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Knaur
01-16-2013, 04:59 AM
Gentlemen,

France neeeds us right now, UK and US is offering limited logistic support but its French boots on the ground and warplanes in the air at this stage mainly, with help of some small no. of African forces right now.

The media is glaringly silent on a full fledged war going on in Sahel, let's stand firmly behind France at this stage and spread awareness about the crap they are fighting right now.

The downfall of various regimes has further weaponised these Al Queda types, they are turning Sahara into a new Afghanistan with impunity.

France has stabbed us in the back before, but at the moment they are fighting for a cause that benefits us all if successful and dooms us all if unsuccessful too.

Vive La France!

Knaur
01-16-2013, 06:00 AM
Here is a list of who's doing what -

France - 3000 troops in Operation Serval, 300 in Op Servier (Chad) including FFL, company of Marines, IFV's, 4th Heli Regt (SF) with Gazelle Gunships

6 Mirages, 4 Rafales, 2 tankers, 2 Mirage F1 CR Recce birds, 5 C135's en route

Nigeria - 1000 troops starting in 24 hours

Burkina Faso - Border Patrols, 500 troops for direct combat

Niger - 500 troops

Senegal - 500 troops

Togo - 500 troops

Benin - 300 troops as of now

Guinea - 150 troops

Denmark - C130 bird and personnel, 40 troops, role unconfirmed

Chad - Troops en route, nos. unconfirmed

U. K. - 2 C17, ground crew to service these and military advisors for Mali

Canada - C17 bird, personnel for same

Belgium - Transport birds expected soon

Germany - Logistics, not confirmed yet

Estonia - Military trainers to train Africans to NATO stds. soon

Algeria - Border patrol, overflight rights to France

Mauritinia- Border patrol, no troops

E.U. - Nothing before end of Feb., training personnel for African forces expected

U.S. - Zilch as of now, logistics and intel support expected, maybe something behind the scenes

Knaur
01-16-2013, 06:01 AM
I ll be damned, Canada and Estonia are doing more than USA and EU right now.

Knaur
01-16-2013, 06:41 AM
Also in Operation Serval, 10 Sagaies, 20 VAB. 20 VBL/PVP from Abidjain (French), one An-124 apparently bringing in troops and assets of 1st Recce Regt, FFL.

21st Marine Regiment in Senegal is holding Fwd HQ, additional half dozen Puma and some Tigres in addition to the Gazelles.

Knaur
01-16-2013, 06:42 AM
Anyone has latest ORBAT of any combatants, feel free to post here.

garpk
01-16-2013, 08:36 PM
It feels weird to stand behind the French. Can anyone trust France in a time of need? I agree it is important that the French win this battle against the terrorists... but how can you trust the French?

Little Rock
01-16-2013, 09:03 PM
Shalom.

Just curious about the posting of troop stengths. Is that something that should be done on a fairly open forum? Are these numbers common knowledge?

Cheers

Knaur
01-16-2013, 09:45 PM
Yes, open source, I'd never post anything classified, but I understand your caution!

I am very curious to see opposition numbers, they have SAM's for certain, I know French birds are being targetted.

Knaur
01-16-2013, 09:48 PM
Garpk,

All I'v posted about French till now have been jokes, they did very little contribution so far, but we are in this together, we swim together or sink together, and they're fighting hard in a hard place indeed.

Last year William Hague had this thing on a social networking website where they invited contributor questions, I asked them about their strategy to combat the threat emerging in Africa from the fall of Arabic regimes and got no reply, an year on, one wonders what could have been had they did something back then than twiddling their thumbs.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 05:48 AM
Major land offensive underway in Diabaly, French ground troops are in thick of fire.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 05:48 AM
France, Germany and Italy: Terrorists in Mali must go

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/16/world/mali-unrest/

Knaur
01-17-2013, 05:50 AM
Six reasons events in Mali matter

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/16/world/africa/mali-six-reasons/index.html (http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/16/world/africa/mali-six-reasons/index.html)

Knaur
01-17-2013, 05:51 AM
Belgium has confired 75 troops, two transporters, two medevacs and relevant personnel.

USA is still sitting on the fence.

David of Galilee
01-17-2013, 07:53 AM
Is there no Churchillian orator to declare, that "From Mali to Bali, we shall not shilly-shally!"

Knaur
01-17-2013, 09:59 AM
That's a good rhyme, to waste it would be a crime!

scelli
01-17-2013, 10:12 AM
France, Germany and Italy: Terrorists in Mali must go

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/16/world/mali-unrest/

How ironic these three WWII screw-ups are getting gung-ho all of the sudden, particularly since it's a well known fact their countries have been overrun with Islamic scumbags the last few years. :yup:

Knaur
01-17-2013, 10:17 AM
How ironic these three WWII screw-ups are getting gung-ho all of the sudden, particularly since it's a well known fact their countries have been overrun with Islamic scumbags the last few years. :yup:

They are doing far better than USA and others in this fight.

France is willing to shed blood to get rid of these Jihadis.

scelli
01-17-2013, 10:19 AM
Here is a list of who's doing what -

France - 3000 troops in Operation Serval, 300 in Op Servier (Chad) including FFL, company of Marines, IFV's, 4th Heli Regt (SF) with Gazelle Gunships

6 Mirages, 4 Rafales, 2 tankers, 2 Mirage F1 CR Recce birds, 5 C135's en route

Nigeria - 1000 troops starting in 24 hours

Burkina Faso - Border Patrols, 500 troops for direct combat

Niger - 500 troops

Senegal - 500 troops

Togo - 500 troops

Benin - 300 troops as of now

Guinea - 150 troops

Denmark - C130 bird and personnel, 40 troops, role unconfirmed

Chad - Troops en route, nos. unconfirmed

U. K. - 2 C17, ground crew to service these and military advisors for Mali

Canada - C17 bird, personnel for same

Belgium - Transport birds expected soon

Germany - Logistics, not confirmed yet

Estonia - Military trainers to train Africans to NATO stds. soon

Algeria - Border patrol, overflight rights to France

Mauritinia- Border patrol, no troops

E.U. - Nothing before end of Feb., training personnel for African forces expected

U.S. - Zilch as of now, logistics and intel support expected, maybe something behind the scenes

Under whose command and organization is this massive cornucopia of bodies and equipment? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me as well as years too late for my tastes. At least it's nice to see someone else doing the fighting for a change instead of the usual suspects.

David of Galilee
01-17-2013, 10:36 AM
When the Swiss Grenadiers commit, I'll stand up and cheer.

Indeed, who is coordinating all this, and what are the engagement order, and goals?

Though big transport planes do give it an element of seriousness.

scelli
01-17-2013, 10:37 AM
They are doing far better than USA and others in this fight.

France is willing to shed blood to get rid of these Jihadis.

When it suits the French agenda and not before. Let's just leave it at that, Knaur. Stop uttering nonsense. .. I expect much better from you. The crack about "shedding blood" isn't even worth responding to and suggest you look at US casualty figures to see who has shed blood and who hasn't so far.

scelli
01-17-2013, 10:43 AM
When the Swiss Grenadiers commit, I'll stand up and cheer.

Indeed, who is coordinating all this, and what are the engagement order, and goals?

Though big transport planes do give it an element of seriousness.

They can start by sending in the Vatican's Swiss guards.

When I see those transports filled with the asses of seriously trained combat troops and equipment capable of fighting for the long haul, then I'll consider giving plaudits...and not before that time.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 10:55 AM
When it suits the French agenda and not before. Let's just leave it at that, Knaur. Stop uttering nonsense. .. I expect much better from you. The crack about "shedding blood" isn't even worth responding to and suggest you look at US casualty figures to see who has shed blood and who hasn't so far.

I am least bothered by your opinion, I have so many times posted my utter respect for the US fighting man, as my grandfather was in WW2, right till the soldier fighting Taliban scumbags in A-stan. I am very much aware of the sacrifices made by American and all allied forces, and I have posted heaps on both the selflessness of these soldiers and how contrasting it is to the weasel words of your politicians. If you think I'd be so crass as to stoop to a level where I'd degenrate to casting aspersions on these soldiers to prove a petty point, I have nothing to say to you.

If you had bothered to read my posts, you would also have seen I'v written about Frenchbackstabbing, and in earlier years about the perfidy of the Chirac doctrine.

But I ll not lower my respect for France and others for their actions in Mali just to flatter American egos.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 10:59 AM
When the Swiss Grenadiers commit, I'll stand up and cheer.

Indeed, who is coordinating all this, and what are the engagement order, and goals?

Though big transport planes do give it an element of seriousness.

France is leading, US has been invited but has declined to join so for, but its under consideration.

Sahel must be wrested free of Al Queda control, the topography of this region is such that it will become a very easy launchpad for Jihadis in future.

France has good combat record in Africa, they annihilated the opposition in Chad in well co-ordinated moves.

Waiting for UN will mean a wait forever, France has assets in the area that will affect it most, Africans themselves will be greatly suffering too.

If you had read Isayaret's posts from Africa, the common African non-Moslem is greatly concerned and supports the intervention.

scelli
01-17-2013, 11:01 AM
But I ll not lower my respect for France and others for their actions in Mali just to flatter American egos.

Whatever....I think you'll find that not too many folks on this forum will be jumping on the French bandwagon, despite what you say.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 11:07 AM
Whatever....I think you'll find that not too many folks on this forum will be jumping on the French bandwagon, despite what you say.

Not now perhaps, this was a serious problem an year ago, Isayaret, me and others have been posting on it on various forums since years, we've seen Al Queda formate and gather strength while the world didn't pay heed.

Any intervention is welcome, USA is commited elsewhere perhaps, no worries, but rather support the good work of others than discourage them, don't forget France has supported the allies in A-stan recently.

So while the limelight is on other hotspots like the Middle East, Sahel is a region which once fortified under Jihadist control will be almost impossible to wrest back due to tribal/nomadic lifestyles, lack of govt. control, plentiful resources and a strategic smuggling route.

Vive La France , the last word is yours on this if you wish to have it, I respect you for being on my side and for your service, but I consider you flat out incorrect here.

You don't speak for all forum members btw, I regularly PM them to solicit their opinions and enhance my knowledge, and the ones I am talking to are very supportive of these actions.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 11:13 AM
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/1/17/worldupdates/huge-sahara-hostage-siege-turns-mali-war-global&sec=Worldupdates

Knaur
01-17-2013, 11:48 AM
First Nigerian troops to join anti-rebel operation in Mali
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21054946

Knaur
01-17-2013, 11:50 AM
Britain says gives strong support to French Mali mission

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/britain-says-gives-strong-support-105932439.html

Knaur
01-17-2013, 11:54 AM
Germany has confirmed 2 C160 birds and personnel, Italy will commit logistics support as well soon.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 11:56 AM
When I see those transports filled with the asses of seriously trained combat troops and equipment capable of fighting for the long haul, then I'll consider giving plaudits...and not before that time.

French themselves are the most potent force in Africa, then there is AFRICOM but AFRICOM will likely not commit. The Africans themselves have good experience of fighting these Jihadis, they are being trained better by NATO military advisors now.

The timeline remains to be seen, it cannot be quick to take back a territory the size of a nation controlled by Al Queda with well defensible positions.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 12:02 PM
Russia has no objection to French intervention in Mali

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90777/8093156.html

Knaur
01-17-2013, 12:04 PM
http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_15/Tuaregs-side-with-Mali-government-to-defeat-Islamists/

Knaur
01-17-2013, 12:15 PM
Well, the US may just get sucked in, but I doubt with Obama at the helm.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2013/01/mil-130116-afps03.htm?_m=3n%2e002a%2e708%2euk0ao00hrl%2en6e

garpk
01-17-2013, 02:10 PM
Garpk,

All I'v posted about French till now have been jokes, they did very little contribution so far, but we are in this together, we swim together or swim together, and they're fighting hard in a hard place indeed.

Last year William Hague had this thing on a social networking website where they invited contributor questions, I asked them about their strategy to combat the threat emerging in Africa from the fall of Arabic regimes and got no reply, an year on, one wonders what could have been had they did something back then than twiddling their thumbs.
'
I agree it is important to stop the advance of Islamic terror everywhere. What are the objectives of France? Do they just want to stop the advance or do they want to rid the entire country of the Islamic terrorists? Will they accept the current corrupt government or will they demand democratic elections in which case the Islamists may win by ballot like they did in Egypt?

garpk
01-17-2013, 02:41 PM
France Sends Reinforcements to Confront Islamist Forces in Mali

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/01/17/world/jp-mali1/jp-mali1-articleLarge.jpgHarouna Traore/Associated Press
French ground soldiers battled in Mali on Wednesday.

By ADAM NOSSITER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/adam_nossiter/index.html), NEIL MacFARQUHAR (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/neil_macfarquhar/index.html) and ALAN COWELL (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/c/alan_cowell/index.html)

Published: January 17, 2013

BAMAKO, Mali (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/mali/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) — French soldiers have battled Islamist militants in direct clashes on the ground in central Mali (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/mali/index.html?8qa), officials said, as hundreds of reinforcements arrived to bolster French forces in fighting that continued on Thursday, expanding the campaign against the militants who have seized much of the nation beyond just airstrikes.



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France Battles Rebels in Mali



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http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/01/15/world/africa/15mali-map/15mali-map-thumbWide.jpgMap (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/01/15/world/africa/15mali-map.html?ref=africa','328_630','width=328,height=6 30,location=no,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizabl e=yes'))
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Related


Standoff Develops After Militants Seize Hostages in Algeria (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/world/africa/algeria-militants-hostages.html?ref=africa)(January 18, 2013)
U.S. Sees Hazy Threat From Mali Militants (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/africa/us-sees-hazy-threat-from-mali-militants.html?ref=africa)(January 17, 2013)
French Strikes in Mali Supplant Caution of U.S. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/world/africa/french-jets-strike-deep-inside-islamist-held-mali.html?ref=africa)(January 14, 2013)
News Analysis: Hollande, Long Seen as Soft, Shifts Image With Firm Stance (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/world/europe/francois-hollande-moves-away-from-his-image.html?ref=africa)(January 14, 2013)
U.S. Warplanes Enter Somalia Airspace (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/world/africa/us-warplanes-enter-somali-airspace.html?ref=africa)(January 14, 2013)
Malian Rebels Take Town and Vow to Avenge French Attack (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/world/france-mali-intervention.html?ref=africa)(January 15, 2013)




http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/01/17/world/sub-jp-mali1/sub-jp-mali1-articleInline.jpg (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/01/17/world/sub-jp-mali1.html','sub_jp_mali1_html','width=720,height= 563,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes'))Mic hel Moutot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

French troops arrived near the town of Markala on Wednesday to secure a strategic bridge.

Enlarge This Image (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/01/17/world/17mali2_337.html','17mali2_337_html','width=720,he ight=563,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes' ))
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/01/17/world/17mali2_337/17mali2_337-articleInline.jpg (javascript:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/01/17/world/17mali2_337.html','17mali2_337_html','width=720,he ight=563,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes' ))
Marco Gualazzini for The New York Times

French soldiers rested in a hangar at the Malian Army air base in Bamako, where the French army has set up its military headquarters.


The French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced on Thursday that French forces in Mali now number 1,400 — 600 more than the figure given on Wednesday.
“This morning there are 1,400 French soldiers on Malian soil,” he said. “There was combat yesterday, on the ground and from the air. There was more overnight and it is continuing at this moment.” He gave no details or locations for the exchanges and did not say who was involved in the fighting.
France (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/france/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) had said earlier that its ground forces had stayed out of the fighting so far, limiting its intervention in Mali to aerial assaults at the front lines and bombing runs on extremist strongholds deeper into the Islamist-held north.
But diplomats at the United Nations Security Council said on Wednesday that 30 to 40 French special forces troops landed in central Mali a week ago and joined Malian soldiers in ground combat against the militants almost immediately.
The French troops had been sent in as spotters to help French bombers find their targets, the diplomats said, but after the Malian forces alongside them faced an intense militant onslaught, the French troops suddenly found themselves engaged in skirmishes last Friday.
“Our enemies were well armed, well equipped, well trained and determined,” said a senior French diplomat.
Beyond that, a Malian colonel said that his army’s ground troops had joined French forces on Wednesday and ringed the village of Diabaly, which Islamist fighters had seized the day before. Now, he said, they were trying to extricate the militants, who had taken over homes and ensconced themselves, managing to stay put despite hours of airstrikes by French warplanes the night before.
“It’s a very specialized kind of war,” the colonel said about the effort to dislodge the militants. “The town is surrounded.” Residents fleeing the town told French broadcasters that the insurgents were still in control there on Thursday.
The fighting took place for much of the day, another top-ranking Malian officer said, confirming that French ground forces had engaged in combat alongside Malian soldiers against the jihadists entrenched in Diabaly.
The Islamists overran Diabaly and a nearby Malian Army outpost on Monday despite heavy air bombardment by French planes and helicopter gunships, embarrassing the French, who had said they had blunted the Islamist advance into southern Mali.
Since then, French officials have acknowledged that bombing alone would not be enough to drive out the Islamist fighters who have advanced ever further into Mali, but they have typically been reluctant to say when exactly ground operations would begin.
President François Hollande (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/francois_hollande/index.html?8qa) of France has been blunt about his overall intentions, however. “What do we plan to do with the terrorists?” he said on Tuesday. “Destroy them. Capture them, if possible, and make sure that they can do no harm in the future.”
France (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/france/index.html?8qa) is moving quickly toward a deeper engagement in Mali, trying to stabilize the south while hitting hard with air power at Islamist bases and concentrations in the north. France is building up its troops in Mali to 2,500, and officials made it clear that those troops would take the fight to the rebels along with Malian forces.
Other African nations have pledged troops, the Security Council diplomats said, including Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin and Chad. The question is whether they are operational. Chadian officials said on Thursday that their country would contribute 2,000 soldiers.
Adam Nossiter reported from Bamako, Neil MacFarquhar from the United Nations, and Alan Cowell from Paris. Steven Erlanger contributed reporting from Paris, Julia Werdigier from London, and Elisabeth Bumiller from Madrid.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/world/africa/france-mali-intervention.html?ref=world&_r=0

garpk
01-17-2013, 02:44 PM
President François Hollande (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/francois_hollande/index.html?8qa) of France has been blunt about his overall intentions, however. “What do we plan to do with the terrorists?” he said on Tuesday. “Destroy them. Capture them, if possible, and make sure that they can do no harm in the future.”
France (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/france/index.html?8qa) is moving quickly toward a deeper engagement in Mali, trying to stabilize the south while hitting hard with air power at Islamist bases and concentrations in the north. France is building up its troops in Mali to 2,500, and officials made it clear that those troops would take the fight to the rebels along with Malian forces.


I am not used to reading the French can actually have a pair of .... I may need to change my outlook on them...

Knaur
01-17-2013, 07:24 PM
I am not used to reading the French can actually have a pair of .... I may need to change my outlook on them...

They couldn't have become a colonial power without a pair, I guess it was their rotten luck that the enemy they traditionally had, the UK, was pretty much defeating everyone throughout the time it was in conflict with them.

WW2 of course cemented their infamy further, but this is a different kind of war, after all, the mighty Russians had to leave A-stan despite defeating far better foes throughout their history.

Knaur
01-17-2013, 07:27 PM
'
I agree it is important to stop the advance of Islamic terror everywhere. What are the objectives of France? Do they just want to stop the advance or do they want to rid the entire country of the Islamic terrorists? Will they accept the current corrupt government or will they demand democratic elections in which case the Islamists may win by ballot like they did in Egypt?

They want to get the country rid of terrorists.

There are Islamists and then there are Islamists, the kind in Mali are straightout Al Queda blokes and they have full control of the country, its like Al Quedastan with all the horrible implications.

So its not a case of the govt. supporting Islamists but the whole nation being a huge sort of terror camp.

I don't think they ll pull an Egypt here, France doesn't have the same moral dilemma as USA or others as their actions in Africa have shown, if they feel its in their interest to go, well, un-democratic, they ll do it.

Knaur
01-20-2013, 05:58 AM
http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/8200157/3000-more-troops-likely-for-Mali

Knaur
01-20-2013, 05:59 AM
http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/france-seeks-support-africa-s-mali-force-5322179

http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/world_news/2013/01/man_wears_french_flag_in_mali__2_3_4_N2.jpg
Yacouba Konate, 56, wears a French flag to show his support for the French military intervention in Mali in the Malian capital of Bamako. - Source: Reuters

Knaur
01-20-2013, 06:03 AM
Pretty big tactical victory, lets see how it translates into strategy though -

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/radical-islamists-leave-mali-town-of-diabaly-residents-say/article7560792/?cmpid=rss1

Knaur
01-21-2013, 02:30 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57564884/french-airstrikes-jolt-islamists-in-mali/

Knaur
01-21-2013, 02:31 AM
http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/french-troops-advance-in-mali-islamists-melt-away-5323101

Knaur
01-21-2013, 11:35 PM
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/uk-counter-terrorism-intelligence-aid-algeria-155557619.html

garpk
01-22-2013, 05:05 PM
The article below is why I am careful on supporting the French even when they are doing the world a favor. They will sell Israel out (as well as anyone else) in a second if it is in their interest...
.large_body p, .large_body span { font-size: 18px; } .small_body p, .small_body span { font-size: 12px; }The French intervention in Mali and Israel

By HERB KEINON (http://www.jpost.com/Authors/AuthorPage.aspx?id=107)
01/19/2013 21:53





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Analysis: French activity in Mali will likely give Paris another reason to push hard on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

http://www.jpost.com/HttpHandlers/ShowImage.ashx?ID=211627French soldiers heading to Mali, January 2013. Photo: Reuters
Mali, for most Israelis, is far, far away, and the dramatic events unfolding there do not really have much of an impact on life here – especially in the heat of an election campaign.
With Likud Beytenu throwing mud at Bayit Yehudi, and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni trashing Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich, who has time to follow reports of the bold French intervention in Mali to stem Islamic jihadists from taking over the northern part of that country in western Africa? And yet we should take note, and not only because keeping al-Qaida affiliates from gaining a base anywhere on the globe is in Israel’s interests, as it is in the interest of the rest of the world. We should take note because the French activity there – fighting Muslims in another far-flung corner of the globe – will likely give Paris yet another reason, yet more motivation, to push hard on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Related:

The French intervention in Mali and Israel (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=300136)

The French, now facing real threats from Islamic radicals to extract vengeance on their nationals wherever they are because of the Mali operation, will want to prove their bona fides; they will want to show the Islamic world that they have nothing against Muslims. And what better way for Paris to show the Muslim world that it really has nothing against it – that it is only fighting radical Islamic global jihadists – than to champion the Palestinian cause.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would do well to brace for a French-led, full-court press for a resumption of the diplomatic process after the elections. And that will likely lead to placing significant heat on Israel.
Already last week French President François Hollande was quoted by Ma’ariv as saying that a French Middle East peace initiative, aimed at bringing Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiating table, is expected after Tuesday’s elections.
AFP further reported that Hollande said a continued freeze in peace talks could lead to harsh repercussions from Europe.
“If the stagnation we saw in the last four years continues, their [Europe’s] dealings with anything pertaining to settlements will intensify,” he was quoted as saying, suggesting that the EU might ban entry to “extremist settlers.”
“Europe got used to imposing sanctions and knows how it’s done,” he was quoted as saying. “If there is a political desire to impose sanctions on Israeli elements, the mechanisms are already in place.”
Perhaps as a foretaste of what is in store, Paris took the lead Thursday in slamming Israel for issuing tenders to build some 200 new housing units in Efrat and Kiryat Arba, developments it had already blasted in early December, soon after Jerusalem announced plans to build some 3,000 units in the capital and the settlement blocs as part of its response to the Palestinian’s successful upgrade at the UN General Assembly.
Even though Netanyahu is in the thick of an election campaign, he took heed of the voices coming from Paris and called Hollande last week. After praising the French president for his decision to take action in Mali, Netanyahu threw in a thinly veiled jab.
“You took a brave step against extremist Islamic terrorism,” Netanyahu said, according to a readout of the call provided by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“In my meetings with African leaders I learned how much it threatens the future of the continent.
While there are countries for which the threat of terrorism is thousands of kilometers away from the homes of their citizens, we in Israel are familiar with the threat of global terrorism from up close. For us it is only a few hundred meters away from our homes.”
Netanyahu’s message was clear: “You are flying thousands of kilometers from Paris to take commendable military action because you think the terrorism in Mali can be used as a springboard against France and Europe. We are facing those threats a few hundred meters from our home, so don’t push us to take security risks – to withdraw from territory – that could bring Islamic radicals onto our very doorstep.”
Nevertheless, when the Mali adventure is over, Hollande is likely to come under domestic pressure to take a more assertive role vis-à-vis Israel.
The argument will likely follow these lines: “Paris dispatched French forces thousands of kilometers away and put French life on the line to act in an African nation because Hollande said that impacted on French security. So, too, the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the continued expansion of settlements, also impacts France’s security.”
According to this argument, the Palestinian- Israeli conflict feeds Islamic radicalism that is upsetting and further destabilizing the Middle East; and a destabilized Middle East threatens the security of France and Europe. As such, Hollande will be under pressure by those saying that just as he took action in Mali to secure French interests, he must do the same – albeit through diplomatic means and with measures which are obviously dramatically different than what he used in Mali – with Israel.
In other words, don’t be surprised if France hands Israel part of its Mali bill. •

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=300136

scelli
01-22-2013, 05:17 PM
The article below is why I am careful on supporting the French even when they are doing the world a favor.

Agreed.

In return, the world has done the French a number of favors throughout the last 150 years or so that have allowed their continued existence. I for one say it was about time they got off their pompous asses and returned the favor.

Knaur
01-22-2013, 11:51 PM
In return, the world has done the French a number of favors throughout the last 150 years or so that have allowed their continued existence. I for one say it was about time they got off their pompous asses and returned the favor.

Agreed.

And that's exactly why am fully supporting them now, they are finally getting their act together and I hope they have the impetus to carry it through.

Knaur
01-22-2013, 11:55 PM
The argument will likely follow these lines: “Paris dispatched French forces thousands of kilometers away and put French life on the line to act in an African nation because Hollande said that impacted on French security. So, too, the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the continued expansion of settlements, also impacts France’s security.”

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=300136

I find this is a ridiculous hypothesis and hopefully the French will too. There is no way Israeli settlement impacts French security as they are neither impacting the regions where France dervies Uranium from, nor training Jihadis that attack French interests. If anything, Palestinian Jihadis adversely impact French and world security.

This is not an article btw, its an opinion piece, not that there's anything wrong with it.

Knaur
01-23-2013, 04:37 AM
Local Al-Qaeda Affiliates In Western Sahara Shift To Global Jihad Agenda

http://www.rferl.org/content/mali-sahara-qaeda-jihad-agenda/24877967.html

garpk
01-24-2013, 04:52 PM
I find this is a ridiculous hypothesis and hopefully the French will too. There is no way Israeli settlement impacts French security as they are neither impacting the regions where France dervies Uranium from, nor training Jihadis that attack French interests. If anything, Palestinian Jihadis adversely impact French and world security.

This is not an article btw, its an opinion piece, not that there's anything wrong with it.

There is no logical connection but the press and European elitist will accept it anyway....

Knaur
01-25-2013, 01:51 AM
There is no logical connection but the press and European elitist will accept it anyway....

The media and liberal leftys are unfortunately anti-Semitists hiding behind the guise of fuzzy logic, I agree.

Knaur
01-25-2013, 02:44 AM
The Islamist factions have been split and isolated from one another, so step 2 is going well, let's see how it progresses.

http://www.voanews.com/content/african-force-for-mali-could-double-in-size/1589179.html

Knaur
01-25-2013, 11:27 AM
http://www.voanews.com/content/west-african-forces-join-french-in-mali-rebel-group-splits/1590506.html

Knaur
01-25-2013, 09:54 PM
9e BIMa is in overall theatre command, that's the Bde HQ, FFL's 2e REP, this ll be the Bn Battlegroup. Third Battlegroup will be tactical reserves.

10 Gazelle, 4 Cougar, 2 Mirage F1CR deployed, Mali.

Knaur
01-25-2013, 10:00 PM
Div. HQ is in Senegal, ATL2 (SIGINT, Airstrike) is here as well.

From Chad, 6 Mirage 2000, 4 Rafale, 5 KC 135.

2 UAV's operating off Niger.

Knaur
01-25-2013, 10:02 PM
Howitzer batteries and 2 Bn Battlegroup is on the way, one squadron of Armoured also, half a dozen transporter birds from foreign militaries are lending support as well.

Knaur
01-25-2013, 10:06 PM
Isayaret, look me up something on the rebel forces composition from your fancy French language African websites man :tongue: its the weekend.

New Ron
01-26-2013, 01:55 AM
I'll stand behind this ally, of whom they have some of the world finest troops, but I will not forget that the very same leftist politicians in charge today were the same ones who called America the Policeman of the world in less than a complimentary way, yet now and for a while France has actively taken over this title!

Not to mention that ALL these months the West African nations were offering to send troops to fight off these Islamists but MALI ITSELF refused, invoking that the other Africans were trying to take over command of the Malian lead, now Mali asks the white folk former colonialists once again to save their "butt" to put it bluntly. The very SAME Malians who were heard before asking France to get involved in African affairs and JUST LIKE SAUDI ARABIA and other muslims nations they will ask America and others to save them from other MUSLIMS who are no doubt a threat to us all!

What was the Malian military doing all these months that the Touareg rebels, Islamists and AL Qaeda were invading and taking over the North of Mali, installing sharia law and breaking national monuments? The Malian military was busy doing a COUP against their President and killing other Malians soldiers.

To tell you the truth I support this mission but with very little enthusiasm, once again shedding western blood and money for muslims who breed hate and then suffer from this hate.

US, UK, Denmark Norway are all loyal nations, part of NATO and they are doing what they must to support and ally and I wish them godspeed and victory over al qaeda savages, if it wasnt for the French, Northern Mali would still be under al qaeda rule so for once I hope the Malians and Africans in general STOP blaming colonialism when once again it is saving their behinds! Yet I see Malian commanders pumping chests as if it is their victory, the French let them because if they claim too much credit idiots in France itself and elsewhere will accuse France of imperialism, that infact many already are doing.

My 2 cents if you ask me.

Knaur
01-26-2013, 06:37 AM
We are not doing it for Moslems man, there are many non-Moslems like Isayaret in Africa, also we are doing it because its against us Al Queda will launch missions from this base pad. Glad you support the mission though.

New Ron
01-26-2013, 12:58 PM
I wish it was only that. I really wish.

Knaur
01-26-2013, 01:34 PM
Its very much in our long term interest to purge the region, and also in our favour that France should be one taking the lead.

New Ron
01-26-2013, 02:17 PM
If we were purging the region Id be all for it, its only a partial purging, the rest is only going to help these so called moderate muslims gain credibility that only radical muslims are a threat and that groups like the PLO are not to be considered terrorists even if hating Israel is done by most Malians, even the least radical ones.

I support the mission because fighting al qaeda as you put it, is in our long term interest. Its just going to be a partial victory for all of us, is what I am saying, while we celebrate al qaedas defeat another threat not recognized by the politically correct establishment will emerge stronger than before.

Its a win-lose situation, it always is when it involves muslims. It always is.

Knaur
01-26-2013, 02:23 PM
Well, one has to has realistic goals, certainly at this stage this is the best possible solution.

New Ron
01-26-2013, 02:33 PM
I agree with you. but it has become the "best option" because Mali refused the help of the CEDEAO and west african nations, Mali played us all well. That is all I meant by my original post, if we dont understand how others USE US for THEIR agendas, our own agendas will always end in partial failure .....

The media, the governments will want us to have amnesia about the other facts in order to look like its all good, and then when the rest of the story hits us in the face we all look stupid.

Knaur
01-26-2013, 02:36 PM
Very well, but we are not in it for Mali's interests but our own. I ll agree to disagree here.

New Ron
01-26-2013, 02:55 PM
I dont see any reason to agree to disagree, we agree. The war on terror in Mali is for both national interests and was done only at the demand of the Malian govt. France only accepted because it concerns the well being of France and Europe. I agree.

What I am saying and will once again repeat myself is that the Malians who are being helped in the process are not worthy of any praise in all this, nor do I feel sorry for them, for all they did during all this time was fight political wars and make coups while al qaeda was gaining ground in that area and endangering the world. They refused help from other african nations to fight al qaeda, but when it got too bad they cried for help from the one white man whom they were just blaming yesterday for being imperialists.

So while WE WIN in fighting al qaeda, we need to KEEP IN MIND that Mali are COWARDS and tomorrow they will also change their tune as they please.

Its just a paragraph to MY SUPPORT to France, that I found important enough that I should point out as no one else seems to be, yet these are all events that led up to the war we see today.

Knaur
01-26-2013, 10:26 PM
I see your point now.

Mali seems to be fighting back now, however, they alone are not guilty of doing too little too late, I do see what you mean though.

Knaur
01-26-2013, 10:52 PM
An RAF Sentinel from No. 5 Squadron is deployed now to offer support, with its ASTOR radar, it has proven its worth in Op Ellamy in the past.

New Ron
01-27-2013, 01:19 AM
I see your point now.

Mali seems to be fighting back now, however, they alone are not guilty of doing too little too late, I do see what you mean though.

Yeah. During the conflict the Malian military took time off to start a coup against their President, then got a new leader didnt allow him to rule and it was DURING this time that al qaeda gained so much territory, that they destroyed so much and installed sharia law.If the Malians had solicited more military aid sooner and FOUGHT back, al qaeda in the maghreb and the Tuareg groups would have been stuck right up North. Now its gotten to the point where the islamists have gotten so much they can actually start using the land to prepare for greater escapades that is one reason I believe France felt it had to step in, rightly so.

garpk
01-27-2013, 03:54 AM
Only time will tell what the ultimate French motives are...

Knaur
01-27-2013, 05:28 AM
Only time will tell what the ultimate French motives are...

Could you be a bit more generalising please :tongue: Only time will time what anyone's ultimate motives are pretty much.

vimana
01-27-2013, 06:26 PM
Could you be a bit more generalising please :tongue: Only time will time what anyone's ultimate motives are pretty much.

Any country lending a hand in the struggle to send the crazy religious fanatics to their afterlife has my full respect, hidden agenda or not. Vive la France, I say, and I hope they snuff them without pity.

On a lighter note, Knaur, my congratulations to you and your countrymen, on this anniversary of Indian sovereignty. Don't celebrate too hard! :headbang:

New Ron
01-27-2013, 08:26 PM
:tongue: Only time will time what anyone's ultimate motives are pretty much.

I think thats what he meant lol.:tongue:

Knaur
01-27-2013, 09:44 PM
I think thats what he meant lol.:tongue:

Heh I think he meant French strategic interests in Africa, but that is common knowledge already, unless one is expecting a revival of the French Empire, not that it can be any worse than the craphole African leaders have put the resource rich continent in.

Knaur
01-27-2013, 09:46 PM
Any country lending a hand in the struggle to send the crazy religious fanatics to their afterlife has my full respect, hidden agenda or not. Vive la France, I say, and I hope they snuff them without pity.

On a lighter note, Knaur, my congratulations to you and your countrymen, on this anniversary of Indian sovereignty. Don't celebrate too hard! :headbang:

Cheers and agreed, French agenda is not hidden, their strategic interests are out there, I see nothing wrong with it as long as it furthers our interests, and hey, if the French want to shed blood against Islamists, more power to them.

Thanks for the greetings, Republic Day is not to celebrate our sovereignity but our Constitutional Republicanism, 26th was Aus. Day also, today is Auckland day so long weekend here:biggrin:

Knaur
01-28-2013, 12:23 PM
2nd Battlegroup is in position and apparently 2REP, FFL did a combat jump yest., so the massive airstrikes may have been to soften targets up.

Knaur
01-28-2013, 09:08 PM
welcome on board!

Any info on Rebels' forces, disposition, Cdrs., weapons, key area HQs?

Knaur
01-29-2013, 06:17 AM
http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary/ref:C50FED9E953BBC/#.UP7cyqXcDy8

I may disagree with Prof. Clarke, but his points do have merit, specially as a stop-gap measure.

vimana
01-30-2013, 07:03 PM
I think everyone knew this thing really couldn't be delayed any longer. Some sort of construction project was underway in northern Mali when the Islamists seized power there, and the construction crews just jumped out of their earthmovers and fled for their lives. The Ansar Dine seized these machines at once, and started digging out bunkers and defensible positions in preparation for the attack they knew was coming. Blasting and burning those terrorists out of those tunnels would have been impossibly difficult and dangerous. Not that chasing them across the Sahel, which they know pretty well and can use to their advantage, is going to be a day at Disneyland either.

New Ron
01-31-2013, 01:43 AM
Anyway the French are winning, they are still stronger than the jihadists, that is the good news in all this.

Knaur
01-31-2013, 04:16 AM
Kidal is captured, the Jihadis turned tail and fled, French just walked into town to no resistance, typical extremist Islamist cowardice :biggrin:

Knaur
01-31-2013, 04:17 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/mali/9838620/Mali-UN-speeds-plan-for-peacekeeping-force.html

Mali: UN speeds plan for peacekeeping force

Knaur
01-31-2013, 04:18 AM
Canadian troops on the way, Stephen Harper denies they ll be used in combat, let's see.

Canadian SF is deployed in Bamako apparently for security duties, what kind of security SF does is anyone's guess :tongue:

Knaur
01-31-2013, 04:20 AM
All urban capitals are captured, next step in the plan is to train and let the Africans take over when possible with French retreating to their HQ's.

Knaur
02-01-2013, 03:01 PM
France, Africa face tough Sahara phase of Mali war
http://in.news.yahoo.com/france-africa-face-tough-sahara-phase-mali-war-100655647.html

Knaur
02-02-2013, 06:13 AM
http://www.voanews.com/content/malian-president-rules-out-talks-with-islamists/1594275.html

Damn right, no negotiation now that Jihadis are retreating, kill them all.

Knaur
02-05-2013, 11:47 AM
http://www.france24.com/en/20130205-mali-intervention-complicated-french-hostages-soldiers-military-hollande-biden

Knaur
02-05-2013, 11:51 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/04/tessalit-geostrategic-sahara-mali-tuareg

Knaur
02-05-2013, 11:59 AM
A neutral article on the intervention, I don't agree with it on many points (as I have stated before, I support the intervention fully) however, here is the differing opinion, I respect SAAG's opinion as the other articles I'v are either liberal or Islamist in nature -

http://www.eurasiareview.com/04022013-implications-of-french-intervention-in-mali-analysis/

Knaur
02-07-2013, 10:49 AM
http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20130206/179263782/Cocaine-Islam-Nomad-Pride-The-Roots-of-Malis-Crisis.html

http://en.rian.ru/images/17912/05/179120514.jpg (http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20130206/179263782.html)
Cocaine, Islam, Nomad Pride: The Roots of Mali’s Crisis
© RIA Novosti. Valeri Melnikov (http://en.rian.ru/)


19:12 06/02/2013






BAMAKO/SEVARE, Mali, February 6 (Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti) – Refugees at the camp in Sevare, a dusty town in central Mali, told RIA Novosti late last month that God is French.

Such exaltation has been rippling through much of the country, which managed to fight off an Islamist-tinged insurgency thanks to last month’s blitzkrieg intervention by the French Air Force. Red, white and blue French tricolors have been displayed all over Mali – for the first time, locals say, since the West African former colony gained independence in 1960.

The French may have stopped the rebels’ advance toward the capital, Bamako, but the year-old uprising is far from extinguished: Pro-government troops are still skirmishing with insurgents and Malian army officers worry that rebels have simply retreated to the Sahara or blended in with the local populace, and could launch a powerful new offensive as soon as French troops pull out.

The insurgency has been a motley mix of Islamists – including many non-Malians – and secular separatists from the desert Tuareg people. But they have conflicting agendas and have splintered since the unrecognized proclamation of an independent state in the Azawad region of northern Mali in April 2012.

The government and the moderate separatists have indicated a willingness to negotiate with each other, but not with the Islamists. This radical wing of the insurgency will pose some of the thorniest problems for Mali, but it is hardly the only obstacle to peace in the region: In addition to Tuareg separatism, domestic problems include an ineffective and corrupt government, a drug-trafficking boom in the Sahara and the recent return of fighters who served slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi – an armed influx that, most experts say, galvanized the current uprising.

Moreover, a challenging reconciliation effort may soon be needed, as the uprising has driven a deep wedge between the Tuareg and other Malians, who have grown distrustful of their northern neighbors.

“I will get back home,” Safetu Maiga, a refugee from the rebel-held town of Gao, said in the camp in Sevare. “But I will never be friends with my Tuareg neighbors there anymore.”


The Dream of Azawad Hijacked?

The Tuareg, a Berber people of northern Africa, have been the main inhabitants of the Western Sahara for at least 1,500 years, surviving on goat and camel herding, trans-Saharan trade and rents from lower-caste farmers in the oases and semi-arid Sahel region to the south of the great desert.

Their population of 1.2 million is spread across five African countries, including about 500,000 in Mali, according to national lawmaker Assarid Ag Imbarcawane, an ethnic Tuareg. But except for a tiny sultanate in the Aïr Mountains of northern Niger, the Tuareg have never had their own state.

Since 1960, Mali’s Tuareg have staged four rebellions, including the latest. The previous ones, however, had not been explicitly separatist, calling only for an end to alleged discrimination by the government in Bamako.

Earlier uprisings had ended in greater representation for the Tuareg in government and the army, as well as more money for development, according to local political analyst Fily Mohamed Diallo. But grievances in the region continued to simmer.

The latest rebellion, which began in January 2012, mutated from a secular separatist movement into hard-core sharia-zation, with calls for political self-determination replaced in six months’ time by violently enforced bans on alcohol, cigarettes, Western music and other perceived vices.

How this happened isn’t entirely clear.

Initially led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a secular separatist group, the insurgency made strong headway in the first four months of 2012. By April, the rebels controlled all three regions in the country’s north, encompassing 60 percent of Mali’s territory, but less than one-tenth of its 14.5 million people. The national army suffered such heavy losses – estimated in media reports at around 160 dead and 400 captured soldiers – that the defeats precipitated a military coup d’état in March. The MNLA then proclaimed its independent Tuareg state of Azawad, though it failed to win international recognition.

Between spring and summer, however, the tide changed. In July, the MNLA was sidelined by its Islamist allies, most prominently the Ansar Dine group. While the numerical advantage seemed to be on the side of the MNLA – which fielded 2,500 to 5,000 fighters, according to estimates voiced last March on Al Jazeera by Jeremy Keenan, a prominent London-based expert on the region – the Islamist fighters, whose numbers did not exceed 1,000 according to most media reports, were well armed and well trained and seemed to rely on a core of highly motivated foreigners, either mercenaries or dedicated jihadists.
http://en.rian.ru/images/17926/38/179263872.jpg © RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov
A woman waits at Sevare’s distribution center for humanitarian aid to refugees.



Ansar Dine began imposing sharia in the territories it controlled, introducing corporal punishment, mutilations and the death penalty for various crimes.

Last month, the Islamists set out for Bamako, steamrolling the Malian army units in their path.

This prompted France to deploy 3,500 of its own troops for Operation Serval, which drove the rebels back into the desert and recaptured their main strongholds, Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

Democracy vs. Effectiveness

One reason Mali’s government could not maintain control of the rebellious north was that Bamako’s impressive track record on democracy coexisted with direly poor governance, said Moustapha Dicko, a senior functionary with the ADEMA-PASJ party, which holds 51 of 160 seats in the Malian legislature.

Defying stereotypes about African political leaders, ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure, in power since 2002, had eliminated political opponents by giving them jobs in government, not bunks in prison cells.

But the downside of this “consensus democracy” was an utter lack of consensus and, consequently, of meaningful policy, said Evgueni Korendyasov, Russia’s ambassador to Mali in 1997-2001 and now an Africa researcher with the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Worse still, many appointees had no administrative skills and busied themselves stuffing their pockets, not running the country, local experts said. Corruption also undermined efforts to alleviate poverty among the Tuareg, because much of the state’s investment in the region was simply siphoned off. Mali ranked 105th of 174 countries in the 2012 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International.

“Our government is very weak, and our democracy very superficial,” said Dicko.

The military in particular suffered from inefficient management and poor funding. It became a last resort for the unemployed, many of whom enlisted despite being unfit for service or simply never intending to fight, Diallo, the political analyst, said.

Morale was low even among the core of military professionals, disgruntled at what they perceived as preferential treatment of Tuareg officers in accord with the earlier peace settlements, several Malian army officers told RIA Novosti on condition of anonymity.

Combat readiness suffered further from obsolete military equipment, most of it obtained from the Soviet Union. The Malian Air Force is still flying MiG-21 fighter jets, mass-produced since the late 1950s.

The rebellion proved the last straw: After Bamako largely failed to respond to the butchering of dozens of soldiers at the start of the uprising, disgruntled military men ousted President Toure. Reports said at the time that the men had never planned a coup and just wanted to vent their anger, but things snowballed. Toure fled to Senegal and power was grabbed by a military junta allegedly still running Mali from behind the scenes.

The Sahara’s Secret Life

As Bamako grew weaker in recent years, the Tuareg elites grew stronger. One important factor has been trans-Saharan trade, which has changed a lot since the time of the medieval Mali and Ghana empires that traded in gold and salt.

The modern Sahara thrives on smuggling, with goods such as consumer electronics flowing to Africa from Europe – the city of Gao in Mali’s north is advertised as the best place in the country to buy a satellite dish – and a steady trickle of would-be illegal migrants going the other way in hopes of securing passage to the European Union.
http://en.rian.ru/images/17927/55/179275585.jpg © RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov
Malian soldiers in the liberated town of Konna.




More importantly, the Sahara serves as a vital route for South African cocaine bound for Europe. An estimated 60 tons of drugs, mostly cocaine, pass through the desert every year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in 2009.

In addition to drug lords, the desert region has started to attract Islamists, who seek to complete an “arc of instability” from the Sahara to Afghanistan, said Korendyasov, the ex-ambassador.

Osama bin Laden and a number of his associates were based in Sudan between 1991 and 1996, and several radical groups in Algeria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia have publicly admitted ties to al-Qaida since the early 1990s.

In Mali, the preaching of jihad came complete with monetary incentives: A new recruit to an Islamist group could count on a salary of about $900 a month, according to on-the-ground sources cited by Korendyasov. This in a country with annual per capita GDP of $1,100.

The jihadists were also reported to be providing money for community needs such as water wells, Korendyasov said, though he could not say how widespread the practice was.

Finally, an important factor that facilitated the uprising was the return of Tuareg mercenaries who had served Libyan leader Gaddafi.

Libya had business interests in Mali, and Gaddafi enlisted several thousand Tuareg, for whom service in the Libyan army was a career prospect that, until recently, had been unavailable to them in Mali.

After Gaddafi's death during Libya’s own insurgency in 2011, between 800 and 4,000 Tuareg veterans, according to analyst Keenan’s figures, quietly returned to their homeland in Mali. They brought along their firearms, including anti-aircraft guns and other equipment unavailable to the Tuareg during past rebellions, when they sometimes had to resort to traditional takouba swords, in addition to Kalashnikovs.

Saying No to the Radicals

Despite the rebellion’s initial success, fears of Mali becoming an “Afghanistan-lite” appear exaggerated because the majority of its population opposes fundamentalism, experts and politicians agreed.

An estimated 85 percent of Malians adhere to Islam, but the laidback local version of the True Faith permits alcohol and music, largely avoids dress codes for both sexes, and has generally stayed away from sectarian conflicts.

“We've never paid attention to any divisions in Islam. As long as you pray to Allah, you are welcome here,” the head imam of Mopti, a city of 110,000 in central Mali, told RIA Novosti in an interview last month.

Conservative Islam is gaining a foothold in the country – a trend attributed to Qatar's massive financial investment in building mosques and madrases and educating clerics, politician Dicko said.
http://en.rian.ru/images/17911/12/179111225.png © Wikipedia.org
Regions of Mali



“But most Malians are of moderate religious views, and the popularity of radical Islam is likely to wane due to the uprising,” he added.

Celeste Hicks, a former BBC journalist who lived in Africa, including Mali, from 2004 to 2010, believes that even “the original Tuareg call for full independence” is unlikely to garner widespread support in northern Mali.

“The Tuareg are only one of several ethnic groups in the north of Mali, which also include Songhai, Fulani, Bella and groups from southern Mali,” she wrote in emailed comments Wednesday. “While the Tuareg's grievance with the Malian state goes right back to Mali's independence in 1960, […] other ethnic groups in the north have in the past distanced themselves from the Tuareg position. Many may well also view the Tuaregs as having been partly responsible for the collapse of the Malian state in 2012.”

The Unreliable People

While the French intervention kept the rebels out of Bamako and other southern cities, the northern regions are still in danger because Mali’s army remains incapable of repelling them without foreign assistance, several army officers admitted to RIA Novosti, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic.

This is a problem, given that France intends to pull out of Mali within weeks, according to French President Francois Hollande, who visited the country last weekend.

The current plan is to substitute the French force with a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping mission comprising 3,300 troops from the ECOWAS bloc, made up of 15 West African countries, which was originally set to deploy in September 2013.

Imbarcawane, the ethnic Tuareg lawmaker, believes the mission would suffice to pacify the region and prevent further Islamist uprisings in the Sahara.

But Diallo, the analyst, believes effectively controlling the Sahara by purely military means is unfeasible, a position shared by sources in the Malian army.

Most experts and politicians interviewed for this article agreed that the only viable solution was negotiations with the moderate Tuareg, who could be offered greater autonomy and more self-governance within Mali, though probably not independence.

The process is already beginning: The MNLA indicated its willingness to talk with Bamako late last year, and so did a group that splintered from Ansar-Dine in January. The proposal was supported last week by Mali’s acting president, Dioncounda Traore.

But no solution was proposed for the Islamists, who may now resort to terrorist tactics, several French and Malian military officials said in media comments.

Moreover, a political solution could be hampered by the growing resentment between the Tuareg and black Malians, many of whom see the separatists' claim to independence and affiliation with radical Islam as an attack on national lifestyle or outright betrayal.

“This story showed the Tuareg are unreliable people,” said Bubakar Yalkuye, a resident of the town of Konna, where a pitched battle between the rebels and the French army took place in mid-January.

“I had Tuareg neighbors I grew up with, and they are alright in peaceful times,” he said.

“But now it’s clear you cannot trust them,” he summed up, standing among the rubble of the destroyed town hall, filled with burned-out APCs and remnants of gun-toting pickup trucks.

garpk
02-07-2013, 04:46 PM
Kidal is captured, the Jihadis turned tail and fled, French just walked into town to no resistance, typical extremist Islamist cowardice :biggrin:

The problem is once the French leave the Islamic cowards will come out of hidding and cause more trouble... France does not have the budget or will to stay there long term...

garpk
02-07-2013, 04:47 PM
Mali war costs debt-laden France 70 million euros




© AFP

France has spent an average of 2.7 million euros per day on its military intervention in Mali so far, an expenditure that could be questioned as the war effort in the West African nation evolves.


By Joseph BAMAT (http://www.france24.com/en/category/tags-auteurs/joseph-bamat) (text)

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a closed-door parliamentary commission on Wednesday that the country’s war in Mali had cost 70 million euros so far, according to information initially leaked to French media and later confirmed by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
The cost of the war has risen above daily estimates for France’s military involvement in Libya and Afghanistan, and could be questioned at home as the intervention in the West African country enters a new stage.


http://www.france24.com/en/misc/feed.png (http://www.france24.com/en/taxonomy/term2/feed/1669/all/all/all/all/all)The Malian crisis



http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/france24_special_169_medium/article/image/mali-new_3.jpg (http://www.france24.com/en/20130121-timeline-malian-crisis-france-military-hollande-islamist-militants-aqmi-un-al-qaeda)
MALI
Timeline: the Malian crisis (http://www.france24.com/en/20130121-timeline-malian-crisis-france-military-hollande-islamist-militants-aqmi-un-al-qaeda)














France’s effort to reclaim northern Mali from armed rebels, including hard-line Islamists, has cost an average of 2.7 million euros per day since it was launched on January 11. That figure compared to an average cost of 1.6 million euros per day for the intervention that toppled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and 1.4 million euros per day for the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, Le Parisien daily reported.
According to Alexandre Vautravers, head of the International Relations Department at Webster University in Geneva and a military history expert, the figures revealed are likely to be a low assessment.
“It all depends on what you are counting, but in regards to France, estimates [of war costs] tend to be very conservative,” the scholar told France 24.
War bonuses and wheels
Vautravers said that French soldiers’ salaries and war bonuses were the largest single budget items in any war, but that France had deployed an especially large amount of material, including heavy ground vehicles, in a short time in Mali.
Le Drian told members of parliament that France had mobilised 10,000 tons of military material in 15 days in Mali, according to Le Parisien. Transportation of soldiers and military hardware had cost 50 million euros so far, the newspaper quoted the defence minister as saying.
France’s so-called “Serval” operation in Mali counts 4,600 soldiers, 3,500 of which are serving on the ground. France’s Defence Ministry has said the operation has reached its maximum troop level.
Speaking to RMC radio (http://www.rmc.fr/editorial/346706/fabius-la-guerre-au-mali-a-deja-coute-70-millions-d-euros/) on Thursday, Foreign Minister Fabius remained vague about how long French combat troops would remain on the ground. “Beginning in March we will begin to lower our presence, but that does not mean we will leave from one day to the next,” he said. “We need to pass the baton to the Malians and the Africans.”
Maintaining support at home
Fabius said the war represented “a great effort” for France, which is struggling to balance its budget while tackling low growth and high unemployment.
So far the public has largely rallied behind President François Hollande (http://www.france24.com/en/20130131-hollande-unpopular-france-economy-strike)’s war in Mali. Favourable opinion of France’s role in the embattled country is likely to continue in the short term, despite the revelation of its costs, according to Webster University’s Vautravers.
However, the war expert said there could be challenges as the “straightforward” military mission gave way building up Mali’s weakened government and transferring security operations to Malian and African troops (http://www.france24.com/en/20130206-france-un-peacekeeping-force-mali-april-islamist-rebels).
“Down the line news could filter out about dissention or corruption within the Mali government. Then the nature of the debate could be quite different,” Vautravers said. “Things will become less manageable over time, and it’s then that people could start questioning the amount of money France spends in Mali.”
http://www.france24.com/en/files/element_multimedia/image/banner_zone2-MALI-dossier_v.jpg (http://www.france24.com/en/20130119-mali-crisis-islamist-militants-north-france-military-intervention)




http://www.france24.com/en/20130207-mali-war-costs-france-70-million-euros

garpk
02-07-2013, 04:47 PM
I would have though that the cost would be much higher. Good job by France....

Knaur
02-07-2013, 09:32 PM
The problem is once the French leave the Islamic cowards will come out of hidding and cause more trouble... France does not have the budget or will to stay there long term...

The plan is for Western trained and advised African forces and UN peacekeepers to take over. I have zero faith in UN but African forces will just have to have their baptism under fire.

scelli
02-07-2013, 09:50 PM
War bonuses and wheels
Vautravers said that French soldiers’ salaries and war bonuses were the largest single budget items in any war...



Someone mind explaining to me just what a "war bonus" consists of in the French armed forces? Is that some sort of glorified combat pay? :confused:

Knaur
02-07-2013, 10:02 PM
Someone mind explaining to me just what a "war bonus" consists of in the French armed forces? Is that some sort of glorified combat pay? :confused:

Yes, I believe its "journalist" translation for combat pay also including overseas allowance, like Legionnaires deployed in Djibouti get double the salary than when they are deployed in the mean streets of Corsica :biggrin:

Knaur
02-11-2013, 07:45 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324880504578295673625503026.html?m od=googlenews_wsj

AEWHistory
02-14-2013, 04:35 PM
I ll be damned, Canada and Estonia are doing more than USA and EU right now.

Hey, don't mess with Estonia--that's one badass army they've got there! Why I heard that they'd have easily fought off the Soviets in 1940 if they just could've decided which solider would hold the gun and which got to hold the bullets. One of history's great lessons....
:33:

Knaur
02-14-2013, 07:45 PM
Hey, don't mess with Estonia--that's one badass army they've got there! Why I heard that they'd have easily fought off the Soviets in 1940 if they just could've decided which solider would hold the gun and which got to hold the bullets. One of history's great lessons....
:33:

Hey, I like my Estonians, all Baltic chicks are hot :tongue: and I actually know a couple of Estonian army chaps, kid you not :biggrin:

Here is my fave poem by an Estonian poet -


by Jürgen Rooste
* * *

what’s the use of poetry
I ask you – what

does poetry reconcile
our divorced parents
pit-a-pat holding hands
bring them together again
as it’s often seen
as has always been
birdsong and sunshine


why do we need poetry

does it somehow help
to give up alcohol
by god’s arse
I said “give up alcohol”
why give it up
it’s our national idiosyncrasy
a trademark more powerful than ”welcome to estonia”
I will mother****in’ phone ya
then we’ll go to a bar

already hemingway knew
that in each port in the world
there’s an estonian
completely plastered
****ed and broke

why do we need poetry

when our mothers start off
as alconauts of outer space
or vanish into working race
a crack appears between us
leaving no common place
and antidepressants rule
in a castrated universe

what’s the use of poetry

whether anybody gives a damn
when an arseful of idiots
writes pretty and vague words
that war is bad
don’t wage wars
is any lives spared then

that money is bad
I will not go to the surreal superhypermegamarket today


what’s the use of poetry

does it pay my rent
and goes to work for me
and has a clever idea
how I could even
fall in love with my wife again
does it keep away hunger
and watch over me one drunken night
in town
and when I’m down
and beat

and passers-by won’t stop
does it help me to my feet

on the other hand
who needs the republic of estonia
the republic of estonia is like the poetry of a compulsive scribbler
the land of wind yes thanks-please farewell
blow me away from here into hell
and the banks are like classic
poetry worth gold and
scientists are messing with their rhymes
a sociologist is searching
for alliterative words to
get some life into
foggy research files
yes and sex is like poetry
a proper **** contains quite a few
four-foot trochees
professional sport is written
in elegiac distichs

I ask why
why
do we need poetry

I ask myself and the guy
who washes cars for living
and that pretty
babe at the foreign cultural institute
who imports poets
and the gaytvnewsreader in the pretty nightclub
neon lit
I phone the sex line and
the 24-hour locksmith
and ask them who needs

poooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooetry

listen what they tell me
listen yourself
this is almost poetry
this is almost
worthy of our greatest poet’s strophes

yes indeed
why

***




in danish town rivers are flowing’
who said there were none
in my dreams danish town roars
like a waterfall
down o’er the edge of the world

each of my thoughts is a flash
from a machine-gun tape
every quiver of my body
is a signal from a radio transmitter
is someone out there

some marvellous amateur


*

at work
they want me to be
a duracell rabbit

what comes out is the usual guinea-pig

at home they expect me
to bustle about
like an eager daddy penguin

and not like your average tipsy bullfinch

but my heart my
heart is free as an onion
a bulb underneath and tops on top

in a gently roaring nordic wind

scelli
02-14-2013, 10:35 PM
Saw Ernest Hemingway mentioned. Am I the only one here who finds Hemingway highly overrated? I've tried a number of times throughout the years to read and enjoy his work without success. :confused:

Little Rock
02-14-2013, 11:29 PM
Saw Ernest Hemingway mentioned. Am I the only one here who finds Hemingway highly overrated? I've tried a number of times throughout the years to read and enjoy his work without success. :confused:

Shalom.

Vastly over rated. "Ask not for whom the bells toll for they toll for thee who died of boredom whilst trying to plough through my book."

Cheers

scelli
02-14-2013, 11:51 PM
Shalom.

Vastly over rated. "Ask not for whom the bells toll for they toll for thee who died of boredom whilst trying to plough through my book."

Cheers

Only full-length book I actually finished was the posthumously published A Movable Feast...and certainly wouldn't bother reading it again. Found various anthologies of his shorter works just as uninspiring, including the most vaunted stories.

On the other hand: It was really interesting to read what F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his memoirs about he and Zelda's relationship with Hemingway.

Knaur
02-16-2013, 09:20 AM
Saw Ernest Hemingway mentioned. Am I the only one here who finds Hemingway highly overrated? I've tried a number of times throughout the years to read and enjoy his work without success. :confused:

I don't find him over-rated, and enjoy his works. However, he isn't one of my faves.

New Ron
04-04-2013, 03:07 PM
This is what I meant by the idiot Malian military fighting their own camps instead of al qaeda. They have been at it for months and even after the French are doing all the hard work and let me remind all its costing France millions of Euros, and the Malians are still bickering like savage tribes. We see the same in Afghanistan and Iraq, the credit to the freedom there is thanks to America and her allies NOT Karzai. same thing in Mali, if it wasnt for the French, al qaeda would still be in charge if not all the way in Bamako!

Mali troops attack Red Beret camp: reports
February 08, 2013 11:20PM

inShare

http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2012/10/12/1226494/499332-newsletter-article-promo.jpg (http://pages.e.newsdigitalmedia.com.au/GPC?a=News)

A GUNFIGHT has erupted in the Malian capital as soldiers attacked a camp of elite paratroopers loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, military sources and witnesses say.

"From 6am (1700 AEDT) heavily armed soldiers, from all units, attacked the camp," said Yaya Bouare, one of the "Red Beret" soldiers inside the camp that was attacked.

"There are many injured inside the camp."

The camp includes housing for military families.

"The soldiers arrived in armoured cars and pickup trucks, all of them armed to the teeth to attack our base," said Batoma Dicko, a woman who lives in the military camp.

"The women and children tried to stop them from entering the camp. They shot tear gas at us and started shooting volleys in the air."

Dr Amadou Diallo, who works at the infirmary in the camp, known as Djicoroni Para Camp, said there was at least one dead and five wounded.

Bamako residents living near the barracks confirmed the attack and one of them said the Red Berets had "fired shots in the air" overnight.
Bouare said the attack was linked to a declaration by army chief of defence staff General Tahirou Dembele on television earlier this week, who ordered the paratroopers to the frontline of a French-led war with radical Islamists in the north.

"As we have this problem in the north on our hands, you will go and fight with your brothers in arms", he said, adding he had decided to incorporate the elite soldiers within other units.

But the paratroopers refused to join their new units, or to leave their camp.

The Red Berets formed part of an elite presidential guard protecting Toure, who was ousted in March last year by a group of "Green Berets" - infantry and other units.

The coup came after soldiers from Mali's poor and ramshackle army were humiliated in the north by well-armed Tuareg fighters who launched a rebellion for independence in January.

A month after the presidential ouster, the paratroopers launched a failed counter-coup and fighting between the feuding factions left about 20 people dead.

With Bamako in disarray, the Tuareg and Islamist allies seized the entire north before the extremists chased away the secular Tuareg rebels and installed a brutal form of sharia.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/mali-troops-attack-red-beret-camp-reports/story-e6frfkui-1226574277534#ixzz2PVVbRNW3

New Ron
04-04-2013, 03:08 PM
Hehe, Knaur sorry for bring back this old thread from the dead also :D