Monday, March 4, 2013

International Involvement and Mali's Security

            With the increase of foreign aid and support against the Islamist insurgents in Mali, the possible end of the conflict is in sight.  African and western nations have pledged more than $450m to fund an African-led military force to fight the Islamists in Mali (Chrisafis, 2013).  This has lead to what appears to be a promising victory at hand for the Malian government.  With the gains of extra resources and man power, the second most dangerous Islamist militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar has been allegedly killed by Chad’s armed forces. (BBC News, 2013)  Additionally, the French and other surrounding North African countries armed forces were able to take back major cities that had been over run by the Islamist rebels. (BBC News, 2013).

            According to British Foreign Secretary Mr. Hague, "Mali is at the heart of a range of complex political, security and development challenges that have the potential to affect the wider region and it is vital that we work together to tackle these challenges." (BBC, 2013)  By external actors, such as France and Britain, expressing their commitment and support for the Malian government one can see that these actors have gotten involved not just to protect the people of Mali and its government but also to be assured of their own safety.  By getting militarily involved within the Malian conflict, these surrounding countries hope to achieve a quick execution of the potential beginnings of a Ji’ Hadist safe haven.  According to Regan and Aydin, (2006)  The type of international intervention that occurs, and the time in which it takes place is very important for success.  In congruence with the Malian conflict, it seems that this time and method sweet spot of intervention has been struck by The French and surrounding African governments. 

            The death of Mokhtar Belmokhtar also shows a promising future for the defeat of the Islamist rebel group.  By taking out this vital game piece for the Islamists insurgents, there has been a significant effect of the chain of command within the rebel group.  This plays in the advantage of the Malian government, by disrupting a clear central demand for the Islamists to work and effectively organize under.

Works Cited
"BBC News - Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar 'killed in Mali'." BBC - Homepage. (accessed March 5, 2013).
"BBC News - William Hague in Mali for talks on security talks." BBC - Homepage.
    (accessed March 5, 2013).
Chrisafis , Angelique . " Mali conflict: African and western nations pledge $450m for military force | World news | ."  Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . (accessed March 5, 2013).


  1. After yesterdays class, I found this blog particular interesting. You mentioned that the French and African governments have intervened at the right time (sweet spot), what is your evidence for this? I would agree that these governments have successfully prevented Mali from being a safe-haven for terrorism (thus far), but this conclusion may be preemptive. I think in order to be successful in the long run, Mali's government needs to be able to independently protect it's own borders from terrorists. Foreign aid may help Mali for now, but after the soldiers leave, Mokhtar Belmokhtar could be replaced and the Ji'Hadists will return.

  2. I think that the cooperation of neighboring African governments will be very imporant for the Malian government in its fight in the long run. The entrance of foreign forces at this time was crucial, in that it helped take back territory controlled by the rebels. However, direct combat is usually not insurgents' strength. They will likely continue to pose a serious threat through guerilla tactics. Foreign forces may leave after reasonable progress has been made, so lasting victory could be a ways off still.

  3. Something to look for in the future of Mali is how well the state is able to reclaim legitimacy among the opinions of the Malian people after the deployment of French troops in the country. I feel that once an outside nation steps in during internal disputes, the country's people often have a difficult time putting faith back in their state's ability to instill stability in the country and establish security. This seems to be a major problem for Iraq since the involvement of the US there as well as other MENA counties including Egypt which has long been criticized for being a puppet nation of the West.