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Thread: French troops arrive in Mali to stem rebel advance

  1. #61
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    BF,

    I can see why you are reacting like this, being corrected by a witty comment before.

    If you were more clear about the shipping, none of this would happened.

    In kato's defense, there are still no ships in Mali

    Can we go on now, asty made me curious with October 2001 remark.
    I was as clear as I needed to be about the possibility of shipping being used, but I'm done with this Doc.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  2. #62
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i have to say, the speed of the advance is quite impressive.

    recall the intervention began on 11 Jan with the Islamist seizure of Konna. 14 Jan Islamists take Diably.

    roughly a week later (18 and 21 Jan, respectively) Konna and Diably fall again.

    today we have news that French special forces backed by the African intervention force have retaken Gao, considerably to the east, and French paratroopers have secured the airport/access roads to Timbuktu, to the north, and surrounded the city.

    it took the French one day from securing the airport at Gao to taking control of the whole city itself, with relatively little fighting. the next announced target is kidal, way to the northeast, and airstrikes there have already begun.

    meanwhile the islamists torched the library at Timbuktu in a spiteful little act of vengeance.

    for some reason this feels like October 2001...
    Fair to say the French have a bit of experience at this sort of thing - dropping forces into Africa to set the natives straight.

    Acquaintance of mine used to run tours from Morocco to Capetown. He would ship a couple of trucks into Morocco, the tourists would arrive & off they would go. He was once shot at by blue-robed Tauregs firing AKs from the back of camels (the dislike of Turegs for outsiders is a double edged sword here). He had another experience furhter south in a Central African nation (maybe CAR) where they arrived at the border to find French Legionnaires manning road blocks. They told him he had to go around.....the entire country!! There had been some sort of violent change of government & the French had arrived to restore order & back their faction.

    I also recall quite a bit of French involvement in Chad in the 80s in what I suspect were similar conditions.

    As for your 'October 2001' feeling, was thinking much the same thing. Winning the 'war' might not prove nearly as difficult as winning the 'peace'. It sounds like the Malian Army is working hard to ensure that the ethnic tensions that underlie at least part of this conflict will continue to fester, and I can't imagine the French are keen to commit indefinately. Unfortuanely what has passed for a Malian government over the past year or so hasn't exactly inspired confidence that it can bring this place back under control in the longer term.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  3. #63
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    news reports that kidal has been taken without resistance-- french forces just landed in the airport and strolled into the city. reports that groups of malians are roaming about giving some not-very-well-hidden fighters some rough retribution.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #64
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    Also heard reports yesterday that the Tauregs, not friends to most, are now turning their arms on the Islamists.

    The enemy of my enemy....
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  5. #65
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    The enemy of my enemy....
    Is my friend

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Is my friend
    and you win a cookie.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  7. #67

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    Butter cookie?

    Yyyyuuuummm...
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    The enemy of my enemy....
    Is my friend
    For now.

  9. #69
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    news reports that kidal has been taken without resistance-- french forces just landed in the airport and strolled into the city. reports that groups of malians are roaming about giving some not-very-well-hidden fighters some rough retribution.
    Also heard about the two-pronged attack on Timbuktu; ground forces from the south, airbourne forces from the north.

    Mali Military Enters Fabled Town Of Timbuktu : NPR
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by observer7 View Post
    For now.
    Exactly....
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    The enemy of my enemy....
    ....may well be my enemy again once my enemy is gone....

    Apparently different Taureg groups are on different sides of this, but my bet is that it won't take long for them to remember how much they dislike being ruled by 'outsiders', especially if the southerners or other African troops re-assert control too brutally. These guys have been surviving in the most hostile condidtions imaginable for god knows how many generations - they are easy to p1ss off & hard to scare. If the next step isn't handled properly we could all be back here in a few years.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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    They got new Toyotas?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    They got new Toyotas?
    Very droll doc, very droll.

    On a related note, I was following a thread elsewhere on the use of Toyota 4WDs in warfare. Apparently there was some Toyota exec who mentioned that they actually sent guys out to Africa in particular to get feedback oh how the vehicles had been used & how they had performed. Might even have brought a few home. Apparently saved them a fortune in testing the things.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  14. #74
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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

  15. #75
    tankie Military Professional tankie's Avatar
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    The sooner N/Farage is PM UK the better

    Nigel Farage: The EU is Increasingly About War - YouTube


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