Skip to comments.Mali: France pointed against al-Qaeda
Posted on 09/26/2012 9:55:01 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
Paris and its allies are working on an intervention to rid the region of the terrorist threat.
The principle of military action against AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) is now established. The capitals of numerous countries are actively working to develop a politico-military strategy intended to rid the region of the terrorist threat. Because it is targeted by AQIM, France is at the forefront of future operation, which will be composed of the backbone forces of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West Africa.
Bogged down in Afghanistan for over ten years, their budget strained, the French army were warned that their participation in overseas operations is now limited to a multilateral framework. The colonial past of France in the region and the threat that weighs on the lives of the French hostages if Paris was at the forefront in the Sahel also call for moderation. "We just want to have a facilitating role. No question of sending ground troops, "said a French diplomat. The Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, promised a "logistical support" to help resolve the crisis.
French Special Forces in the region
But France is getting impatient. One hundred members of French Special Forces have been deployed to the region. They should soon be strengthened, in particular by the commandos of the French Navy. French aid also includes maritime patrol aircraft, which gather intelligence, and surveillance systems based in Niger. According to the hypotheses, notably by Paris, it would form an action force of a few hundred men to reconquer northern Mali, held for several months by armed Islamist groups.
A core group of 40 men, a first circle 200 to 400 men and 3000 to 4000 infantry soldiers would oppose the Islamists. "This is not the Russian campaign," says one expert dossier. "There are actually very few. A thousand men occupies part of a state that no longer existed," he says. The operation should not be limited to "giving a kick in the anthill then leaving," warns an expert on the issue. "Action must be taken for the duration, otherwise the problem will resurface six months later. "
According to the daily El Khabar, an Algerian newspaper knowledgeable about security issues (rest of sentence cannot be translated)"This is not information that surprises me. The French have interests in the region, from Libya to Niger. Intervention requires caution and tact due to entangling alliances uncertain actors and the influence of foreign powers who have their own agenda," said Liess Boukra, the former director of the ACSRT, the Centre for the Study of Terrorism based in Algiers.
Algeria, which is to keep the pressure on terrorism outside its borders - and if possible to push towards sub-Saharan Africa - rejects any interference in the Sahel. This position does not prevent maintaining links with some ambiguous protagonists of the crisis, such as the Islamist Ansar Dine Tuareg who control Kidal, one of the major cities of northern Mali. "There is something of trouble in the attitude regarding Algiers," says a French diplomat.
Chadians in ambush
The French could be strengthened to address the shortcomings of the African Standby Force. Niger has announced its intention to provide troops and Burkina Faso and Senegal could follow. Reinforcements from Chad, a country where France has military bases, could actively participate in the operation. But Chadian fighters, hardened by combat in the desert, scare their neighbors because of their reputation as uncontrollable soldiers.
For their part, Malians are divided and their army destroyed. Now, everyone knows that ECOWAS can hardly play more than a "buffer role" in this case, in the words of a diplomat. "Their military capabilities are limited. ECOWAS will never be able to form the core of the intervention. "
To support Africans, Britain has sided with France. The two countries' cooperation is excellent, says an officer. Germans and Poles have pledged to supply intelligence. Italy and Spain are politically deadlocked. The Russians were assured that they not block in the UN Security Council, an operation to fight against international terrorism (in Mali). The Chinese seem to share this view. As for the Americans, they have offered their support, including intelligence, while denying the leading role.
Several steps are difficult to negotiate, but must still be completed before the start of the operation. Acting President Traoré Dioncounda asked ECOWAS to help Mali to restore its territorial integrity. An agreement on the conditions for the deployment of an African peacekeeping force, with headquarters in Bamako, was proposed Sunday. If the Malians refuse any deployment of foreign forces in the South, Bamako gave a discreet green light to reconquer the North. A special envoy for the Sahel will be appointed. The name of the Gabonese diplomat Jean Ping is mentioned. Its role would be to involve the African Union (AU).
Try and liberate France from muslim occupation first-
Obama’s fault. These radicals would still be serving in Gaddafi’s military had we not toppled him.
Note: this topic is from 9/26/2012.Thanks JerseyanExile.
I’m sure it’s just coincidental that the area controlled by al-Qaeda, and the area of operations for al-Qaeda, just happens to be all of the parts of Mali with potential for petroleum development.