Another way of looking at this is that Obama armed and trained Islamic terrorists are being routed by French troops and air power. Obama has armed Muslim terrorists throughout North Africa and the Middle East through his Benghazi operation and, in this case, even provided technical support and training. Obama has been working tirelessly to spread Muslim terrorism and trying to establish the Greater Caliphate. Socialist France is causing him a problem, Mon Dieu!
12 posted on 01/14/2013 2:16:17 AM PST by Truth29
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp

How many libs who angrily protested American “unilateral” military involvement in Mideast problems are shrugging their shoulders when the French take out the trash? When are we going to hear the lefties shout that France invaded Mali for oil?


13 posted on 01/14/2013 3:26:57 AM PST by driftless2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Truth29

Why do we continue to train people that we know will turn against us.

Why do we sell or rather give planes and tanks to Egypt when we know one day they will use them against our allies and ourselves.

Why are we giving arms in Syria to people who want us dead?

Why is Obama so fired up to disarm Americans while he is arming Muslims.


14 posted on 01/14/2013 5:36:37 AM PST by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Seizethecarp

WSJ reported last week that the ammo used by the Muzzies was produced and supplied by Iran.


15 posted on 01/14/2013 5:52:42 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (In the game of life, there are no betting limits)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

‘which makes the usual internet memes of ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ quite obsolete ...that phrase is far more aptly descriptive of the British’

Kindly go **** yourself.

‘(compare this with British reluctance to even deport wanton criminals),’

The terrorists are using EU laws to stifle British attempts. And who signed the UK up to those laws?. Why that nice Tony Blair you all loved in America post 9-11.


16 posted on 01/14/2013 8:03:48 AM PST by the scotsman (i)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: the scotsman

You can’t blame America for Britain’s failings and your politicians.


17 posted on 01/14/2013 9:40:55 AM PST by ansel12 (Cruz said "conservatives trust Sarah Palin that if she says this guy is a conservative, that he is")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

“The French are doing a good job. Far better than the Brits...”

The French should have been doing this job all along. It is their former colony and they’re the ones with the commercial and banking interests. I say, fine for the French, it’s about time. Now that they are in it, we pray godspeed to the brave French soldiers.

But, Hollande is hardly the reincarnation of Charles Martel in this. He’s simply tending to the bankers (like in Ivory Coast, et.all.). And yes, Britian as well as all the western nations should be aware that they might experience an increased risk of terrorist attack because of this French action. Observing this fact is not necessarily evidence as timidity, British or otherwise. Seems like common sense to me.


18 posted on 01/14/2013 10:49:13 AM PST by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: the scotsman
Kindly go **** yourself.

****ing myself might be a tad tricky, although it still wouldn't change the fact that term is still more applicable to the British than to the French. For instance, I highly doubt a French naval ship would allow their marines and sailors to be kidnapped by the Iranians, in the manner that 7 Royal Marines and 8 Sailors were kidnapped a short distance away from the HMS Cornwall. That would never happen. Furthermore, I doubt the kidnapped crew would go around smiling and shaking hands with Ahmadenijad (even John McCain, who is one of the lamest RINOs around, knew better than to act friendly with the enemy when he was a POW, and even refused an early-release offer by the North Vietnamese which left him with some lifelong injuries). Oh, not to mention one of the crew publicly moaning when their iPod was confiscated.

HMS Cornwall commander removed after Iran hostage debacle

However, I have to agree that is not cheese eating surrender monkey stuff ...more like simple weakness. A lack of moral fiber, with the political leadership making things all the worse. Not to say the Brits don't have a good military ...sections of the British military are, literally, the best in the world. For example, the RN submarine service is tops, as are the special services (SAS, SBS, etc). The problem is that once the leadership starts to muck things around they can directly dilute resolve, which is what happened to France for decades (most recently with Chirac, with Hollande having some rather pathetic economic policies). The UK has become exceedingly politically correct, and while you don't seem to suffer from that problem (you having the nads to say go **** yourself is unique, since even insults seem to be limited over there to 'hurting the feelings' of pre-teens via anonymous webchats to see if they'll kill themselves) the UK is very PC.

Now, this may be simply the perception of weakness and not actual weakness. However, it will attract and embolden the wrong types just the same. A good example is the Falklands - the UK is actually far better able to defend the Falklands now than it was the last time things flared up, with far better ability to control the skies (the Typhoons) and far better naval capability (even though with fewer ships and the appearance of less logistical capability). However, it appears to be less able to do that.

As for EU laws being used to stifle British attempts, how come they don't seem to apply to France? The laws against Islamic radicals are utterly draconian there. Even simple things like prison accommodation that is prison-like, and denying radicals access to public housing that could be termed as luxurious, apply. As much as I would like to blame Mr Blair, the fact remains that a large part of the current MPs and other government functionaries are just as lily-livered as Blair was.

Probably more so.

Now let me go attempt to **** myself. I might even enjoy it ...may even have a good cry over an iPod that was stolen some time back.

19 posted on 01/15/2013 12:16:00 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

Hmm, fair enough.

As a proud Brit, I reacted to what I saw as an insult to Britain and esp. her military, whom I will not allow any attack on here. I am sure you understand my anger. As most people on FR who make anti-British comments (and there are a surprising number) arent as eloquent as yourself.

I am glad you respect the British military and I actually agree with most of what you posted.

Re the hostages, rest assured that the group (bar the Royal Marines who behaved with dignity and honour) were and are despised by many Brits, who saw/see them as an embarrassment to the nation, and the epitome of modern Britain (usually the young men and women who serve Britain are the honourable exception to the lazy, antisocial rule prevalent these days) and of Labour’s Britain 1997-2010. Especially that little Mr Bean-esque clown of a sailor and the silly b*tch of a female rating, both of whom ran to the media. Hopefully both have left the Senior Service.

Hopefully Britain is becoming less PC and will be less so, with a public backlash aided by a conservative political shift.


20 posted on 01/15/2013 8:33:44 AM PST by the scotsman (i)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: the scotsman

Totally understand the anger. A good part of my schooling was under Scottish Catholic priests (the Holy Ghost Fathers) in Nairobi, Kenya, and thus I totally comprehend your ire. Totally justified actually. I hope what you say is true, because when I was last there (last March, in London for a PE function) I saw a lot that wasn’t very heartening. The British soldier is a good soldier, however any good soldier requires positive political will, wide public support, and robust understanding as to what the soldier provides to the country (be it by toil, coin, or blood). All the best to you and yours.


21 posted on 01/15/2013 9:06:53 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson