Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:20 AM
xchrom (108,903 posts)
US Prepares Support for French Military Intervention in Mali
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.”
3 replies, 704 views
US Prepares Support for French Military Intervention in Mali (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:23 AM
redgreenandblue (1,786 posts)
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".
Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #1)
Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:46 AM
FarCenter (18,167 posts)
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.
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.