The French Afghanistan: Africa?
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.