Mali is quick to become the next Afghanistan. Despite the United State’s best efforts both politically and militarily; the country is slowly succumbing to the control of Islamic jihadis in the North. An umbrella term that includes many militant organizations including the Mali-based al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb.
But over the course of the last few months there has been a massive military rush by numerous nearby nations to stem the tide. A dozen nations have heed the call for help and are being strategically prepared for a massive counter-terrorism assault on the terrorist-controlled Northern Mali (hopefully).
Since 2007 the U.S. has had a steady presence of military (specifically Army Special Forces) as well our intelligence operatives on the ground in Mali and nearby nations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara. In Mali specifically – U.S. SOF personnel found themselves in a political predicament when rogue Malian military personnel took control of the government in March of this year in response to the civilian government’s failure to handle the major uprising in the North. When a civilian government is overthrown by its own military in a coup d’Etat, generally the U.S. State Department won’t recognize the new government and partnerships are normally temporary suspended. Considering the U.S. SOF personnel are there by official invite by the Mali government and not operating clandestinely; they had no choice but to pull out of the country (“via official Pentagon sources”) until diplomatic matters are resolved. In April, 3 U.S. special operations service members were killed in Mali when their vehicle plunged off a bridge – one month after the coup and after military relations ceased between both nations. Their presence and mission there is still a mystery.
Current major events in Mali:
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@zero61 They just want to feel helpful. Don't worry, they have baby sitters.
The French? See http://m.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2013/0111/As-French-forces-hit-rebels-in-Mali-Paris-wants-to-avoid-Europe-s-Afghanistan-video
@SEAN SPOONTS @dmalert Right, but you don't need a ton of accuracy to kill a lot of people. You're also assuming the 07 incident wasn't sabotage. Keep in mind a few months later the Israelis took out an alleged nuke reactor site. So why were they "activating" the scud in the first place? General testing or perhaps a hedge against the nuke site being bombed? All of this doesn't matter though. They have enough chemicals and lots of ways to deliver them that even with a 5% success rate they could kill a huge amount of people. And if it's as you say why is everyone bugging out about them using them? Psyop so we can enter Syria? If it's so hard to use them and all these A-rabs are so klutzy then why worry about AQ or other Jihadi group getting them? As per the cost of the program the cost of the actual chemicals is very low and it's the infrastructure that has chewed up all the cash - delivery systems, manufacturing equipment, facilities, etc. And a lot of what they have from missiles to chemicals are manufactured in Syria. What they have to outsource is guidance. This Israeli analyst does not share you optimism for their klutziness. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12022#.UMQi03fhD3U