War on Terror in Mali

Abraham Lincoln referred to the "terrible arithmetic" that it would take for the Union to win the civil war, meaning that the greater number of soldiers supported by the more advanced economy would eventually wear the Confederates down, though at great cost in human life. As recently as the Second World War and Korea, armies … Continue reading “War on Terror in Mali”

An Ally Out of Control

As in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, an aggressive France threatens to pull the United States into another brushfire, nation-building war in the developing world. This time it is in the West African state of Mali. The French have panicked because Islamists, who earlier took over northern Mali, began to move toward southern … Continue reading “An Ally Out of Control”

Napoleon in Mali

As the French invade Mali under the guise of fighting "Islamic terrorism," the reawakening of long dormant French imperialism straddles the fine line between comedy and tragedy. A French air strike against a rebel-held town wound up killing over a hundred, including many civilians, but the triumphal mood in Paris soon dimmed when it was … Continue reading “Napoleon in Mali”

America’s Wars: The Gifts That Keep on Giving

The U.S. government recently designated the Syrian opposition group Jabhat al-Nusra Front a foreign terrorist organization. The move was designed to built Western support against the Syrian government by alleviating fears that money and weapons donated to the opposition would flow to a militant group. The designation means that Americans cannot have financial ties to … Continue reading “America’s Wars: The Gifts That Keep on Giving”

Anatomy of a Mali Intervention

Gauging U.S. military policy — at least on a meta level — isn’t as hard as it looks, as long as you remember a few general axioms: like, what seems to be true today, will almost certainly change tomorrow, and never, ever listen to a four-star commander when he says “direct U.S. intervention is unlikely.” … Continue reading “Anatomy of a Mali Intervention”

Meddling in Mali

The United States is meddling in another internal civil war to prevent a “terrorist haven” from developing. This time it’s not in Somalia or Yemen but instead in the West African country of Mali. The United States and France are concerned that Islamists have taken over northern Mali, and the two countries are heavily leaning … Continue reading “Meddling in Mali”

Next Stop Mali?

Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, head of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), stood at a podium in Algeria and addressed the deteriorating security conditions in the neighboring country of Mali. (For those geographically-challenged, remember when you were a kid and people used to say, “that’s way out in Timbuktu”? Well, this is that place, literally). … Continue reading “Next Stop Mali?”

Mali Heading Closer to Civil War

NIAMEY – Since January, various groups of Tuareg rebels in Mali have come together in an attempt to administer a new northern state called Azawad. While this was announced on April 6, the rebel grouping’s control of the region remains questionable, and the roots behind the conflict complex. After the colonial French departed in 1960, … Continue reading “Mali Heading Closer to Civil War”