Sunday, May 27, 2012

Great. Another Islamic Republic

How nice. The jihadis have cut a deal with the Tuaregs to join forces in their break-away caliphate in northern Mali:

Mali's Tuareg rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Ansar Dine Islamist militants have agreed to merge and create an independent Islamic state in the north of the country, a rebel spokesman said on Saturday.

The deal between MNLA, which has said it wants an independent secular state in the north, and the al Qaeda-linked Salafist Ansar Dine, which had wanted to impose Sharia across Mali, may complicate international efforts to stabilize Mali after a March coup that plunged the country into chaos.

Sometimes, war really is the answer.

And God help us, the only state with the local links and military power to pull it off is France--under their new socialist president who is running from Afghanistan early.

Or is France our only hope?

I wonder what AFRICOM is pondering. They've been vewy, vewy quiet. Would we try the Afghanistan option with special forces and precision weapons (now using drones to update the model) leading whatever government forces we can scrape together in the south? We do have some responsibility for this given that spill-over from the Libya War started the chain reaction that led to this moment.

Is the declaration of an Islamic state enough justification for President Obama to take the lead now? Would we send a battalion or two of Rangers plus special forces and drone forces backed by some long-range B-52s for the initial shock and awe?

Mind you, I'm well aware that this is a small force for a caliphate bigger than France. But the idea is to use that small force to break the back of the northern forces and allow government forces and ECOWAS troops to move north and reclaim the urban centers, bases, and roads.