Blogging the road 2 Timbuktu
US and EU Postpone Their Military Exercise in Mali
In response to an article in the Washington Post.
How ironic that the Tuareg rebellion has caused the apparent postponement of a military exercise to train the Malian military in counter terrorsim.
The US and French militaries have been in Mali for years, supposedly helping with "counter terrorism". The great threat is a couple of hundred Algerian salafists, dressed up as "Al Qaeda" (suits the west and the regional players), lightly armed and holed up in the desert. Everyone knows where they are. They are near the borders between Mali, Niger and Algeria. Nearby are all these nations' forces plus the US and the French militaries to call upon, and not one attempt has been made to rid the region of this "terrorist" threat against which we are supposed to be in a world war. What is the policy here? To leave this group in place until they become a real force?
This recent Tuareg uprising has occurred partly because the Tuareg are fed up with this terrorism in their midst, with the insecurity this has engendered and with the subsequent economic hardship. As they have received no help from their government or the international world while Al Qaeda run amok with regional security by kidnapping foreigners and demanding ransoms, the Tuareg have had little choice other than to take matters into their own hands, equipped ironically with the arms the west sold to Libya.
The Tuareg are showing that they are the best solution for security in the region. No one else is offering it. On their own they have the Malian military at bay, Al Qaeda have gone all quiet and the US and EU have postponed their little exercise. What a joke!
Why do we leave this terrorism in the Sahara to grow and grow rather than snuffing it out while we can? Because there is oil and uranium, and the best way to protect these resources is to maintain a state of instability. Rings a bell!?
The Tuareg want to protect their land. and they want the independence which time has proved to them is their only hope to secure their land.
The US has been training the Malian military for years now in counter terrorism. So far, in this rebellion, which started on 17 Jan, the MNLA Tuareg fighters have managed to slaughter the Malian military at will in seven towns right across their region. In one case over 100 military personnel were slaughtered because they had no ammunition. And we are not talking surface to air rocket launchers, we are talking bullets.
Perhaps the US and EU, rather than running expensive exercises, could better prepare the region to counter this terrorist threat by giving the Malian army some bullets and getting out. Their presence thus far has offered zilch security to the people of the region or to foreign nationals travelling in the region.