Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Time for U.S. Forces to Intervene in Mali

Argues James S. Robbins, at USA Today:
With U.S. troops out of Iraq and leaving Afghanistan, the last thing the American people want to hear about is the potential for another war. But the growing conflict in Mali is not a new war; it is another front in the same struggle against violent extremism America has been waging since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The insurgency in northern Mali is a collection of local tribal militias and international jihadists united by a common belief in political Islam and opposition to Western influence. One of the most important members of this coalition is al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. In addition to violently exporting its radical ideology, AQIM is involved in drug smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and the illicit arms trade.

Obama administration policy precludes direct military assistance to the current government of Mali because it came to power through a coup. However, the United States is not banned from providing assistance to coalition countries attempting to restore stability in the country, or taking independent action against al-Qaeda.

The United States already supplies France with intelligence support, including satellite imagery and signals intercepts. The White House is also considering providing refueling for French aircraft. But there are a variety of additional means the U.S. could employ short of a major ground action...
Maybe the Max Boots of the worldwide will go for this argument, but this is the last thing to expect from the "realist" clusterf-ks in the administration. But RTWT.

And see, from the editors, "Algeria attack on terrorists instructive: Our view."