by Ezra Van Auken
In early December, SLN reported on the Pentagon confirming plans to deploy U.S. soldiers into the country of Malisometime in mid to late 2013. The move comes while many extremist groups are circulating through northern Mali and have taken multiple cities as well as threatened to capture even bigger ones.
SLN noted, “News broke of the upcoming U.S. intervention after a Senate hearing on Wednesday, when Pentagon and State Dept. officials explained the process. All of this is occurring after the United Nations’ endorsement of African-led troops, which U.N. officials say will probably agree to the deal and expect to see U.S. troops deployed within a year.” Since then, the U.N. has confirmed and given permission to the U.S. for intervention. The executive branch seems to have forgotten about seeking permission from Congress.
With U.S. approval internationally permitted, the French have carried out the first string of attacks and deployment on Mali. RT reported on Wednesday, “France has begun an operation to push back rebel forces in Mali. A state of emergency has been declared throughout the country.” The French President, Francois Hollande stated, “This operation will last as long as is necessary.” As many know the context of “as long as necessary” can mean years, as the Americans have witnessed in Afghanistan.
Friday, Mali witnessed French air strikes and deployment, along with Malian troops retaking the town of Konna, which had been seized by al-Qaeda extremists. RT explained, “A source at Sevare airport, located 40 miles (60 km) south of Konna, told Reuters that around a dozen war planes had arrived on Friday. Residents of the city also said that Western soldiers arrived late on Thursday, and reported the arrival of military helicopters and army reinforcements.”
The British are supportive of efforts led by Western forces in Mali including France, the UK foreign secretary tweeted out last week. With war brewing in Mali, French officials have also asked any residents to leave the country – as a safe haven from extremists. “Due to the serious deterioration in the security situation in Mali, the threat of attack or abduction is growing,” the ministry commented.
RT points out, “Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, stressed in an interview with RT that there is a lot of US and French involvement in the crisis. He noted that Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has close ties with the United States and was installed by US-trained Captain Amadou Sanogo, who led last year’s coup d’état.”
Awikiwe said, “I do believe that both France and the United States have long-term plans for military intervention in Africa,” offering the idea that the U.S. government in accordance with France and other EU nations are using the extremist agenda as a pretext to invade and occupy northern African lands.
Interestingly, if it weren’t for the U.S., France and other Western nations overthrowing Gaddafi in Libya, while backing many different rebel factions with arms and money, the rebels in northern Mali probably wouldn’t be as capable as they are now.
The most recent update from the Associated Press explains, “French fighter jets have identified and destroyed this Sunday, Jan. 13, numerous targets in northern Mali near Gao, in particular training camps, infrastructure and logistical depots which served as bases for terrorist groups.” Associated Press’ Baba Ahmed and Rukmini Callimachi also detailed, “The French offensive to take back northern Mali from extremist Islamists continues with bombing of a major city. The United States is providing communications and transport help to the operation.”