Starting with providing transport planes for French combat forces, the US continues to get sucked ever deeper into the Mali invasion, with an announcement that President Obama has set aside an additional $50 million to pay for the US involvement in the war.
It didn’t take long for officials to talk of moving from transport planes to providing in-air refueling planes for French air strikes across the nation. The US is also planning a drone base somewhere in the region, an expense likely far greater than the $50 million.
The US is going through much the same slow descent into Mali as the rest of the world, with France pushing for international help after starting a war everyone assumed was scheduled for late this autumn. Britain has similarly gone from transport planes to spy planes and eventually ground troops.
The US has repeatedly insisted that they have no plans to send ground troops into Mali, but as the war continues to escalate and moves more directly into an insurgency, the administration’s repeated warnings about the “danger” coming out of the region seems tailor-made to drag the US into a full-scale ground war.