February 7, 2013

The Superpower Takes a Breather

Michael Totten, Wall Street Journal

AP Photo

France just smashed al Qaeda in Mali with little more than moral support from the United States. Washington did not even lead from behind. Americans did not lead at all. This time we sat on the sidelines while France—France!—led and did everything from the front. Last winter the entire northern part of the northwest African country was seized by Ansar al-Dine and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, who together transformed it into a Taliban-style terrorist state. The famous ancient trading city of Timbuktu—long a mecca for adventurous tourists and the host of an annual international music festival—became a grotesque, hand-chopping tyranny that hemorrhaged violence and refugees.

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TAGGED: War on Terror, United States

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