According to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, the French government has formally asked the United States for military aid for its invasion of Mali, saying that the aid will conclude planning, logistics and air support, but not combat troops.
France invaded on Saturday, and initially said they believed they would turn Mali into a “terror-free” democracy within a matter of weeks. Since then they have expressed surprise at the strength of rebel fighters, however.
The Mali invasion was initially scheduled for Autumn by the UN Security Council, and many nations have been reluctant to send anything but token support in the wake of the unexpectedly early French attack.
Though officials have questioned the merits of US involvement, arguing the northern Malian desert poses little threat as it is and could become a magnet for terrorists if the US gets too heavily involved, Dempsey took a completely different view, insisting Mali is already a threat to the region and would soon be a threat to the entire planet, US involvement notwithstanding.