US Drones, Boots Arrive In Mali

Tyler Durden's picture

Absolutely "nobody" could have possibly anticipated that the week old French incursion into Mali could already have such disastrous consequences: a botched hostage rescue attempt by French commandos while leaving behind one of their team, a downed pilot on the first day of the confrontation, rebels that succeeded in capturing a strategic village and military post, and today, yet another hostage crisis in Algeria that has seen tens of hostages killed, potentially including Americans, following another botched rescue operation. Yet, in some ways, perhaps the stars have aligned just right for the US, which as Bloomberg reports, has wasted no time in sending not only drones in the air, but also boots on the ground.

From Bloomberg:

  • U.S. military trainers are expected to arrive in West Africa this weekend to train local military forces to fight Islamist insurgents including those now battling French and local government troops in Mali, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says in Washington.
  • U.S. now providing intelligence, airlift to French troops fighting insurgents in Mali
  • No U.S. troops to operate in Mali; U.S. barred from providing direct assistance to Mali military

So on one hand the US is barred from providing direct assistance, but on the other, US trainers are... providing direct assistance?

But why? Well, take a quick look at the map of French "military assets" in Mali.

What does this map show?


Mali is one of the most irrelevant countries in West Africa from a resource standpoint, and what happens inside of it is certainly irrelevant from a greater geopolitical standpoint.

What is more important is what this map doesn't show, specifically the name of the country located a few hundred miles to the south: Nigeria.

Now Nigeria is important: very important. Or rather, Nigerian light sweet, one of the highest quality crudes in the world, is. And thanks to the "bungled" French peacemaking attempt, the US now has a critical foothold in what is the most strategically placed stretch of desert in Western Africa, a place where US "military trainers" will now be deployed at will.

Be on the lookout for curious escalations in violence around the capital Abuja, and key port city Lagos, in the coming months once the current Mali fracas is long forgotten.

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Ghordius's picture

LOL - super-easy credit and plenty of girls (a super-majority on the usual campus because of easy credit) are enough distraction without the drugs and the entertainment circus

you have to understand that our cousins in the Land of the Free start to grow up only after marrying the first time and realizing how big their debt is (particularly because her negative net worth is often astounding). add this ideology of the individual and the precariousness of all "group" security, down to the very family (thanks to their divorce laws) and I don't wonder they feel cheated, lost and confused

read between the lines and you'll see it

etresoi's picture

Man are you correct.  I was speaking last night to my PHD nephew and his PHD wife, who now have two children, $150,000 in student loans and easrn hamburger wages from universities, which hire them as contract lecturers.

Ghordius's picture

I feel with you - I have also family in the US in similar situations

I pay their vacations here and try to talk some sense in them, but Crazy Oncle Ghordius is simply an old, mad, very oldfashioned continental european that has no clue about anything for them

the only thing a few US nephews approve of is my (quite impressive and very historic, btw) weapons collection - but they go batshit crazy whenever I mention how illegal it is. they literally shiver

and whenever I take them to France or Switzerland or - my gosh - Italy and show them a few things they would otherwise not notice - including black markets - they blow a fuse in their mental apparatus

etresoi's picture

Fortunately, most of my family has escaped amerika.  I am now a Swiss citizen, live in France but my legal residency is the Phillipines.  One son is professor of humanities at a university in Cambodia, an other does economic research in South Korea and the oldest is doing environmental research for the Chinese government in Tibet.  My brother and his wife have emigrated to Central America and we worry about family who remain.

The silliest family story is my nephew from Greenwich.  He tried and failed at being a country-western singer/sogwriter and that qualified him to be Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes for the US Treasury.  This tells you all you need to know about the war on terror!

etresoi's picture

If some recent history will help you understand what is really happening, read

Bicycle Repairman's picture

The probe that was sent to Mars, was it looking for oil or gold?



SmittyinLA's picture

sorry doodes, the Japs were here last week and we already sold them all the Xenite, but we do have an annuity you maybe interested in.

hooligan2009's picture

50 tons of gold is a little over 1.6 million troy ounces worth around $2.7bn @ 1700 per ounce

cost of one american GI = X, cost of one american engineer X + Z

cost of one french man = X-Y

cost of one malian = zero?

100 tons of gold = c. $5.4 bn

cost of two american = X

etc etc

even if mali has this gold how much oe it cost to get out in human lives, equipment costs, staff on the gorund, boots/security on the ground.

it is a shithole for a reason..its not worth the cost. 



SmittyinLA's picture

Africa is ripe for Islam, if we act smart we can profiteer off the Chinese rape of Africa. 

But we won't act smart, we'll manage to lose money protecting Chinese assets 

Seize Mars's picture

Consider that

1) It will take seven years to deliver 300 tons of German gold

2) Mali produces 55.5 tons per year (Wolfram Alpha)

3) (55.5t/y) x (7 y) = 388.5 t

Yeah, that should do it.