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Old 06-11-2011   #41
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Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
Your comment came to mind while listen to an NPR piece today—the particularly relevant bit begins around 2:10.
It is an issue that is really in need of greater study. The best material I have read was by a French NGO called Geopolitical Drugs Watch (Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues) that in the 1990’s would publish an annual report called “The World Geopolitics of Drugs”. I think they were tied to either the French government or the EU, but they got their funding pulled and were shut down.
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Old 06-13-2011   #42
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Blaise Campaore is a major figure in the drugs business. See:

http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish...Perverse.shtml
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Old 06-13-2011   #43
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Blaise Campaore is a major figure in the drugs business. See:

http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish...Perverse.shtml
While I don't completely agree with all the "Al Qaida in the blood diamond business" as there is more than sufficient evidence that they were all but last to discover what we did in the 60s on the Dark Continent, I do agree with some of your sentiments below:

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Words cannot express the utter stupidity and self-destructiveness of US policy in allying itself to the rabble of Ouattara and his friends. What government in Africa will ever trust or deal openly with such a maniacal formulation of national interest on the part of the US.
The USG is culturally challenged and refuses to use or even consult with her military leaders. Trust is not a word used in Africa (anywhere).

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The US is at war in Africa. To win, or survive, requires helping one's friends and punishing one's enemies. What imp of the perverse can have gotten things so wrong; and so often?
I disagree. We are not at war in Africa. We are chasing purported Al Qaida at the whim and will of our administration. We reported on these so-called blood diamonds over two decades ago and even then, no one was listening. I'm of the opinion we cannot determine our friends and enemies in Africa because we have neither and our administration is culturally challenged.
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Old 06-27-2011   #44
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Default Mauritania 'destroys al-Qaeda camp' in Mali

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/af...224429787.html

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The Mauritanian army has launched an attack on an al-Qaeda training camp in neighbouring Mali and "completely destroyed" it, a Mauritanian security source said.

Friday's assault in the forest region of Wagadou in western Mali involved air strikes, the unnamed source told the AFP news agency, adding that the "terrorists" struck back with "heavy arms".
Subsequent reporting states 15 terrorists dead and along with two Mauitanian soldiers.

This is how the war on terror should be fought, we don't need to send U.S. Army Divisions to occupy nations to fight terrorists.
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Old 06-27-2011   #45
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This is how the war on terror should be fought, we don't need to send U.S. Army Divisions to occupy nations to fight terrorists.
Since Mauritania doesn't have any combat aircraft, I wonder who did the airstrikes...
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Old 06-27-2011   #46
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I suspect the French or the U.S., both have been active in the region.

Obviously plenty of NATO aircraft available over Libya that could have been re-missioned
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Old 08-12-2011   #47
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Default Inflationary pressure

Within a longer article on the DEA and CT:
Quote:
Liberia's narcotics- and law-enforcement-assistance package from the State Department has jumped from $800,000 in 2007 to a requested $17 million for 2011, a more than 2,000% increase.
Link:http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...7220-2,00.html
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Old 11-25-2011   #48
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Default Mali kidnapping: One dead and three seized in Timbuktu

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An armed gang of kidnappers has abducted three tourists and killed a fourth in the city of Timbuktu in northern Mali, security sources said....

On Thursday, two French geologists were kidnapped by an armed gang in the eastern village of Hombori.
Links:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15895908 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15877709

Unclear what the motives are, notably if an act of terrorism and some distance between the two places.
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Old 12-05-2011   #49
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Moderator's Note

Copied here from the AQ in Africa rebirth thread and edited down to the Mali aspects.

In an Associated Press article out today we can see that AQIM has recognized the need to aid the poor locals to gain their hearts and minds.

Quote:
With almost no resistance, al-Qaida has implanted itself in Africa's soft tissue, choosing as its host one of the poorest nations on earth. The terrorist group has create a refuge in this remote land through a strategy of winning hearts and minds, described in rare detail by seven locals in regular contact with the cell. The villagers agreed to speak for the first time to an Associated Press team in the "red zone," deemed by most embassies to be too dangerous for foreigners to visit.
Link:http://www.newser.com/article/d9rdg0...in-africa.html

The world's poor are a easy target for terrorists to recruit and gain their confidence. The world, not necessarily governments only, must reach out to help, listen to and walk alongside the poor or there will be much unrest ahead.

I remember Robert Kaplan of the Atlantic Monthly predicting anarchy in West Africa back in 1994...see article http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...-anarchy/4670/ What we may be seeing is a second wave of the anarchy with the same, unsolved poverty issues driving it.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-05-2011 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Copied & edited to here
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Old 12-20-2011   #50
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Default Algerian troops 'in Mali to combat Qaeda groups'

Given that other, non-African nations have taken to wandering around the Sahel this is the first report I've seen on Algeria troops being in Mali:
Quote:
Algerian troops have crossed into Mali to help government forces combat groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda, officials and witnesses told AFP Tuesday.

"Algerian troops are currently stationed in northern Mali to assist the Malian army in the fight against terrorism," a high-ranking military official said. e would not divulge the number of Algerian troops now based in Mali nor the expected length of their stay.

"We know there is a team of instructors of at least 15, including officers," a diplomatic source said, also on condition of anonymity.
Link:http://news.yahoo.com/algerian-troop...eSBXb3JsZFNGIE
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Old 01-20-2012   #51
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Default Dozens of Tuareg rebels dead in Mali clash

Reportedly the result of Tuareg mercenaries coming home from Libya and I note a new group calling for independence:
Quote:
the newly formed National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NLMA)
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16643507
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Old 01-20-2012   #52
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Reportedly the result of Tuareg mercenaries coming home from Libya and I note a new group calling for independence:

Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16643507
The returned mercenaries and arms are bound to cause problems for the Sahel region for some time.
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Old 02-02-2012   #53
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Default The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries

Stratfor have a free access article The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries. Nothing startling, but a good, short overview. Clearly Mali is one of the Sahel countries to be affected, so will Niger.

Link:http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/tua...nd-mercenaries
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Old 03-22-2012   #54
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Default Mali Troops Stage Coup

From the Wall Street Journal: Mali Troops Stage Coup

Apparently a reaction to ineffective government response to the Tuareg uprising in the north, and possibly a reaction to peace talks.

More info here.

Didn't the U.S. Africom have a training mission there a few years ago?
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-10-2013 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Add & remove Mod's Note
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Old 03-22-2012   #55
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I pointed this out earlier - the severe limitations of an "AFRICOM" led approach to fighting terrorism.

A few salient points.

1. The Tauregs yearn for an independent homeland.
2. Many armed Tauregs are moving down south in the wake of Gaddafi's ouster.
3. This results in a better armed opposition against the the Malian military.
4. Malian troops (although AFRICOM trained) were not well paid or well compensated - this triggered a set of riots by the widows of Malian troops killed by the Tauregs.
5. The coup is a result of a set of very complex events.
6. AFRICOM will find it difficult to operate effectively here and the US stands to risk of inserting itself into the internal politics of a sovereign state if it sticks its neck in too much.
7. Al Qaeda loves to exploit these kind of situations.
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Old 03-22-2012   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
Didn't the U.S. Africom have a training mission there a few years ago?
Hey John !
Where to begin ? I'll start with a hopeful second to Slapout's desire to have the SWC 2012 quote of the year award:

Training a dictator's rogue military generally means (that training) will later be used against the very population it was intended to protect.

About 3 years ago the President of Mali was unable to abscond with funds for development and pledged a total struggle against AQIM (that, as you and I know got him the POTUS' blessings and OUR cash). He also declared, in the same sentence, that his troops were not equipped nor trained for the counter terrorism task at hand (that he picked and decided to perform).

Enter AFRICOM

I think we are around 6 million in the hole now (of the 20 M granted for the Sahel). Even AID came up with millions to rewrite history and disseminate US views on radio stations (talk about PSYOPS - civilian style).

So, what went wrong - where'd we fail ?

1. The Malian army used their skills and equipment against their own people (go figure). In theory we were to reduce the terrorist threat. This is barely nothing new for the region and someone back in DC should be shot for being ignorant of a 50-year long historical catastrophe and waste of money.

2. Then there's the pathetic belief that AFRICOM is screwing around in a generally peaceful and stable country (despite its history and failed military interventions in other African countries).

3. Our miscalculating where that developmental aid actually goes when governed by military -- benefiting only the military and politicians in said country, while the local population continues to starve.

4. Our involvement could cause resentment (locals misinterpreting our intentions (get all their oil and skedaddle).

5. In conclusion, the US Military are not a humanitarian tool in the POTUS' kit bag. The AID agencies know far better how to abscond with funds and diddle about for centuries with no visible sign of progress. We should start by contacting our congress and senate and have them all committed for atrocities now and in the future
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Old 03-22-2012   #57
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Training a dictator's rogue military generally means (that training) will later be used against the very population it was intended to protect.
Stan, this is going to be repeated how many times before the US wises up?
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Old 03-22-2012   #58
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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
The Tauregs yearn for an independent homeland.
...and why shouldn't they?
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Old 03-22-2012   #59
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Stan, this is going to be repeated how many times before the US wises up?
Mark, Is this a trick question? I won't be alive that long to provide you with that answer

My fall back position then is ...

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We should start by contacting our congress and senate and have them all committed for atrocities now and in the future
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Old 03-22-2012   #60
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My fall back position then is ... "We should start by contacting our congress and senate and have them all committed for atrocities now and in the future"
The answer is for the US to sign the International Criminal Court (ICC) protocols and then sit back and let justice take its course
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