Europe’s African War

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PostFri Oct 19, 2012 5:37 am » by Willease

October 18, 2012 • From
The EU is preparing an invasion in North Africa.

The King of the North is preparing to battle against the pushy King of the South as Europe is planning to send troops into Northern Africa.

Yes, you read that right: The European Union is preparing an invasion. It is small scale. But the EU is very concerned about radical Islam’s growth in North Africa. While Syria and Iran grab the world’s attention, Europe is marshaling its African allies and preparing to send in a small force to tackle radical Islam.

The area concerned is Mali. The country has descended into chaos after rebel troops staged a coup d’état last March. Islamic groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (aqim), which have long been strong in the region, took over the north of the country. Add to that the chaos of Libya’s revolution, and you have the perfect environment to cultivate dangerous Islamic extremists.

Why does Mali matter? It is as remote as Timbuktu (literally: Timbuktu is in Mali). Look at it on a map. Northern Mali gives the terrorists a base on the Sahara Desert, from which they can launch attacks throughout Northern Africa. Just over the border, Algeria is a natural gas and oil hub for Europe. Nigeria, the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S., is not far to the south. Nigeria, Libya and Algeria are Africa’s top three crude oil producers, providing nearly one tenth of the world’s oil. If Islamic extremism is allowed to take root and spread, it threatens key energy suppliers of both Europe and the U.S.

Naturally, the threat has attracted the attention of more than just Europe. America is also concerned and considering military intervention. But Europe is positioning itself to take the lead in any international venture.

On October 9, one of Europe’s most experienced leaders was appointed the special envoy for the Sahel (the region just south of the Sahara that includes northern Mali). As a former Italian prime minister and president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi was a surprisingly high-profile choice. ... 0R20121006

The appointment is also curious, as Prodi has zero experience in conflict mediation.
His appointment seems to have less to do with Prodi’s actual qualifications than with Europe getting its man the top job. And Prodi’s influence stretches far beyond Mali. The Sahel stretches right across North Africa, all the way into Sudan. With European figures at the top of the UN’s operations in the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Europe has a great deal of influence within the UN over African matters.

With Prodi in place, the EU is preparing to send soldiers to the region. At a meeting of foreign ministers on October 15, the foreign affairs council called for a common European military operation to be “pursued and extended as a matter of urgency.” ... 132850.pdf
The main focus of this mission will be training Mali’s army to deal with the terrorists in the north. But Reuters reports that the options under consideration “range from dispatching 150 or so military trainers to Mali, to sending up to 500 soldiers who would not only train Malian troops but might also accompany them in battle,” citing an anonymous Western diplomat.

Another diplomat described the decision to intervene in Mali “a big step for the EU.”

It is a step that has the solid support of Germany. “We have to avoid at an early stage the development of a second Somalia, without any rule of law,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. “Because then there are going to be founded further terrorist schools that will endanger our situation here in Europe too.”

But France is the one taking the lead. After all, most of the countries involved are former French colonies, and France has the biggest business and mining ties in the area. French citizens have been among the biggest targets of aqim’s kidnapping operations.

The situation probably suits Germany. Berlin is happy to let France lead, providing it is in the direction Germany wants to go.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that military action in Mali would start in a “matter of weeks, not months.” He said that France would “not send troops on the ground,” but would instead help plan the campaign and provide “logistical aid.” ... 8ed79f.441

French paper Le Figaro reported in September that “a hundred members of French special forces have already been deployed in the region.” These troops will be supported by navy patrol planes to collect intelligence, as well as navy commandos, the paper reports, and the military will set up a surveillance operation in Niger.

Philippe Hugon, of France’s Institute for International and Strategic Relations (iris), told France 24 that “France has always maintained a presence in the country via its secret services.” ... -islamists

The UN Security Council has already backed a French plan for the Economic Community of West African States (ecowas) to intervene in Mali, at the request of the Mali government. The UN is to provide “military and security planners,” who will, most likely, come largely from Europe.

Hugon says that France is already training ecowas. “Today, it’s using its know-how to train and support ecowas forces that are not powerful enough to lead this kind of operation on their own,” he said.

Europe is deeply concerned by the spread of radical Islam throughout the Middle East. It is working to confront Iran in Syria and in Lebanon.
But it is concerned about the developments in North Africa too. Iran’s terrorist network is spreading throughout the Mediterranean region.

Watch this area of the area of the world as Europe quietly confronts radical Islam in a region of vital strategic significance to Europe.

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PostFri Oct 19, 2012 6:00 am » by Eldorado

That's probably the worst thing Ive heard all week......

Realize the fiasco in Africa when the most hated colonists step foot in that area. :peep:

It will be worse than Somalia for sure......
“The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin.” Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

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PostFri Oct 19, 2012 6:09 am » by Willease

Published on Oct 18, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

African and European nations are meeting in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, to finalise plans for a military assault in the country's north. Northern Mali has seen intense fighting since April when army officers deposed President Amadou Toure.

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