Thursday, January 24, 2013

Did the Obama administration abandon France in Mali?

Thanks Chris for this article.

The article is from the Wall Street Journal and its by subscription only so I'll highlight a few of the eye catchers...

*French officials involved in planning the Mali campaign say they had expected quick, robust U.S. military support based on comments by Pentagon officials in a series of private meetings, including one last October in Paris about how to tame violence in North and West Africa. According to French officials in attendance, the message that day from Michael Sheehan, the Pentagon's point man for special operations, seemed clear: Stop the group known as AQIM—al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—and its allies from creating a desert safe haven.

*French officials say they consulted their American counterparts. One senior French official sized up the feeling in Paris after the White House balked at Paris's request for air tankers to refuel French fighters over Mali. "We are doing the job without you," the official said.

*Skeptical of the need for a big U.S. role, the White House so far has authorized the Air Force to ferry a mechanized infantry battalion of about 800 French troops to Bamako. The U.S. hasn't responded to the request for air refueling tankers needed by the French air force to keep up the pace of attack sorties in support of ground troops.
The national security team the President assembled...the incoming and outgoing parts of it...are in disarray. Ideology is trumping practicality.


  1. Replies
    1. Personally I would be in favor of supporting France going after AQIM. That said I don't have to go back to 1986 to be annoyed with France. I'll never forgive France for 2003. Politics means you work with people you often don't like, especially over common ground such as this. So common cause fine. But make no mistake France demonstrated clearly in 2003 they are not our ally and leading the opposition when we clearly were going to go is at best an unfriendly act.

  2. Damn, France loves Obama and all he do is kick dey heart around.
    Hey France...Votes have consequences for allies also, how's that Nobel peace prize for Obama looking right now?
    I got just one question France.....when Obama went did you guys swallow?

  3. Ideology trumps every decision made by the Obama and democrat's make.
    common sense and alliances don't mean shit.

  4. Yes US airlift assistance rivals that of a single Ukrainian freight company operating An124 and An225,i bet the ukrainians ferried more tonnage and when the bill comes will be cheaper than US C17

  5. USA can't be everywhere anymore :(

    1. we have units sitting on there ass stateside. besides they wanted air tankers nothing more. stop being an apologist for cowards.

  6. Ideology vs. practicality...

    I'm not sure it's that. I'm thinking it's incompetence. Either lack of moral courage ("er... let's see if someone *else* orders my people forward; not that I wouldn't, you see, but...") or a (broken) political OODA loop, where they've gone into "ohshitohshitohshitohshit" mode and can't break that.

    Not that it's actually any _better_, of course.

    Take care. Ferran

  7. "No one here is questioning the threat that AQIM poses regionally," said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing internal deliberations. "The question we all need to ask is, what threat do they pose to the U.S. homeland? The answer so far has been none."

    Just plain ol' lack of foresight. It's the Beltway Blindspot again. The same sort of apparatchiks said the same thing about AQ in Afghanistan.

    The more things change, the more things stay the same in Washington D.C.

    Just send over some KC-135s and a few C-17s fer chrissakes.


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