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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:20 AM

US Prepares Support for French Military Intervention in Mali

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/15-0


The United States has poured money into training the Malian military in the last several years. Above, U.S. Special Forces inspect weapons in Mali in 2007. (Credit: The U.S. Army/ CC by 2.0)

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta has applauded France’s surprise airstrikes on Islamist rebels in northern Mali that began late last week and continued over the weekend.

Panetta added that the U.S. government is readying plans for assistance in the ongoing operations, which scholars and human rights workers worry could continue for an extended period.

“I commend France for taking the steps that it has, and we have promised…to provide whatever assistance we can to try to help them in that effort,” Panetta told reporters on Monday.

“We have a responsibility to make sure that Al Qaeda does not establish a base for operations in North Africa and Mali,” he continued. “The effort is to try to do what is necessary to halt advances and to try to secure some of the key cities in Mali.”

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Reply US Prepares Support for French Military Intervention in Mali (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
redgreenandblue Jan 2013 #1
FarCenter Jan 2013 #3
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #2

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:23 AM

1. Al Qaeda? Does it even exist?

My guess is the label "Al Qaeda" is a loosely defined description of something that is more of an ideology than an organization, which manifests itsself in different ways in different regions. Kind of like "communism".

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Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:46 AM

3. Making sense of Mali's armed groups

Al-Qaeda gets the most attention, but local groups and ethnic fighters are part of a complicated mix of instability.


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/01/20131139522812326.html

Ironically, the forces that the French are fighting include a large number of US trained fighters who defected to the Taureg side.

The main ethnic groups are Arab, Taureg, Songhai and Fulani.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:45 AM

2. I don't know what to think about this. I know we're sending

surveillance drones and transport...I hope it doesn't need to go beyond that.

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