France Irked by ‘Minimal’ European Aid in Mali War

Courts Gulf Nations, Africa for Occupation Forces

by Jason Ditz, January 15, 2013

France’s sudden invasion of Mali over the weekend was expected to come with a huge surge of international support to jump into the quagmire with them. EU and NATO member nations have indeed endorsed the war, in theory, but most are reluctant to contribute anything more than a bare minimum of “support” forces.

Minister of Parliamentary Relations Alain Vidalies was very public in expressing French government annoyance at European support that they see as a “minimal, with some regrettable absences.”

Western African nations are planning to send some troops, but minimally trained and likely to take months to get up to speed for the occupation France envisions. With no real hope of a huge British and German relief force, France is instead turning to the Gulf looking for allies.

GCC member nations don’t seem likely to contribute meaningful troops either, but French officials are hoping they can con the United Arab Emirates and others into at least throwing some money at the war to defray the cost of an open-ended occupation that French officials are publicly insisting will be quick and easy, but which seems set to be a long, long war.

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