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

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Ryotknife:
/snip

Oh, you're not talking about the Iraq War.

If you're talking about humanitarian missions, then I have no idea why anyone would get angry over it. I never heard any condemnations for that. Do you have examples for something like that?

Frission:

Ryotknife:
/snip

Oh, you're not talking about the Iraq War.

If you're talking about humanitarian missions, then I have no idea why anyone would get angry over it. I never heard any condemnations for that. Do you have examples for something like that?

I was mostly mentioning libya as that is the most recent example which is fresh in peoples minds. But here is some others.

Haiti

Somalia

If you believe another poster, South Korea. Granted im not sure if that counts as humanitarian though. More like, supporting an ally.

We get some flak from the former nations of Yugoslavia for essentially stopping an ethnic cleansing/genocide.

We also get in trouble for NOT providing aid. Or at least that is how the media paints the picture. I can only give a perspective from the various news sites here, but it sounds like (the people of) Syria is blaming in part the US for the deaths.

Ryotknife:

Frission:

Ryotknife:
/snip

Oh, you're not talking about the Iraq War.

If you're talking about humanitarian missions, then I have no idea why anyone would get angry over it. I never heard any condemnations for that. Do you have examples for something like that?

I was mostly mentioning libya as that is the most recent example which is fresh in peoples minds. But here is some others.

Haiti

Somalia

If you believe another poster, South Korea. Granted im not sure if that counts as humanitarian though. More like, supporting an ally.

We get some flak from the former nations of Yugoslavia for essentially stopping an ethnic cleansing/genocide.

We also get in trouble for NOT providing aid. Or at least that is how the media paints the picture. I can only give a perspective from the various news sites here, but it sounds like (the people of) Syria is blaming in part the US for the deaths.

.
I think you're looking at this slightly the wrong way.

Haiti had the earthquake, did you mean that? Or did you mean the USA backed 'return of the king'?
...and what about Somalia?

The operations of the USA&NATO in the failing Yugoslavia... erm... lets not go there.

Why are you in trouble for not providing help? Syria is controlled by Assad, and there's a sizable resistance force against them. You're not supposed to help either side, really. How are you supposed to send 'humanitarian aid' there if the place is a warzone? It can be used instead to fuel either side's war machine.

TheIronRuler:

Ryotknife:

Frission:

Oh, you're not talking about the Iraq War.

If you're talking about humanitarian missions, then I have no idea why anyone would get angry over it. I never heard any condemnations for that. Do you have examples for something like that?

I was mostly mentioning libya as that is the most recent example which is fresh in peoples minds. But here is some others.

Haiti

Somalia

If you believe another poster, South Korea. Granted im not sure if that counts as humanitarian though. More like, supporting an ally.

We get some flak from the former nations of Yugoslavia for essentially stopping an ethnic cleansing/genocide.

We also get in trouble for NOT providing aid. Or at least that is how the media paints the picture. I can only give a perspective from the various news sites here, but it sounds like (the people of) Syria is blaming in part the US for the deaths.

.
I think you're looking at this slightly the wrong way.

Haiti had the earthquake, did you mean that? Or did you mean the USA backed 'return of the king'?
...and what about Somalia?

The operations of the USA&NATO in the failing Yugoslavia... erm... lets not go there.

Why are you in trouble for not providing help? Syria is controlled by Assad, and there's a sizable resistance force against them. You're not supposed to help either side, really. How are you supposed to send 'humanitarian aid' there if the place is a warzone? It can be used instead to fuel either side's war machine.

Haiti after the earthquake, keep in mind we did send some troops there after their country basically self destructed after the earthquake in order to protect the supplies we were handing out to the people. Although the military presence was of the same caliber as one would expect in america after a nasty natural disaster, it wasnt an invasion force.

As for Syria, like i mentioned before this might be just manipulation by the american media. It is hard to get an outside media perspective here in the US. Last year or so there was a flood of articles on various news sites about how the people in Syria were wondering why the US hasnt helped them yet like they did in Libya and basically accused us of malicious prejudice against the Syrians...

They were REALLY playing the guilt card to its utmost affect. Media manipulation or not, all that matters is that it did paint the american perspective in regards to our help or even our potential help to other countries and has made a good chunk of the american people jaded when it comes to helping others (and the economy certainly hasnt helped either). Isolationism (to a degree) is becoming more and more popular.

Lots of americans dont like the fact that we are the world police, especially when it causes nothing but grief for ourselves. Me personally, I believe that someone should be. Ideally it would be the UN, however i can not deny that the US is in a better position to help other countries compared to almost any other country. In my mind, morality has nothing to do with it. We are simply the best (individual) candidate for the job for helping others. Our military gives us a hell of a lot of flexibility and we can be in many minor engagements at once, and we do have access to some of the most essential basic resources. food and water are plentiful here. We have the largest body(ies?) of fresh water in the world, and we produce so much food that the government pays people to burn their crops or not to plant crops at all.

Like i said, ideally this would be the UN's job with the US as a mere contributor to the UN's effort, but the UN is a long ways away from being capable of accepting that role, especially when they seem content to let us basically do the majority of the international interventions. One of the things I like about president Obama is that he works with the UN a lot more. The UN may very well be humanity's only hope if our current paradigm of humanity being split into hundreds of countries no longer becomes a sustainable model and humanity has to unite for whatever reason. The US wont be around forever, no country lasts forever.

Granted that last paragraph here is a bit dramatic, even by my standards. But still, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Ryotknife:

hmm, and here i was thinking of LIBYA, not iraq.

What outrage over Libya? The only thing I can think of is Fox news ranting about Benghazi (which has nothing to to do with the liberation) and the fact Obama used a loophole to get involved without congress.

Can't remember any 'imperialist' accusations levelled at the US but that may just be because the operation was described as a EU led one here and the US involvement was kinda played down.

TheBelgianGuy:
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?

That's what all news reports seem to suggest. Apparently they're the French ground forces normally stationed in Ivory Coast and Chad.

Although I strongly doubt they're providing the cannon fodder. It's probably mostly air support, coordination and command and armoured support.

For one thing the Malinese army seems to have gone from routing to winning in mere days, but that's no surprise if there's French forces behind them. For the soldier on the ground that means that breaking ranks and fleeing, or deserting, is no longer an option, and that stiffens up questionable units considerably. You have to realise those people are mostly illiterate conscripts with little training, and often without a strong sense of 'fighting for your country' because national identity often isn't as strong in various African countries; what reason do they have to provide a tough fight? Also Ansar Dine won't be too concrete a threat in their eyes. We see a big picture from the media; 'radical islam getting imposed, Mali torn apart'. But such a conscript on the ground just sees guys with guns coming at him who are trying to kill him, and against whom running away is the best way to stay alive.


Still, whatever combination of forces is active there now, it means that Ansar Dine is likely to end up paralysed within towns and cities they control, with the Malinese-French ground forces moving to destroy these pockets one by one. The advantage offered by having an opponent pinned down completely (because if they go on the open road, they get bombed to oblivion) in urban pockets while you control the rest can't be overstated.

French forces are bombing Ansar Dine in Gao right now, which is another city located along the central highway. Could be that I was wrong about them striking northwards towards Timbuktu.

Still, the fighting theatre seems to be mostly concentrated in a fairly small area now. Further north from Timbuktu and such, there's hardly any major towns. If Mali can retake all those towns south of that, it's over.

Google link to that:
https://maps.google.nl/maps?q=French+forces+in+Mali&hl=en&ll=15.977173,-2.329102&spn=4.39278,8.453979&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&channel=np&hq=French+forces&hnear=Mali&t=m&z=8

Usually I'm the first to decry war and killing, but ever since these miserable fucks started trying to wipe out our collective history to prove a point I have lost all sympathy for them

TheIronRuler:

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

who are the French kidding, they can't maintain a military campaign all on their own..

Time for America to come to the rescue!!!!

Time to return the favor for our Revolution buddies.

Well guys, the Jihadi's ain't stopping any time soon, after their initial retreat, they're starting to move south again. For those who don't know, Diabaly is here, and the capital, Bamako, Is Here.

This is not looking good...

Mr.Mattress:
Well guys, the Jihadi's ain't stopping any time soon, after their initial retreat, they're starting to move south again. For those who don't know, Diabaly is here, and the capital, Bamako, Is Here.

This is not looking good...

.
Thanks for the update. It looks like the UN sitting on its arse doing nothing had made the situation hard to manage. I hope that allied African ground troops could turn the tide to France's favor. Go Ivory Coast!

Blablahb:
snippy snip

There also seem to be some some special forces teams rescuing hostages and stuff.

TheBelgianGuy:

Blablahb:
snippy snip

There also seem to be some some special forces teams rescuing hostages and stuff.

.
I did read they (Ansar Dine) caught 8 French nationals, so I guess we know what the French did about it now.

Mr.Mattress:
Well guys, the Jihadi's ain't stopping any time soon, after their initial retreat, they're starting to move south again. For those who don't know, Diabaly is here, and the capital, Bamako, Is Here.
This is not looking good...

That place is to the west, not the south, and also a lot more remote. Staying off the roads allows Ansar Dine to move with less chance of airstrikes or other confrontations, but it'll slow them down considerably.
The whole deal behind the French (and Ecowas) intervention was that from Mopti, you can take the capital in 3-4 days because it's connected through a main road.

In a place that sparsely populated you can't draw a battle line with force A on one side and force B on the other, it's kind of like an ambulant fight over the important places, or better said population centres. You saw the same in Afghanistan; nobody tries to occupy the hills. That's pointless. You take the towns and hold those. Attrition does the rest, as you can't run an army without a base. It turns a fighting force into a band of marauders at best. It doesn't eliminate them altogether, but it ensures they're not a threat.

Basically you're talking about a small village in the middle of nowhere without much signifance. And it makes all the difference if a hundred guys with guns drove in there and claimed the place, or it's an effective military force.


It would become a problem if it's many fighters, and they reach the towns of the RN4 road a hundred kilometres to the west. I mean, the press may use fancy words like 'opened a secondary front', but it very much remains to be seen if Ansar Dine operates on that level.

Blablahb:

Mr.Mattress:
Well guys, the Jihadi's ain't stopping any time soon, after their initial retreat, they're starting to move south again. For those who don't know, Diabaly is here, and the capital, Bamako, Is Here.
This is not looking good...

That place is to the west, not the south, and also a lot more remote. Staying off the roads allows Ansar Dine to move with less chance of airstrikes or other confrontations, but it'll slow them down considerably.

I understand what you are saying. However, Daibaly is only 250 Miles away from Bamako, with or without a road. Yes, it will make it harder for Ansar Dine and other Jihadi Groups to move farther south, but they have already gotten this far south while barely using the main road.

I read an article earlier, like a few weeks ago, where Reporters where investigating the Jihadists in Northern Mali. They apparently knew the terrain well; they knew how to navigate it by just using the sun, they had extensive supplies and huge amounts of cash to hire people to build them routes and bases in the sand, they were stockpiling weapons, and they were ready and waiting to be attacked. Apparently they chose to attack first.

I fear that they can go to Bamako through the wastelands of Mali easily, with or without a road...

Good for them. Hopefully NATO (Not just US) will send in more troops and supplies. One thing I don't understand I believe I read that France only sent in about 400 troops? What is that? 1 Battalion? Or are these guys there just to help stall while France gets its logistics sorted out before they start sending more guys in? Because 400 guys isn't enough. Even with indigenous support they need to put the full force of France's military into this fight. I hate it when countries wage "limited" wars. Never ends well.

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.

Civilian casualties are going to happen no matter what. If they do cause such an incident hopefully they won't suspend air raids. (Like the US did when we dropped a laser guided bomb down a chimney and killed about 20 Iraqi civies)

It's war, and war is hell. Hopefully nothing of that sort will happen but if it does hopefully France has the balls to continue its attack with full aggression.

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.)

French troops were also involved in the 1918 invasion of Germany. Several Free French divisions took part in the 1944 invasion (or liberation if you prefer) of France, and after liberation a rapidly rebuilt French military also supplied substantial forces that took part in the 1945 invasion of Germany.

Postwar, France has taken an active military role assisting the governments of several North African ex-colonies. For instance, it routed the Libyan army on the behalf of Chad after Libya invaded a few decades ago. It has also had troops stationed in Ivory Coast, and done a few other things. And of course, it supplied a couple of divisions to Operation Desert Storm.

Thanks to the precedents set by the Bush and Obama administration, other countries can now indulge in the same legal black holes as the US did with the Afghanistan\Iraq war (illegal occupation, false accusations), Guantanamo bay (torture, no geneva rights) and drone assassinations (lawless).

TheIronRuler:

TheBelgianGuy:

Blablahb:
snippy snip

There also seem to be some some special forces teams rescuing hostages and stuff.

.
I did read they (Ansar Dine) caught 8 French nationals, so I guess we know what the French did about it now.

Civis romanus sum.
At least the French have some spine in them them sill..

xdiesp:
Thanks to the precedents set by the Bush and Obama administration, other countries can now indulge in the same legal black holes as the US did with the Afghanistan\Iraq war (illegal occupation, false accusations), Guantanamo bay (torture, no geneva rights) and drone assassinations (lawless).

You shouldn't post stuff without knowing anything about the subject. The UN passed a resolution on this and before that, Mali explicitly asked France for military assistance.

And even if it hadn't been like that, you'd need to defend Ansar Dine to be able to make that argument. Good luck with that...

The French have begun their ground operations...
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/01/2013116101421991386.html

French special forces + Mali soldiers are fighting against the Islamist militants in the streets of Diabali.
http://www.euronews.com/2013/01/16/mali-french-forces-in-street-battles-in-diabali/

Uh, France is in the WAY wrong here. The UN/AU must agree and vote on a mandate of intervention before they can contribute forces to Mali. And NATO doesn't need to be involved: the Libyan debacle cost the US $550 million, and a insurgency with no end will cost more.

Edible Avatar:
Uh, France is in the WAY wrong here. The UN/AU must agree and vote on a mandate of intervention before they can contribute forces to Mali. And NATO doesn't need to be involved: the Libyan debacle cost the US $550 million, and a insurgency with no end will cost more.

Hey?

To invade a country, sure, but to send forces to support the existing government?

The conflict is already spilling into Algeria, with Islamists taking hostages. The solution was apparently an air strike, killing 30+ hostages, about a dozen of the kidnappers and rescuing about two dozen hostages. The details I read (German news site) are a bit sketchy for now, but I'm not sure I'd call this a successful rescue. When more than half the hostages die, things could've gone a lot better.

As for the imperialism thing, honestly, I may be a bit of a relativist but I'm not such a relativist that I won't abide by a bit of imperialism if it stops a theocratic and militaristic takeover.

Skeleon:
The conflict is already spilling into Algeria, with Islamists taking hostages. The solution was apparently an air strike, killing 30+ hostages, about a dozen of the kidnappers and rescuing about two dozen hostages. The details I read (German news site) are a bit sketchy for now, but I'm not sure I'd call this a successful rescue. When more than half the hostages die, things could've gone a lot better.

As for the imperialism thing, honestly, I may be a bit of a relativist but I'm not such a relativist that I won't abide by a bit of imperialism if it stops a theocratic and militaristic takeover.

.
I made a thread about that one...
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.398756-Algeria-Hostage-Crisis
Should have probably put it in R&P.

Details are sketchy because there are a lot of conflicting reports. Algerian air-force killed more than half of the hostages in air-strikes. Where's the people screaming to put Algeria on trial for that? Bleh. At first they tried with snipers, but they hit the hostages. Then they tried to storm the place and failed. Last chance was this bombing and combined act.

Skeleon:
The conflict is already spilling into Algeria, with Islamists taking hostages. The solution was apparently an air strike, killing 30+ hostages, about a dozen of the kidnappers and rescuing about two dozen hostages. The details I read (German news site) are a bit sketchy for now, but I'm not sure I'd call this a successful rescue. When more than half the hostages die, things could've gone a lot better.

I read that what happened is that the Islamists tried to leave the facility in a convoy taking the hostages with them. The Algerian forces decided to open fire on the convoy to prevent it from leaving, and quite naturally such an action may well have led to the deaths of a number of hostages. Its a nasty situation to be in- do you let the kidnappers escape with the hostages, or open fire, risking killing the hostages but stopping them from escaping? I don't think there's a right answer to that.

OT: I think the French military intervention is quite reasonably justifiable, under international law any country is allowed to ask for outside help in a conflict, and France obliged to the request of the Mali government. The outcome of Islamists taking control of Mali would obviously be undesirable for Africa and the wider world- Just look at Somalia and Afghanistan before the NATO led invasion. The French intervention also has the popular support of the Mali citizenry who welcome the presence of French soldiers. The downside is that the Mali people are less willing to host neighbouring African troops, who will be vital in resolving the conflict in the long run.

TheIronRuler:
I made a thread about that one...
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.398756-Algeria-Hostage-Crisis
Should have probably put it in R&P.

Yeah, I really only go to R&P. The only times I visit other forums is via news articles, videos or sometimes the odd interesting thread title on the main page... :-D

Edible Avatar:
Uh, France is in the WAY wrong here. The UN/AU must agree and vote on a mandate of intervention before they can contribute forces to Mali. And NATO doesn't need to be involved: the Libyan debacle cost the US $550 million, and a insurgency with no end will cost more.

It's already been said that Mali explicitly asked France for military assistance, and in addition, between that request and the first French troops effectively deploying, the UN passed a resolution on this.

Libyan debacle? Have you paid attention to how that ended up? It prevented a mass murder among the population, and the rebels overthrew the Khadaffi regime. The intervention was a smashing succes.

Blablahb:

Edible Avatar:
Uh, France is in the WAY wrong here. The UN/AU must agree and vote on a mandate of intervention before they can contribute forces to Mali. And NATO doesn't need to be involved: the Libyan debacle cost the US $550 million, and a insurgency with no end will cost more.

It's already been said that Mali explicitly asked France for military assistance, and in addition, between that request and the first French troops effectively deploying, the UN passed a resolution on this.

Libyan debacle? Have you paid attention to how that ended up? It prevented a mass murder among the population, and the rebels overthrew the Khadaffi regime. The intervention was a smashing succes.

thaluikhain:
snip

Regardless, the UN is in place to ensure that the nations around Mali and the international community have a say for or against military intervention.

By the way, Libya didn't actually turn out well for the US or Europe:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ex-gitmo-detainee-implicated-consulate-attack_652751.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Benghazi_attack
Cost money and gave a haven for Sunni militants, which goes against the current administration's stated goals.

Speaking of which, there is that hostage situation in Algeria, which is coincidentally close to the Libyan border....curious...

I'm worried about Mali. The Islamists are hiding in the general population of the towns they've invaded, pretty much making the situation impossible from the air and really difficult on the land. Not only that, but they are still moving south! The town of Banamba, directly south of Diabaly, is on high alert and Malian soldiers are being rushed there to defend it from an oncoming swarm of Islamists. Not only that, but they've pretty much shown they can invade other African Nations, such as Algeria...

I have a fear that Mali will completely fall before the Islamists start loosing...

TheIronRuler:

Mr.Mattress:
Well guys, the Jihadi's ain't stopping any time soon, after their initial retreat, they're starting to move south again. For those who don't know, Diabaly is here, and the capital, Bamako, Is Here.

This is not looking good...

.
Thanks for the update. It looks like the UN sitting on its arse doing nothing had made the situation hard to manage. I hope that allied African ground troops could turn the tide to France's favor. Go Ivory Coast!

Well for what it's worth the EU already decided to send troops to help train the Malian army and they're thinking about sending the help earlier (initial plan was spring now they're thinking about February)

Meanwhile, the Malian Army training...: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkFBjBqWzAc
I guess you need to improvise when you lack ammo, but it's still funny as hell.

Wow, is anyone else getting a major Vietnam vibe from this?

Bentusi16:
Wow, is anyone else getting a major Vietnam vibe from this?

Oh you mean the country that was lead by a man who quoted Thomas Jefferson in his speeches and had much respect for USA, that USA then invaded?

Vegosiux:

Bentusi16:
Wow, is anyone else getting a major Vietnam vibe from this?

Oh you mean the country that was lead by a man who quoted Thomas Jefferson in his speeches and had much respect for USA, that USA then invaded?

You do realize that the Vietnam war was A: A UN Sanctioned police action and B: Caused by the french governments desire to hold on to it's colonial holdings in French Indo-China? Hell, I think the U.S. Government should've convinced Ho Chi Minh to support pro-U.S. policies in favor of overthrowing the corrupt bastard they had propped into power. Same with Cuba, really.

Actually I'm talking about the advisers things...and then moving on to troops. That's kind of how the Vietnam war escalated. U.N. advisers were sent in to help train south Vietnam forces, then U.N. troops were sent in to supplement, then more and more, escalating as it went, to support a pro-western group against what they saw as extremist faction.

Also, the embedding of extremist in villages can really be directly paralleled in Viet Minh tactics resembling the same.

Edible Avatar:
Regardless, the UN is in place to ensure that the nations around Mali and the international community have a say for or against military intervention.

I don't see how that responds to my post. You claimed France is wrong, I explained how they're right.

Edible Avatar:
By the way, Libya didn't actually turn out well for the US or Europe:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ex-gitmo-detainee-implicated-consulate-attack_652751.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Benghazi_attack
Cost money and gave a haven for Sunni militants, which goes against the current administration's stated goals.

Two mistakes: Supporting the rebels wasn't about 'turning out right', it was about doing the right thing and preventing a bloodbath. Secondly, sust because some American got killed doesn't mean something turned out badly.

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