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Thread: Mali mainly, 2012 coup, drugs & more

  1. #421
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default British troops to join force countering Mali militants

    A mix of updates and with our current political focus unlikely to attract much attention:

    1.
    Three RAF Chinook helicopters and around 100 personnel have been operating with French forces in the north of the country since 2018, in a non-combat role. The Chinooks have provided valuable heavy-lift to the mission, a capability the French don't have.That commitment was recently extended by a further six months to June 2020, viewed as a gesture of Anglo-French goodwill post-Brexit.
    Link:https://news.sky.com/story/uk-to-sen...ssion-11767832

    Actually this was reported on the 8th July 2019 by a US website:https://thedefensepost.com/2019/07/08/uk-raf-sahel-barkhane-deployment-extended/ and the UK's:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/08/theresa-may-says-britain-will-remain-top-tier-military-nation/

    Comment - nothing at all to do with Canada withdrawing its Chinooks.

    2.
    The UK is to send 250 troops to Mali in the biggest peacekeeping deployment since Bosnia and potentially the most dangerous mission for British forces since Afghanistan. The soldiers will form a long-range reconnaissance task group, specifically chosen for their ability to operate in small teams and in violent, contested areas of the country. They will be asked reach parts of Mali that most militaries cannot, to feed on-the-ground intelligence back to the mission headquarters in Gao. They will arrive in the country early next year.
    Link:https://news.sky.com/story/uk-to-sen...ssion-11767832

    Comment - sounds remarkably like a UK SF mission and why such a delay? Maybe additional desert training is needed and learning French!

    Added a week later. A longer commentary by Oxford Research Group, with several comments by serving, if anonymous UK soldiers who have served in Africa.
    Link:https://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org....f-3db118e6dfcc
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-29-2020 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Add last link. 197,734v today
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  2. #422
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default

    1583155964243.jpg

    How the rate of deaths from attacks has intensified

    Key
    Red: Armed clashes; Purple: Violence against civilians and Brown (Feint) Explosions.
    The time scale is from 2011 to 2019

    Source: https://acleddata.com/analysis/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-08-2020 at 12:00 PM.
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  3. #423
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Where are the incidents?

    1583083115760.jpg

    Source: ACLED once more!
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-08-2020 at 12:03 PM. Reason: 198,146v today
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  4. #424
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The British are coming

    Actually a larger contingent (250 men) is going to Mali later this year to join the UN Mission MINUSMA; there is a RAF Chinook detachment, with three helicopters, with a 94-man based in Gao since 2018 - who support the French-led Operation Barkhane.

    MINUSMA plans to have a second more active component, which will be spearheaded by the British contingent, who will carry out long-range reconnaissance patrols of up to 30 days deep into jihadist territory and be on standby for rapid deployment anywhere in the country.Citing their commander:
    With a manoeuvrable force, we can be more proactive in anticipating attacks, projecting force and deterring and going in where there are confrontations...This will be a more robust, versatile part of the force that will enable us to respond decisively. The British contribution will be the tip of the spear of our adaptation.
    Link (behind a pay-wall):https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...ne-war-terror/

    An earlier story reported a Light Dragoons contingent would perform the long-range patrols, with light armoured cars and presumably 4x4 vehicles. The deployment will be for three years and was originally announced in July 2019. Not everyone is convinced, a Conservative MP who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq commented:
    Our soldiers need to know why we are doing something, preferably for how long and what success looks like. And if we don’t have an end date, then we need to be clear about ‘generational missions’ and what that may entail in terms of kit, personal and training, and potential casualties that come from those missions.
    Link (ditto):https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...ritain-stands/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:17 AM. Reason: 214,162v today
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  5. #425
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Deployment without learning from regional lessons

    Several different viewpoints on the now delayed UK deployment to Mali, an announcement that missed me amidst the pandemic media focus. A deployment that I consider unwise, which is more for non-Mali reasons - notably supporting France and others who have a military commitment there (mainly trainers and SOF).

    Spotted today a House of Commons Library analyst examines the forthcoming role:https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8903/

    An interesting passage within by ex-UK Army officer:
    General Sir Richard Barrons, a former Commander of Joint Forces Command (UK armed forces), also gave evidence to the Committee. Discussing the events of 2012, when he was UK Director of Military Operations, he concluded “the net effect is that unless you can meet a problem like Mali on the scale and in terms of the nature of the challenges it presents, it will not fix itself”. On the proposed deployment of 250 military personnel, which he described as tokenistic, he questioned the wider thinking within Government towards the Sahel: “these minor contributions to Mali are not in support of a strategy of any kind other than ‘we should do a bit more UN peacekeeping’”.
    On 29th April an American viewpoint on the wider lessons available, but seemingly ignored so far and cites what happened in Chad over a long period: https://www.theamericanconservative....rica-strategy/

    From RUSI an upbeat view and explanation:https://rusi.org/commentary/building...-security-mali

    Then a quite different RUSI view:https://rusi.org/commentary/uk-joins...le-fight-sahel

    By a RAND analyst in March: https://wavellroom.com/2020/03/12/the-uk-in-mali/





    Last edited by davidbfpo; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:11 PM. Reason: Add quote and 2nd RUSI article
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