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Thread: French troops arrive in Mali to stem rebel advance

  1. #31
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    Actually the uranium for France (and the rest of the EU, mostly Germany) is coming predominantly from neighboring Niger. In Mali uranium mining is pretty minor, there's only one or two mines in the southwest on the border to Senegal.

    Germany is about to offer France logistical assistance (air transport and medevac) for the operation btw. Will probably be finagled in the next couple days and announced sometime around mid next week, when Germany and France are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty strategic alliance.
    Last edited by kato; 14 Jan 13, at 18:43.

  2. #32
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Sooo... tell me all about that port you want to use. You even get the choice between four or five somewhat usable ones. All in countries that make Pakistan and the Southern Afghanistan Route look politically stable.

    Look, there's a reason why France uses air transport and forward basing in this theater. Or why UNHCR is planning for the same in its contingency plans for Mali.
    Didn't say they would, said they could.


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  3. #33
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    what i wanted to emphasize is if there is some natural resources "the west can not afford to ignore",

    if not "the west can easily ignore"...

    so in the name of honesty some one should declare this from "the west"

    Kerim,I'm from the North,relative to you.Mountains,deep snow,chilling cold,barbarians,etc... Do I count?

    Put it in another way.If a Western company does not control said resources,a Chinese one will.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  4. #34
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    tekrar hoş geldiniz Kerim. Good to see you again

  5. #35
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Kerim,I'm from the North,relative to you.Mountains,deep snow,chilling cold,barbarians,etc... Do I count?

    Put it in another way.If a Western company does not control said resources,a Chinese one will.
    i understand the capitalism & that Chinese/Russian/Western race... just i hate people when they call it something about democracy or freedom..

    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    tekrar hoş geldiniz Kerim. Good to see you again
    good to see you too Dave
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  6. #36
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    i understand the capitalism & that Chinese/Russian/Western race... just i hate people when they call it something about democracy or freedom..
    That's impolite.Besides,your own country acts the same.And that's how it should be,a direct democracy excluded.In ancient time,the Athenians debated whether they should attack X to gain a profit.The same folks that actually went to war listened,debated and thought for themselves the ups and downs.Today,it's too complicated.Die for Exxon Mobile,they'll get cheap oil,which will make your family's groceries cheaper(you're dead,you can't enjoy them ).
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  7. #37
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    "

    Rumor has it the US will be sending "non-combat" support to the region, which I suspect will include aerial tankers, logistical support (read: KC's & C-17's) and, possibly, C3 assets (Global Hawks, Predators, etc).

    Hey, maybe the US Navy can try out it's brand-new toy, the X-47B, in a REAL combat zone?
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  8. #38
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    That's impolite.Besides,your own country acts the same.And that's how it should be,a direct democracy excluded.In ancient time,the Athenians debated whether they should attack X to gain a profit.The same folks that actually went to war listened,debated and thought for themselves the ups and downs.Today,it's too complicated.Die for Exxon Mobile,they'll get cheap oil,which will make your family's groceries cheaper(you're dead,you can't enjoy them ).
    yeah same goes for my country nowadays but i dont think that we can back it up. our sht-head pm & his followers are dreaming...

    we lost it(the country) when that sht head went to Bush's office before the 2002 elections-as the first non-statesman visitor to the whitehouse (their claim)-and took the "approval"...
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  9. #39
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    Hey, maybe the US Navy can try out it's brand-new toy, the X-47B, in a REAL combat zone?
    Tha chance of someone capturing it will bring more aid to the 'rebels' then to the side West favorites.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    C3 assets (Global Hawks, Predators, etc)
    The only airborne C3 assets the US has in the area are part of NATO. AGS in Sigonella, same as for Libya.

    I would presume France and Germany are jointly overseeing the whole situation in detail from Space using FSLGS.

  11. #41
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    France has moved about a dozen light tanks (Sagaies) into Mali, as well as about 20 APCs (VAB) and 20 light armored vehicles (VBL, PVP). The units moved in overland, taken from Force Licorne in Abidjan. Additional heavy assets have been transported in on SALIS An-124, including by rumours AMX-10RC of the 1st Foreign Legion Reconnaissance Regiment.

    Troop presence will be strengthened to 2,500 men in-theater over the next day or two. Assets moved by now also include two additional KC-135 and four Rafale. Six Rafale, three Tiger, two Gazelle and six Puma are being prepped for deployment tomorrow.

    Forward HQ in Senegal has been activated, tactical control is taken over by the regimental HQ of 21st Marine Regiment in Mali (the British C-17 was used to move that in).

  12. #42
    Contributor cataphract's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Actually the uranium for France (and the rest of the EU, mostly Germany) is coming predominantly from neighboring Niger. In Mali uranium mining is pretty minor, there's only one or two mines in the southwest on the border to Senegal.

    Germany is about to offer France logistical assistance (air transport and medevac) for the operation btw. Will probably be finagled in the next couple days and announced sometime around mid next week, when Germany and France are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty strategic alliance.
    Lots of gold in Mali, historically as well as currently. But I doubt that's the primary reason.

    Btw, how does France plan on winning this? Holding towns? Killing the militants? What's the criterion for victory here?

  13. #43
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    The war in Libya was seen as a success, now here we are engaging with the blowback in Mali - Comment - Voices - The Independent

    Blowback from Libya....

    Mali’s current agony has only just emerged in our headlines, but the roots go back generations. Like the other Western colonial powers that invaded and conquered Africa from the 19th century onwards, France used tactics of divide-and-rule in Mali, leading to entrenched bitterness between the nomadic Tuareg people – the base of the current revolt – and other communities in Mali.

    To some Westerners, this is a distant past to be ignored, moved on from, and certainly not used to preclude noble interventions; but the consequences are still being felt on a daily basis. Initially, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, suggested its colonial legacy ruled out a France-led intervention; its sudden involvement is far more rapid than expected.

    But this intervention is itself the consequence of another. The Libyan war is frequently touted as a success story for liberal interventionism. Yet the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship had consequences that Western intelligence services probably never even bothered to imagine. Tuaregs – who traditionally hailed from northern Mali – made up a large portion of his army. When Gaddafi was ejected from power, they returned to their homeland: sometimes forcibly so as black Africans came under attack in post-Gaddafi Libya, an uncomfortable fact largely ignored by the Western media.

    Awash with weapons from Libya’s own turmoil, armed Tuaregs saw an opening for their long-standing dream for national self-determination. As the rebellion spread, the democratically elected President Amadou Toumani Touré was deposed in a military coup and – despite allowing a transitional civilian-led government to take power – the army retains its dominance.

    There can certainly be no sympathy for the militia now fighting the Malian government. Originally, it was the secular nationalists of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad who led the uprising; they have now been pushed aside by Islamist jihadists with a speed that has shocked foreign analysts. Rather than achieving an independent Tuareg state, they have far more sweeping ambitions, linking up with similar groups based in northern Nigeria. Amnesty International reports horrendous atrocities: amputations, sexual violence, the use of child soldiers, and rampant extra-judicial executions.
    The Tuaregs now are wanting to ally with the French

    AFP: Tuareg rebels 'ready to help French forces in Mali'

    PARIS — Ethnic Tuareg separatists are ready to support the French military intervention in Mali by taking on Islamist rebels on the ground in the north of the country, one of their senior officials told AFP on Monday.
    "We're ready to help, we are already involved in the fight against terrorism," Moussa Ag Assarid, a representative of the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), said by telephone from northern Mali.
    "We can do the job on the ground. We've got men, arms and, above all, the desire to rid Azawad of terrorism."
    The MNLA, which is seeking a Tuareg homeland in much of the north of Mali, an area it calls Azawad, has played a major role in Mali's troubled recent history.
    A rebellion launched in January 2012 triggered a military coup in the capital Bamako two months later, creating the political vacuum that enabled Islamist groups to seize control of the north.
    The MNLA initially allied itself to the Islamist groups but soon found themselves sidelined as an extreme form of Islamic law was imposed across an area larger than France.
    Considerably weakened, the movement began peace negotiations with the Malian authorities in December and dropped its demand for independence in favour of a request for self-rule.
    On Sunday, the organisation warned the Malian army not to push into the north of the country without a prior political agreement on autonomy.
    Because of the defeats it imposed on the Malian army at the start of 2012, the Tuaregs are concerned about a possible settling of scores if government troops regain control of the north on the back of the French bombing campaign.
    "We don't want to see the Malian army in Azawad without a prior accord between the two parties," said Assarid. "We are ready for talks aimed at finding a solution."
    The MNLA official was speaking from Tinzawatane in the far north of Mali, where the movement has been in congress for the last few days.

  14. #44
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    Mihais,

    I take no insult from your assessment of US capabilities. I happen to agree with you on to a large degree. JSOC is hammer that sees every issue as a nail. That US analysts got soemthing wrong about Africa is not the least bit surprising....Africa is not the strong suit of the US. Heck its not even our our weak suit.

    All of that went into my comment as to why I wanted to see French forces engaged.

    And you are right....we certainly can place a lot of emphasis on support. Not to mention if they find a taget needing it nothing says a DDG or an SSN couldnt drop a few Tomahawks in places where needed. No US lives at risk. But mostly it will be shared intel, logisitcs and tankers.
    We must be...increasingly on the alert to prevent them from taking over other mineshaft space, in order to breed more prodigiously than we do, thus, knocking us out in superior numbers when we emerge! Mr. President, we must not allow...a mine shaft gap!
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