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The French Afghanistan: Africa?

Updated on June 19, 2013

The current bold moves by France in Mali to stem the al-Qaeda group advance on its capital, Bamako, had some worrisome concerns. The last time France became truly involved in a guerrilla war was from 1946-54 in Vietnam. The US played a support role there and in the end proved too much for the well armed French forces

Now, Africa poses a similar type of war in a much vast area where so far only the French really have boots on the ground, America has avoided it because of its own Afghanistan war, While Mali seems to be an opening salvo, can the French win? So far, about 2100 French troops are in Mali and fully support by aircraft from Chad and armor vehicles. This is deja vu because back in 46-54, France was well armed also. France has another 350 men in Senegal, 950 in Chad, 1400 in Djibouti, 200 in Central Africa, 450 in Gabon and 1000 in Mayotte. Much of the reason for France and China in being interested in Africa is due to minerals, gas and oil. In Niger, there are the uranium mines, in Senegal, the maganese mines, and in the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Angola, and Congo, it's oil and gas production.

The EU is funding the French in Africa with $67 million to help the African nations take on the terrorists, while promoting French interests. But, as the terrorist leader mention in Mali, Africa will be France's Afghanistan. Maybe. If the terrorists continue their method of terrorism, it could end up as Vietnam did with most of the battles being won by the French but losing the war.


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    • profile image

      Mike 5 years ago


      I wouldn't understimate the French in this one. They are using the Legionnaires.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      well, they are winning so far, retaking Gao, which is far into northern Mali. But, they did this in Vietnam also, winning battles.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 5 years ago from Singapore

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. The French are not going to win and I have no doubts the French cannot sustain a campaign. They are good losers. I cant recollect any war the French won in 20 century

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      In Mali, before the coup, the US trained a small number of Mali officers in anti-terrorism, that said, one of them took advantage of the turmoil in Mali and began a coup to the embarrassment of the US, This coup actually helped the terrorists gain control of much of Northern Mali. i think the only goal is stop AQIM and make Mali terrorist free.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I think the right concept is "murky". Almost no official policy anywhere. Algeria is no doubt the largest stake holder. The US will not act to build a launching pad in Mali, but to be in place for the next power brokers in Algeria.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      You are not that accurate and objective when it comes to American affairs. What you forget to say is that the northerm part of Mali was financially supported by the US. That the rebels that overthrew the existing government in 2012 were officers trained in the US.

      But what is more important, is thanks to the US worldwide interventions it gave the freedom for any neocolonialist countries to pretext help whereas in the back of their mind lies the invasion and the economical gain. Mali is not really the target. As the US, France has a bigger fish to fry. Algeria is the goal.