Before his ouster, Gaddafi was a stabilizing force. Investments and mediation efforts prevented conflict between governing authorities and Tuareg rebels.
Things change a year ago. Heavy armed rebels mobilized. In March 2012, Long-time Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was deposed.
Local Islamists controlled northern areas with Tauregs. Islamists with Al Qaeda ties drove them out. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama wants congressional approval to intervene. With or without it, he'll do what he wants.
US special forces and drone attacks may be planned. Operations may be similar to Washington's proxy wars on Somalia and Yemen.
Administration officials call Mali a "powder keg" able to destabilize surrounding countries. They have to invent some reason to intervene. AFRICOM head General Carter Ham said:
"The conditions today are vastly different than they were previously. There are now non-Al Qaeda associated groups that present significant threats to the United States." He urges intervention.
An unnamed official added:- Advertisement -
"Everyone is committed to taking on violent extremism in Africa. There is a healthy debate in the administration about how best to counter the threat in the region."