So now enter the French into this Malian cauldron. And just where does the U.S. "fit" into this new Western military engagement?
The Obama administration has said it supports the French incursion into Mali and has offered only logistical support and aerial drones but no troops.
Yet, though less publicized in the U.S. corporate media, the U.S. over the last five years has been busily engaged in Mali. American Special Forces have been training the Malian military in "marksmanship, border patrol, ambush skills and counter-terrorism skills". Significantly, the commanders of the Malian military forces receiving this Special Forces training were predominantly Tuaregs the very commanders and their troops that defected and joined with the Tuareg fighters that returned from the Libyan civil war, now all together in opposition to the Malian army.
It was also an American trained Malian officer who initiated the coup of Malian President Toure which set the stage for the mutiny by the Tuareg commanders and their defection.
So it's not some wild assumption, considering American history in Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq and our not so secret wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, that whenever or wherever the U.S. gets enmeshed in foreign civil wars, where ethnic and sectarian divisions exist for which the U.S. is ignorant, has no understanding or historical perspective and certainly no respect for the indigenous populations of the country it is engaged in, the outcome of U.S. involvement won't be a success, but misery, horrendous civilian casualties that spark increased militancy and revenge by those indigenous populations and deep hatred of the U.S.
For now we may not be taking a direct part in French military action in Mali but we sure had a hand in fomenting the current instability in that country.
It's hard to envision Mali not becoming war torn and the population shattered by a protracted war of attrition in yet another Muslim country with this new direct Western military intervention.