I have some pictures for you guys today from a buddy of mine who trained Malian “Special Operations” soldiers. His impression of them was that they were horribly unorganized with a severe lack of leadership. Family status determined who got to be an Officer rather than who was qualified.
Much like I saw in Iraq, corrupt Officers would hoard quality supplies for their own enrichment. This is echoed in a diplomatic cable that came out via wikileaks regarding previous training given to the Malian military by US Special Forces. Below you can also see some pictures of the Tactical Combat Casualty Care training that they were given.
The American adviser also stated that the Malian forces would, “turn on you for a Dollar” and that AQIM will continue to make inroads in the region and gain a stronghold there because of America’s inability to follow through and sustain our efforts there. At this time, he felt that AQIM simply had more to offer the locals than American support did.
The religious aspect is difficult because America does not send its forces to preach religion and indoctrinate indigenous peoples, which leaves the enemy with ammunition that we don’t have. We can try to tell people not to murder their neighbors, but AQIM rolls into town and shows them scripture which appears to very much endorse the murder of non-believers.