'Imperialism Ho!' - France invades Mali to help it against Islamist revolt

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Sorry about the bombastic headline, but I find it rather catchy. Earlier this week France answered the calls for help from Mali's leaders and launched a military operation against rebels in the north of Mali's country. The rebels have organized themselves in the north of the country.

This began as a military coup against Mali's president. During the coup, the power vacuum created an opportunity for several groups to take advantage of. Most prominent of them is an Islamist group linked with Al-Qaeda that have acquired experienced soldiers and weapons from the Libyan civil war. The base of this organization is the Tuareg ethnic group, which are predominantly nomads and Muslim that live in the north of Mali, and are also found in neighboring countries (such as Algeria and Niger). The group had been imposing religious law over the territory they captured. They have been destroying many artifacts in the old city of Timbuktu that they see as an insult to their religion.

The situation have escalated since the rebels had pushed southwards in recent weeks. France's military will help Mali in stopping this revolt, but the fear of it leaking through borders and spreading to other countries is very real. Neighboring countries also consider invading Niger to "help it" against their problem. The south of the country is under martial law and a status of 'total war' had been recently declared in the country.

EDIT: Oh, before I forget - France had gone in alone because the UN won't do jack shit about it. The UN asked for a detailed plan of the actions which would have been taken if it sent military assistance. France was tired of waiting and just jumped right in. Good work France!

Source

Huh. So France is doing the invading this time. Will be interesting in seeing how they preform militarily. (No, this isn't a surrender monkey joke. Just...the last time I can think of France doing the invading was back in 1812 when they pushed into Russia.)

Hey Hey HEY France....giving the UN the middle finger and jumping in regardless is OUR (US) job!

do you really want to take our jobs?

(insert "dey took yer job" quotes)

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

Kopikatsu:
Huh. So France is doing the invading this time. Will be interesting in seeing how they preform militarily. (No, this isn't a surrender monkey joke. Just...the last time I can think of France doing the invading was back in 1812 when they pushed into Russia.)

.
I think you have forgotten about them taking over a third of Africa.

TheIronRuler:

Kopikatsu:
Huh. So France is doing the invading this time. Will be interesting in seeing how they preform militarily. (No, this isn't a surrender monkey joke. Just...the last time I can think of France doing the invading was back in 1812 when they pushed into Russia.)

.
I think you have forgotten about them taking over a third of Africa.

This, and France was the only nation to go send troops into a rebelling Colony in Africa, which was Algeria. That was in 1954, and it didn't end until 1962.

OT: I was planning on doing a thread like this, with the same "Hey, invading nations is America's Job!" joke thrown in. However, I really hope the French, and the Eventual African forces, can destroy these Terrorists.

You are forgetting that the Tuareg rebels are not the wahabi Islamists. They originally tried ot unite, but Ansar Dine was so disliked by the people of North Mali who saw them as foreigners with a foreign Islam that they didn't understand and the Tuareg rebels turned on them. However, Ansar Dine won and kicked them out.

maxben:
You are forgetting that the Tuareg rebels are not the wahabi Islamists. They originally tried ot unite, but Ansar Dine was so disliked by the people of North Mali who saw them as foreigners with a foreign Islam that they didn't understand and the Tuareg rebels turned on them. However, Ansar Dine won and kicked them out.

.
Did Ansar Dine kick out the militant Tuareg group or all of the Tuareg people out of Mali?
.

Mr.Mattress:

TheIronRuler:

Kopikatsu:
Huh. So France is doing the invading this time. Will be interesting in seeing how they preform militarily. (No, this isn't a surrender monkey joke. Just...the last time I can think of France doing the invading was back in 1812 when they pushed into Russia.)

.
I think you have forgotten about them taking over a third of Africa.

This, and France was the only nation to go send troops into a rebelling Colony in Africa, which was Algeria. That was in 1954, and it didn't end until 1962.

OT: I was planning on doing a thread like this, with the same "Hey, invading nations is America's Job!" joke thrown in. However, I really hope the French, and the Eventual African forces, can destroy these Terrorists.

.
You already had someone make the joke in this thread...

Ryotknife:
Hey Hey HEY France....giving the UN the middle finger and jumping in regardless is OUR (US) job!

do you really want to take our jobs?

(insert "dey took yer job" quotes)

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

Hmm, I suppose this is a Libya-esque support deal with mainly air strikes? It definitely couldn't hurt the Malian Army's chances. However it could backfire if the French get one or more serious incidents of collateral damage. Nothing discredits a government like foreigners they called in killing civilians. Though assuming nothing stupid is done by the Army or the French I don't see this going to poorly.

i'm confused. I thought the West was in a campaign to overthrow rulers to ensure dominance of extremists and now they are doing the opposite.

Semi-joke aside. I don't know a lot about this issue but from what i heard those rebels aren't nice guys and if France wants meddle they can be my guest.

It also bothers me that the response for this was "the operation will last as long as it has to". Right now it's mainly raids in the north. One officer died so far.

It's not only air support though. There's going to be ground troops.

Hopefully it will go as quickly as the operation in the Ivory Coast.

Shock and Awe:
Hmm, I suppose this is a Libya-esque support deal with mainly air strikes? It definitely couldn't hurt the Malian Army's chances. However it could backfire if the French get one or more serious incidents of collateral damage. Nothing discredits a government like foreigners they called in killing civilians. Though assuming nothing stupid is done by the Army or the French I don't see this going to poorly.

Agreed. Hopefully the troops will be the same who handled difficult situations in Africa and as such won't cause a massacre.

EDIT: Try looking at this map.

http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/infographe/2013/01/12/carte-la-situation-au-mali_1816232_3212.html

Looking at the number of troops lost by Mali they need some assistance and apparently a shit ton of training.

Ryotknife:

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

Way to miss context. Iraq didn't ask you to invade, you invaded Iraq arguing they had WMDs which all evidence before and after shows they didn't, and remember France did say they would support the invasion if you guys gave the weapons inspectors a chance to do their job and you guys overreacted.

So if you ignore all of those differences between what you did in Iraq and what France is doing here (and notice how much you were supported in Afghanistan), then you could make an argument for double standards.

dmase:
Looking at the number of troops lost by Mali they need some assistance and apparently a shit ton of training.

The concept of marksmanship is not one that's familiar to African and Middle Eastern militaries. Ever seen how these types shoot? Spray and pray is an understatement, half of them barely even know what a rifle stock is for.

Shaoken:

Ryotknife:

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

Way to miss context. Iraq didn't ask you to invade, you invaded Iraq arguing they had WMDs which all evidence before and after shows they didn't, and remember France did say they would support the invasion if you guys gave the weapons inspectors a chance to do their job and you guys overreacted.

So if you ignore all of those differences between what you did in Iraq and what France is doing here (and notice how much you were supported in Afghanistan), then you could make an argument for double standards.

hmm, and here i was thinking of LIBYA, not iraq. So yes, i CAN make an argument for double standards. Or how the US is blamed for the deaths in Syria more so than any other foreign country because we DIDNT immediately send help. It is why there is a growing population here in the US that doesnt want to help any nation (militarily at least) ever again, because they are sick and tired of it coming around to bite us in the butt a mere few years later. Not saying I agree with it, but i certainly cant blame them for that sentiment.

The US has been the world's scapegoat for far too long, time for the UN to step up to the plate. I dont mind the US being part of an international military intervention, but the days of us soloing is hopefully long behind us (unless there is a credible threat to our country). Then again, being part of an international force didnt stop the US from taking all of the heat in libya soo....

lets not forget that if something terrible should happen to america and we needed help, most of our so called "allies" wouldnt lift a finger to help us.

Honestly, you can give as much flak about Iraq as you want, I happen to agree with you. It was a monumental mistake on SOO many non-soapbox levels. Im just glad we are finally out of there, and i do hope for the best for the new Iraq. Although it looks like they had a rough first year on their own.

Ryotknife:

Shaoken:

Ryotknife:

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

Way to miss context. Iraq didn't ask you to invade, you invaded Iraq arguing they had WMDs which all evidence before and after shows they didn't, and remember France did say they would support the invasion if you guys gave the weapons inspectors a chance to do their job and you guys overreacted.

So if you ignore all of those differences between what you did in Iraq and what France is doing here (and notice how much you were supported in Afghanistan), then you could make an argument for double standards.

hmm, and here i was thinking of LIBYA, not iraq. So yes, i CAN make an argument for double standards. Or how the US is blamed for the deaths in Syria more so than any other foreign country. It is why there is a growing population here in the US that doesnt want to help any nation (militarily at least) ever again, because they are sick and tired of it coming around to bite us in the butt a mere few years later. Not saying I agree with it, but i certainly cant blame them for that sentiment.

Good. I'm pretty sure a lot of countries are sick of your kind of "help" (aka overthrow governments since they do not like USA)

Shaoken:

Ryotknife:

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

Way to miss context. Iraq didn't ask you to invade, you invaded Iraq arguing they had WMDs which all evidence before and after shows they didn't, and remember France did say they would support the invasion if you guys gave the weapons inspectors a chance to do their job and you guys overreacted.

So if you ignore all of those differences between what you did in Iraq and what France is doing here (and notice how much you were supported in Afghanistan), then you could make an argument for double standards.

Ryotknife was thinking of Libya. I was thinking of Haiti, and Somalia, and pretty much anywhere else the US has sent troops. Hell, I have heard people calling American troops in Germany and South Korea as examples of American imperialism despite the fact that those governments want us there.

MrTub:

Ryotknife:

Shaoken:

Way to miss context. Iraq didn't ask you to invade, you invaded Iraq arguing they had WMDs which all evidence before and after shows they didn't, and remember France did say they would support the invasion if you guys gave the weapons inspectors a chance to do their job and you guys overreacted.

So if you ignore all of those differences between what you did in Iraq and what France is doing here (and notice how much you were supported in Afghanistan), then you could make an argument for double standards.

hmm, and here i was thinking of LIBYA, not iraq. So yes, i CAN make an argument for double standards. Or how the US is blamed for the deaths in Syria more so than any other foreign country. It is why there is a growing population here in the US that doesnt want to help any nation (militarily at least) ever again, because they are sick and tired of it coming around to bite us in the butt a mere few years later. Not saying I agree with it, but i certainly cant blame them for that sentiment.

Good. I'm pretty sure a lot of countries are sick of your kind of "help" (aka overthrow governments since they do not like USA)

good, then maybe the world can stop running to us for help the second something goes wrong because...you know..."evil" countries are always well known for constantly helping others

Ryotknife:

MrTub:

Ryotknife:

hmm, and here i was thinking of LIBYA, not iraq. So yes, i CAN make an argument for double standards. Or how the US is blamed for the deaths in Syria more so than any other foreign country. It is why there is a growing population here in the US that doesnt want to help any nation (militarily at least) ever again, because they are sick and tired of it coming around to bite us in the butt a mere few years later. Not saying I agree with it, but i certainly cant blame them for that sentiment.

Good. I'm pretty sure a lot of countries are sick of your kind of "help" (aka overthrow governments since they do not like USA)

good, then maybe the world can stop running to us for help the second something goes wrong because...you know..."evil" countries are always well known for constantly helping others

Right. Hardly any country in the world will help simply because of kindness. But yeah I would actually prefer if USA decided to stop invading countries under the false pre tense of liberating them and bringing freedom to them.

MrTub:

Ryotknife:

MrTub:

Good. I'm pretty sure a lot of countries are sick of your kind of "help" (aka overthrow governments since they do not like USA)

good, then maybe the world can stop running to us for help the second something goes wrong because...you know..."evil" countries are always well known for constantly helping others

Right. Hardly any country in the world will help simply because of kindness. But yeah I would actually prefer if USA decided to stop invading countries under the false pre tense of liberating them and bringing freedom to them.

Yea, we got a whole lot out of helping libya .....wait....

And yes, politicians always play some sort of an angle. Either they want something or they want to improve their own image. That is not unique to....well..any country.

I believe Mali's president asked for France's help, or at least OK'd it, so it looks like France is doing good work here.

Ryotknife:

MrTub:

Ryotknife:

good, then maybe the world can stop running to us for help the second something goes wrong because...you know..."evil" countries are always well known for constantly helping others

Right. Hardly any country in the world will help simply because of kindness. But yeah I would actually prefer if USA decided to stop invading countries under the false pre tense of liberating them and bringing freedom to them.

Yea, we got a whole lot out of helping libya .....wait....

And yes, politicians always play some sort of an angle. Either they want something or they want to improve their own image. That is not unique to....well..any country.

If I remember correctly, Libya was a coalition force. In the end the U.S did very well. The international response was actually a bit better than in the Iraq War. I don't why the U.S would get hate over it.

Of course the negative response could have been only domestically, in which case I would ask where the hell they were during the start of the Iraq War, when a national tragedy turned into a mass delusion and cry for blood.

The U.S was criticized for having rushed through on flimsy pretenses into a war with Iraq when there was alternatives and there were actual people checking out the fabricated claims of "weapons of mass destruction". Because that's what it was all originally about. It had to make up it's own cassus belli.

Then there's also the breach of international law, the useless expenditures, the lies for going there, the human cost, the fact that the U.S gutted the then present administration and the general chaos it caused.

I don't know if you remember, but during that time the U.S also indulged in things like media hysteria, phone tapping, torture and let's not forget "freedom fries". You think politics these days are bad? I still shudder at the ignorance and hatred spewed during that time. At the end of the day the war was completely senseless.

The destruction of the reputation of the U.S for that particular fiasco is completely the fault of the U.S. Don't blame other countries for something that the U.S did itself. I haven't made up my mind on the french invasion yet, but at least the president asked for aid. If I remember correctly no one asked for the invasion of Iraq. They're different occurrences and were handled differently.

The U.S like a lot of countries has a pretty checkered history. Do I even need to cite the Cold War, which had the Vietnam War, the assassination of Salvador Allende, the bombing of Nicaragua and much more? In these cases you can justify some resentment. It's not unique to the U.S of course. We could go on about colonialism and the Algerian war. Britain and France certainly caused way more damage. There might be more resentment however, because the events are much more recent or because the U.S is more powerful and is a better scapegoat.

However taking the self-righteous stance that everyone asked you to do it, it was all for buzzwords like "freedom" and that you were against the "bad guys" is just grating. Those who are that deluded are the greatest menace.

Frission:

Ryotknife:

MrTub:

Right. Hardly any country in the world will help simply because of kindness. But yeah I would actually prefer if USA decided to stop invading countries under the false pre tense of liberating them and bringing freedom to them.

Yea, we got a whole lot out of helping libya .....wait....

And yes, politicians always play some sort of an angle. Either they want something or they want to improve their own image. That is not unique to....well..any country.

If I remember correctly, Libya was a coalition force. In the end the U.S did very well. The international response was actually a bit better than in the Iraq War. I don't why the U.S would get hate over it.

Of course the negative response could have been only domestically, in which case I would ask where the hell they were during the start of the Iraq War, when a national tragedy turned into a mass delusion and cry for blood.

The U.S was criticized for having rushed through on flimsy pretenses into a war with Iraq when there was alternatives and there were actual people checking out the fabricated claims of "weapons of mass destruction". Because that's what it was all originally about. It had to make up it's own cassus belli.

Then there's also the breach of international law, the useless expenditures, the lies for going there, the human cost, the fact that the U.S gutted the then present administration and the general chaos it caused.

I don't know if you remember, but during that time the U.S also indulged in things like media hysteria, phone tapping, torture and let's not forget "freedom fries". You think politics these days are bad? I still shudder at the ignorance and hatred spewed during that time. At the end of the day the war was completely senseless.

The destruction of the reputation of the U.S for that particular fiasco is completely the fault of the U.S. Don't blame other countries for something that the U.S did itself. I haven't made up my mind on the french invasion yet, but at least the president asked for aid. If I remember correctly no one asked for the invasion of Iraq. They're different occurrences and were handled differently.

The U.S like a lot of countries has a pretty checkered history. Do I even need to cite the Cold War, which had the Vietnam War, the assassination of Salvador Allende, the bombing of Nicaragua and much more? In these cases you can justify some resentment. It's not unique to the U.S of course. We could go on about colonialism and the Algerian war. Britain and France certainly caused way more damage. There might be more resentment however, because the events are much more recent or because the U.S is more powerful and is a better scapegoat.

However taking the self-righteous stance that everyone asked you to do it, it was all for buzzwords like "freedom" and that you were against the "bad guys" is just grating. Those who are that deluded are the greatest menace.

you seem to think im implying Iraq. From MY own post:

"Honestly, you can give as much flak about Iraq as you want, I happen to agree with you. It was a monumental mistake on SOO many non-soapbox levels. Im just glad we are finally out of there, and i do hope for the best for the new Iraq. Although it looks like they had a rough first year on their own."

Im pointing to just about ANY other example except for iraq where we got involved, often at the request of the nation, only for it to backfire in our face in epic porportions. Libya is just the easiest and most recent one. Everytime in the past decade or so we intervene on the behalf of the nation at their request, it comes back to bite us.

Iraq has absolutely nothing to do with it.

As for why we got hate over Libya, while it was an international force, the US was the face of the force (which is sadly pretty much the rule if the US gets involved in an international military intervention force. Libya was not the first example nor will it be the last unless we stop any help to the UN). Not to mention there is a good chunk of the world who seems to think that they UN is merely the US in disguise/do whatever we tell them. Which is laughable.

Like I said, there is a growing population in the US that doesnt want to get involve anymore with any countries for humanitarian reasons (no, not Iraq), because it always finds a way to backfire on us. If everytime you tried to help someone (no, not Iraq) they spit in your face and tried to stab you with a knife (no, not Iraq), you may very well become a bit jaded when it comes to helping people. No, not Iraq.

If you are wondering why i repeated that four times, it is to get a clear message across because so far the posters quoting me seem to think im implying about iraq and iraq only.

there are unfortunately very few examples in the past decade where the US helps for purely humanitarian reasons and it didnt come back to bite us. Japan after the earthquake was one, Chile during the trapped miners incident was another. In both examples however, we didnt actually DO much. Our involvement in those cases barely qualifies for a footnote.

As for the topic of France, I wish them luck. Sometimes the UN needs a middle finger as they sit around bickering endlessly.

Sometimes force is needed to stop the bullies of this world. Go France.

Ryotknife:

there are unfortunately very few examples in the past decade where the US helps for purely humanitarian reasons and it didnt come back to bite us. Japan after the earthquake was one, Chile during the trapped miners incident was another. In both examples however, we didnt actually DO much. Our involvement in those cases barely qualifies for a footnote.

You did a lot. The only thing you didn't do much of was bombing the shit out of the country, so people didn't really have a reason to get pissy with you. See, people get pissed at you not for helping them, but for dropping bombs on their heads. I wouldn't really be able to understand how bombing my homeland was supposed to help me, either.

Oh, and as for Libya, from here I got the feeling that was a rather French effort to, not American.

TheIronRuler:

maxben:
You are forgetting that the Tuareg rebels are not the wahabi Islamists. They originally tried ot unite, but Ansar Dine was so disliked by the people of North Mali who saw them as foreigners with a foreign Islam that they didn't understand and the Tuareg rebels turned on them. However, Ansar Dine won and kicked them out.

.
Did Ansar Dine kick out the militant Tuareg group or all of the Tuareg people out of Mali?.

Ansar Dine kicked out the Tuareg nationalist rebels, the Tuareg people are currently under their control. But the Tuareg people dislike Ansar Dine and do not support them.
Does that make sense?

Vegosiux:

Ryotknife:

there are unfortunately very few examples in the past decade where the US helps for purely humanitarian reasons and it didnt come back to bite us. Japan after the earthquake was one, Chile during the trapped miners incident was another. In both examples however, we didnt actually DO much. Our involvement in those cases barely qualifies for a footnote.

You did a lot. The only thing you didn't do much of was bombing the shit out of the country, so people didn't really have a reason to get pissy with you. See, people get pissed at you not for helping them, but for dropping bombs on their heads. I wouldn't really be able to understand how bombing my homeland was supposed to help me, either.

Oh, and as for Libya, from here I got the feeling that was a rather French effort to, not American.

Honestly are people really mad that USA went into Libya? I only thought it was mostly american right wingers that got mad since Obama didn't get approval from the congress?

maxben:

TheIronRuler:

maxben:
You are forgetting that the Tuareg rebels are not the wahabi Islamists. They originally tried ot unite, but Ansar Dine was so disliked by the people of North Mali who saw them as foreigners with a foreign Islam that they didn't understand and the Tuareg rebels turned on them. However, Ansar Dine won and kicked them out.

.
Did Ansar Dine kick out the militant Tuareg group or all of the Tuareg people out of Mali?.

Ansar Dine kicked out the Tuareg nationalist rebels, the Tuareg people are currently under their control. But the Tuareg people dislike Ansar Dine and do not support them.
Does that make sense?

.
Yes it does. So the nationalist rebellion sought to try and cooperate with Ansar Dine at first but it then started resisting it with their foreign Islam and desires to impose their brand of law and rule. However they were beaten by Ansar Dine. Good, thanks. It does make sense to me now.

TheIronRuler:

maxben:

TheIronRuler:

.
Did Ansar Dine kick out the militant Tuareg group or all of the Tuareg people out of Mali?.

Ansar Dine kicked out the Tuareg nationalist rebels, the Tuareg people are currently under their control. But the Tuareg people dislike Ansar Dine and do not support them.
Does that make sense?

.
Yes it does. So the nationalist rebellion sought to try and cooperate with Ansar Dine at first but it then started resisting it with their foreign Islam and desires to impose their brand of law and rule. However they were beaten by Ansar Dine. Good, thanks. It does make sense to me now.

That's it exactly :)

Ryotknife:
Hey Hey HEY France....giving the UN the middle finger and jumping in regardless is OUR (US) job!

do you really want to take our jobs?

(insert "dey took yer job" quotes)

Although go figure if we did that we would be demonized the world over, anyone else does it and they are saviors....freakin double standards.

"Durka Dur!!!!"

Reviewing: I don't know how it is an invasion to give military aid to a nation's leaders. If that violates some esoteric counter sensicle international vote the likely is at odds with other existing votes and charters and rules etc., I think the entire world will yawn energetically.

MrTub:

Honestly are people really mad that USA went into Libya? I only thought it was mostly american right wingers that got mad since Obama didn't get approval from the congress?

Yep. I am a USA citizen that wants our government to stop using the military like a play thing, but it is up to the French to be upset with the French Government if they think this was an abuse of resources.

Apparently the French deployment is already leading to victory. Media reported hours after French troops landed that Mopti (it's actually two towns, Mopti and Sevare) would be defended against Ansar Dine. The whole intervention was because Ansar Dine had taken Konna and was threatening Mopti because they had pretty much routed the Malinese army.

The trick was those towns are next to one of the major roads of the country, so the risk existed that Ansar Dine kept pressing across that road at high speed, and the capital Bamako could fall because the Malinese army had no time to regroup.

Add some French forces and it's a different story apparently; Media reported that Konna has already been retaken by French forces. By now units from the armies of neighbouring countries who also want to help defeat Ansar Dine have reached the French-Malinese forces at Konna.

Konna seems only a few square kilometres large, but is strategically important because it controls the major roads and the Niger river. There's little doubt what will happen next. The march north towards Timbuktu, where Ansar Dine has been destroying priceless world heritage. It's also connected by a road.

If you ask me, a lot will depend on what Ansar Dine does. If they face the armies on the road and defend the major cities they'll be crushed and Male will only have a few stragglers to deal with. If they flee into the desert without a fight and start a guerilla war from there the major towns will also be retaken, but it could take a while before Ansar Dine is defeated.

A French helicopter pilot is reported to have been killed during the bombing of Konna.

Ryotknife:
Yea, we got a whole lot out of helping libya .....wait....

Well, the crushing of the rebellion by what would probably have been a genocide in Benghazi was prevented, the Libyan army got pinned down in their cities, and the rebels got time to train and organise, eventually won.

The Khadaffi regime fell and most of its leaders didn't get to retire to Switserland in luxury, and the council that took their place seems to be doing a pretty good job given the circumstances... So I'd say the intervention in Libya was a succes, even if the US hardly played any part.

Or did you mean that choosing the side of the rebels denied the west access to Libyan oil and natural gas? Because it's true the production of those came to a standstill during the fighting, and Khadaffi obviously stopped delivering after the west choose the side of the rebels.

Are these rebels remnants of the Taliban who have been retreating southward from Coalition forces, through the Middle East and down into Mali? if not, please clarify or point me towards something that will clear up my shocking ignorance on this matter. If so, I wonder where the survivors will retreat to next if they aren't all killed.

Blablahb:
Snip

So wait, are the French actually actively involved in combat? I was under the impression they'd do the standard training, advising and missile and aircraft bombings. Are there actually boots and tanks on the ground?

Pebble:
Are these rebels remnants of the Taliban who have been retreating southward from Coalition forces, through the Middle East and down into Mali? if not, please clarify or point me towards something that will clear up my shocking ignorance on this matter. If so, I wonder where the survivors will retreat to next if they aren't all killed.

Er...Mali is quite a distance from Afghanistan, and the Afghans would have little or no support there.

Anyway, the remnants of the Taliban didn't have to go anywhere. To put it flippantly, when the Taliban fell, all the people in it became unemployed, and found new jobs. Whether that's working with the new government, or other power blocs fighting for what they can get, no reason for most of them to leave.

thaluikhain:

Pebble:
Are these rebels remnants of the Taliban who have been retreating southward from Coalition forces, through the Middle East and down into Mali? if not, please clarify or point me towards something that will clear up my shocking ignorance on this matter. If so, I wonder where the survivors will retreat to next if they aren't all killed.

Er...Mali is quite a distance from Afghanistan, and the Afghans would have little or no support there.

Anyway, the remnants of the Taliban didn't have to go anywhere. To put it flippantly, when the Taliban fell, all the people in it became unemployed, and found new jobs. Whether that's working with the new government, or other power blocs fighting for what they can get, no reason for most of them to leave.

Whoops. That was embarrassing. Mali isn't even where I thought it was on the map. BRB, going to do research.

TheBelgianGuy:

Blablahb:
Snip

So wait, are the French actually actively involved in combat? I was under the impression they'd do the standard training, advising and missile and aircraft bombings. Are there actually boots and tanks on the ground?

.
I don't think so. The French currently rule the air. They provide much needed support for the ground forces. They bomb specific targets throughout the area, clear it out, and then let the Malian ground forces go. As I see it neighboring African countries will send some units to support Mali's armed forces in their struggle on the ground.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21002918

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