January 15, 2013

Is Mali Another Loss for Counterinsurgency?

Max Fisher, Washington Post

AP Photo

In earlier years, the U.S. military had attempted a sort of pre-counterinsurgency in the vast Sahara region that includes northern Mali. American officers and special forces trained local counterparts who were to, as the U.S. had set out to do in Afghanistan, protect the population, take out terrorists, and combat any emerging threats from within. But the local counterparts ended up defecting, bringing their expertise (and their new equipment) over to the enemy, the New York Times reports. One of the U.S.-trained officers in the Mali military staged a coup, giving the Islamists their big opportunity.

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TAGGED: David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, United States, al-Qaeda, France, Mali, Counterinsurgency, COIN, Africa

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