21 thoughts on “War Plans For Mali

  1. Bart

    A little OT, but was this basically the way they were keeping Petraeus quiet about Benghazi?

    “Nice marriage y’a got there, General. ‘Be a shame if somethin’ was ta happen to it.”

    1. navytech

      “Nice marriage y’a got there, General. ‘Be a shame if somethin’ was ta happen to it.”

      It may be why he was hired in the first place. Does Obama NOT have information on anyone?

  2. wodun

    Mali is a problem and so is Nigeria. The ethnic cleansing taking place in Nigeria is scary. There are similar things happening in Egypt although not on the same scale yet.

    It is all very academic until you watch the videos on liveleak or someplace else. Abu Ghraib has nothing on what is taking place in these countries.

    I like going after the Islamists wherever they operate but this can’t be a global shadow war. Congress needs to vote and the American people need to know what is going on.

  3. Robin Goodfellow

    This isn’t that surprising. Obama’s administration has been conducting wars in Yemen and Somalia without much media attention. And realistically the US has to confront these threats at some point in the very near future, the question is how. If we follow the pattern of Yemen (a somewhat cavalier campaign of drone strikes that targets opponents of the local corrupt regime as much as it does “terrorists”) then we could merely be making things worse geopolitically. More so if these actions aren’t anchored on a strong and well-defined policy and if they are kept under the media radar instead of making the effort of getting buy in from the country.

    Unfortunately, this seems like it’s just going to be a clinton-esque “easy mode” war where we just drop bombs from the air and don’t get involved on the ground, with predictable results.

    1. Bob-1

      Please compare easy mode wars (Libya, Kosovo, any others you think qualify) with hard mode wars (Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, any others you think are relevant), and then, please explain why the results from hard mode wars are better than the results from easy mode wars. Thanks!

      1. Robin Goodfellow

        Libya is too recent to draw conclusions from, though the strength of terrorist organizations in the country is not a good sign.

        Kosovo turned out ok, but this was because there was a sovereign government as the enemy and it was far more justified to bomb infrastructure, conventional ground troops, and so forth. Eventually occupation by NATO et al forces was necessary but at that point the Serbian government had surrendered. If we look at the Bosnian war we can see that our attempts at “easy mode” were hugely unsuccessful and it took the better part of a decade to end the savage violence and brutal war crimes that had been going on.

        Let’s look at a whole class of examples: Somalia intervention, embassy bombing retaliation in Sudan and Afghanistan, and bombing campaigns against Saddam’s Iraq throughout the Clinton presidency. We know now that the first two did nothing but embolden al qaeda and if anything led them to the belief that a massive attack on the US, realized on 9/11/01, would cause America to withdraw from the middle east. The Iraq mess merely prolonged Saddam’s rule and the suffering of Iraqis and if anything reduced American prestige and favor in the region due to the sanctions against the people of Iraq and the fecklessness of America in actually taking out Saddam.

        In contrast, the Iraq 2003 invasion has had much better results, though results are certainly mixed. The people of Iraq ultimately turned away from popular support for terrorists and many terrorist groups were destroyed or diminished in the fighting.

        1. Bob-1

          A very quick partial reply: I think you’ve got Bosnia wrong. The UN (UNPROFOR) was utterly embarrassingly ineffective (with horrific results), but once NATO finally got seriously involved as the primary participant (as opposed to only supporting the UN as they requested help), the shooting war ended almost immediately — within days. My understanding is that NATO took command, they bombed two Serbian fuel depots, and then the Bosnian war ended, providing a majestic example of air power.

          1. Bart

            The only thing the air war accomplished was getting the Serbs to the negotiating table. At that point, they made a misstep: a deal with the Clinton administration which was something completely other than what they thought they had made. By the time they realized it, UN peacekeepers were already in place, and they couldn’t attack anymore without declaring war on the entire UN.

            One could say that Clintonian deviousness carried the day, and that sometimes it is good to have a mendacious rat bastard in charge. But, only sometimes…

          2. Bob-1

            ” By the time they realized it, UN peacekeepers were already in place, and they couldn’t attack anymore without declaring war on the entire UN.”

            You’d think the Srebrenica massacre in the UN safe area, with Serbs firing upon and even killing Dutch UN peace keeping troops, would constitute a declaration of war on the entire UN.

            But after another massacre of Bosnian civilians the next month, NATO finally took the lead and ended the war.

      2. wodun

        It will be interesting to look at the Arab Spring countries in comparison to Iraq in another decade.

      3. Karl Hallowell

        It’s worth noting that Iraq and Afghanistan started as “easy mode” wars too. The problem is what starts in easy mode doesn’t necessarily stay in easy mode. When you commit, even with such a disengaged approach, you risk escalation.

      4. Karl Hallowell

        Another “easy mode” war is the fun and games with Iran and its nuclear weapons program. The US and Israel are commonly thought to be the authors of the worm, Stuxnet, which infected controllers for uranium refinement and supposedly has set the program back a few years, but hasn’t ended things.

  4. Godzilla

    Had there been no intervention in Libya the trouble in Mali would likely never have happened to begin with. That is the issue with increasing entropy in chaotic systems.

    1. Leland

      Bowden already wrote the “The Finish” in regards to the Bin Laden Raid, so he already has a blackhawk down sequel. I think you smell a trilogy.

  5. Fletcher Christian

    Regarding the Bosnian conflict, it could be and has been argued that the West backed the wrong side. Bosnia was and is a holdover from the Ottoman Empire and is the biggest enclave of terrorist scum Muslims in Europe.

    1. Bob-1

      Once again, the very same people who are quick to fight with me or Jim or Chris say nothing, absolutely nothing, when racists like Fletcher Christian or Bruce Lewis post something which absolutely contradicts the values that you supposedly stand for.

      Fletcher, here is why you are wrong:
      Google image search on Bosnian concentration camps.

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