Military Intervention in Mali ‘Probable,’ Says French FM

The unrest in Mali has roots in NATO's interventionism in Libya

by John Glaser, July 12, 2012

Foreign powers are likely to intervene militarily in Mali after al-Qaeda-linked militants took control of some of the territory, according to France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

“In the north, at one moment or another there will probably be the use of force,” Fabius said, specifying that intervention would be “African-led” but supported by international forces.

Indeed, there is evidence that US special forces are already secretly on the ground in Mali. In a mysterious car crash in April, the bodies of three US Army commandos were found in Mali. The Obama administration has refused to speak about covert operations, but a greater – and more secret – military presence throughout Africa is becoming a staple of Obama’s foreign policy.

In May, Islamic militants that were reported to be an offshoot of al-Qaeda swarmed into Mali following the unrest and desecrated a holy tomb in Timbuktu. Now swathes of territory in the north are under their control.

The military coup that took place in Mali in March is a monument to the consequences of U.S. interventionism which resulted in a power vacuum and political and military instability. Rebel troops seized power and toppled the government in a bid to oust democratically elected President Amadou Toumani Toure who they claim insufficiently supported the military in a fight against Tuareg militants waging an insurgency in the north.

Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi had hired and armed many Tuareg fighters to defend him against the NATO-backed rebellion in Libya, and they returned to Mali at the Libyan war’s end stronger and more determined than ever, leading to a coup headed by Captain Amadou Sanogo, who was trained by the U.S. military.

As with previous U.S. interventions of late, militants allying themselves with the ideas of al-Qaeda seem to crop up only after the U.S. destabilizes the country. Still, the notion that nomadic militants pose any real threat to the US is absurd.

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