US Eyes Growing Military Role in Mali

Escalation of American Involvement Likely After Election

The US role in the French invasion of Mali has been limited so far, but with elections planned soon by the Western-backed junta, that could soon change, according to Sen. Chris Coons (D – DE).

“After there is a full restoration of democracy, I would think it is likely that we will renew our direct support for the Malian military,” Sen. Coons said. Before one takes that with a grain of salt, one must remember that the US considers Yemen’s democracy fully functioning after an election with a single US-selected candidate.

All US involvement in the war so far has been limited to aiding French and foreign African troops, with a post-coup rule against aiding the junta directly forcing them just to aid everyone else that is aiding the junta.

That could quickly change, with the US sending “trainers” and “advisers” as part of a direct aid package for the Malian military. This would almost certainly set the stage for more escalations in the future, as Mali’s war transitions from invasion of rebel-held towns into an open-ended insurgency.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.