Mali : The Next Quagmire?

From Emergent Africa Thu Jan 17 2013, 16:56:00

Alexis Okeowo writing in the New Yorker:

This past weekend, when France sent troops and warplanes to Mali and launched an air offensive aimed at ousting the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists who control much of the northern part of the country, it didn't think it would have to stay long. "It is a question of weeks," the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said, according to Al Jazeera. Almost as soon as the operations began, however, it started to look like the task facing France would not be so easy--the Islamist rebels were far better equipped and prepared than had been anticipated. And now, with Americans among a group of foreign nationals that were taken hostage in neighboring Algeria in retaliation for France's involvement in Mali--and then possibly killed during an Algerian military action, though there are conflicting reports about what happened--there's reason to wonder: Is France in over its head? And will it pull the United States down with it?...[continue reading]

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