Monday, September 30, 2013

France Shows the Way

During the run up to the Iraq War, those on the left pined for a foreign policy nuanced enough to embrace working with even the worst chemical weapons-using dictator. Why can't we be more like France, which opposed fighting Saddam (in 2003--but not in 1991 when they sent troops). Now I want a policy that follows France's lead.

After winning the conventional phase of the Mali War of 2013, the French have vowed to keep enough troops in Mali to cement their win and keep jihadis from returning:

France has declared al Qaeda defeated in northern Mali, but also says it will keep troops there for as long as necessary to ensure that the Islamic terror groups do not return and resume using the mountains near the Algerian border as bases. Meanwhile France still has 3,200 troops in northern Mali, down from the peak of 4,500.

And this despite Tuareg-southern Black Malian divisions and sporadic clashes that complicate the new mission:

Malian troops clashed with Tuareg rebels in the northern desert town of Kidal for a second day on Monday, residents said, after the separatists ended a ceasefire with the new government last week.

If only we had the same nuance in our thinking to defend what we won in Iraq.