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Africa in Crisis- The Merged Superthread

Humphrey Bogart

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daftandbarmy said:
Unlike France, our national interests as they relate to Mali are nowhere near the levels that would justify that deep a commitment, I'm thinking.

France's campaign isn't Counter-Insurgency. Sure it has elements of counter-insurgency but the reality is it's a Colonial Policing Action that is designed to preserve French business interests in the region.  France doesn't care who they support, they will flip the switch on who they support at the drop of a hat if they think one of the many sides involved in the conflict(s) in the region will give them a better deal. 
 

CBH99

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The French 'seem' to have the resources they need on the ground, all on their own.  Despite the constant WW2 jokes by folks who don't really know their history all too well, France is a pretty capable country militarily & quite capable of executing operations independently. 

Perhaps some ISR assets, or an air-to-air refueller would be a useful contribution that is also safe for the Liberals politically. 
 

daftandbarmy

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Humphrey Bogart said:
France's campaign isn't Counter-Insurgency. Sure it has elements of counter-insurgency but the reality is it's a Colonial Policing Action that is designed to preserve French business interests in the region.  France doesn't care who they support, they will flip the switch on who they support at the drop of a hat if they think one of the many sides involved in the conflict(s) in the region will give them a better deal.

Well, some are calling it a Counter-Insurgency which, IIRC, is far more widespread and difficult to root out than 'only' terrorism. In general, this seems more 'peace making' than 'peace keeping', and we've been caught out by that before, haven't we? :)


Counterinsurgency in Mali: The Case for a Surge   

Following former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s resignation and dissolution of his government after a military coup, the challenge of waging counterinsurgency against jihadist groups will pass to Mali’s next leaders, whoever they may be. The Keita government’s failure to provide adequate security in many communities after nearly a decade of conflict contributed to the popular calls for changes in leadership and allowed insurgent movements to metastasize. Despite enthusiasm for political change in the months preceding the coup, the same grievances that undermined Keita’s government will soon return if counterinsurgency efforts remain ineffective. For Mali to emerge from this transition with a viable chance of improving security, Bamako should pursue a troop surge as the means of prosecuting a more robust counterinsurgency campaign.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/counterinsurgency-mali-case-surge

Mali's New Leadership Raises Questions About French Counterinsurgency Mission

https://www.voanews.com/africa/malis-new-leadership-raises-questions-about-french-counterinsurgency-mission
 

Colin Parkinson

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and our army for the most part is tuned for this mission in regards to training and equipment. The TAPV's would likley come into their own their. The Griffons and Chinooks would be welcome, as would the C130J and C17's. No worries about dodging counter battery fire.

In Northern Mali, the key to control is controlling the water sources, which can be few and far between. We would need to boost our support fleet to provide coverage across the enormous distances.
 

MarkOttawa

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Key points from the story: talks look like have been had with French; either this is a trial balloon with Canadian agreement or a French effort publicly to pressure us:

Canada facing calls to step up amid violence, instability in Mali
...
French Brig.-Gen. Cyril Carcy, who until August commanded Operation Barkhane, thanked Canada for that contribution during the CDAI conference even as he hinted at talks between Ottawa and Paris around the provision of more assistance.

“I do believe that discussion is already underway to ask for additional contributions,” Carcy said in French before listing several ways in which the Canadian military can help French and local African forces fighting terrorist groups in the region .

Those include more intelligence and sensors to help locate and identify Islamic militant forces as well as air-to-air refueling to support French fighter jets operating in the region.

“The Canadians can therefore participate without necessarily being present in Mali in the combat sense,” said Carcy, who is now the French defence attache in Washington, D.C....
https://globalnews.ca/news/7464112/canada-military-mali/

Giving direct, even if low-risk, assistance to the French anti-jihadist Op Barkhane would be quite a volte-face for this government (it is noteworthy that France is now also asking for more military help from fellow EU members https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/6/france-to-reduce-troop-presence-in-conflict-hit-sahel ). Perhaps the government has decided, in these uncertain times for relations with the US–even with a Biden administration, and with a UK in rather a bit of a Brexit bother, that now is the time to strengthen ties with our most important partner on the continent as several elements of our foreign policy are coming under review.

And, in relation to strengthening relations with France, it is noteworthy that on November 13 our foreign minister, François-Philippe Champagne, tweeted this ( https://twitter.com/FP_Champagne/status/1327319167259832323 ) after the French had taken out a senior al Qaeda leader in Mali:

Canada welcomes the success of the French Armed Forces’ operation. This news is particularly important for the security of civilians & the stability in #Mali.

I cannot recall a previous similar congratulation for a hit job on a terrorist by our government (well, maybe bin Laden) so maybe we were signalling a more “muscular” attitude in the French context.

Other factors, er, enabling taking part in Barkhane: Britain has been supporting the operation with three large RAF transport helicopters in Mali for over two years ( https://www.forces.net/news/uk-extends-military-support-counter-terrorism-mission-mali ) so the Canadian Armed Forces would be working alongside two very familiar allies and sharing a common (if different) language with both.

On verra if the air comes out of the balloon soon.

Mark
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Good2Golf

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...so the French are one of the few nations in the world with a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and they don’t have enough transport helicopters of their own to support a mission in their colonial backyard?
 

Blackadder1916

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The UN really does like to kneecap itself, doesn't it?

You can't tell the players without a programme, or at least the color of their caps. The British Chinooks are in support of the French Operation BARKANE (also has contingents from some African countries and a couple of Europeans) but it is not part of MINUSMA which was the UN mission that Canada supported with its Chinooks. BARKANE is headquartered in Chad where most of its operations are, whereas MINUSMA's mandate is limited to operations in Mali.


...so the French are one of the few nations in the world with a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and they don’t have enough transport helicopters of their own to support a mission in their colonial backyard?

Likely the Chinook has a quality that supersedes the Gallic opinion that things designed and built in France by Frenchmen are superior.

 

daftandbarmy

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...so the French are one of the few nations in the world with a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and they don’t have enough transport helicopters of their own to support a mission in their colonial backyard?

It's more likely that they've bitten off more than they can chew. The enfor numbers are impressively large, as is the geography:

G5 force too small to curb militancy in Sahel​

This is a huge region. You are talking about distances of hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. 5,000 soldiers in the G5 joint force operating in the border areas is really quite a small number of people. Even if you then add in the other detachments of the Sahel armies and the French military with four and half thousand troops, it is still a relatively small number of soldiers to engage in operations to try and tackle the jihadists.

 

Weinie

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It's more likely that they've bitten off more than they can chew. The enfor numbers are impressively large, as is the geography:

G5 force too small to curb militancy in Sahel​

This is a huge region. You are talking about distances of hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. 5,000 soldiers in the G5 joint force operating in the border areas is really quite a small number of people. Even if you then add in the other detachments of the Sahel armies and the French military with four and half thousand troops, it is still a relatively small number of soldiers to engage in operations to try and tackle the jihadists.

There might be a lesson from the not too distant past where nations continued to build up troop numbers to deal with an insurgency.
 

MilEME09

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Crazy video emerging from Ethiopia yesterday of rebels shooting down a C-130.
 

daftandbarmy

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Crazy video emerging from Ethiopia yesterday of rebels shooting down a C-130.

My aircraft recognition is awful, but that aircraft doesn't look like a C-130.
 

Blackadder1916

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Narrative:
A Lockheed Hercules of the Ethiopian Air Force has been destroyed in an accident near Gijet, Ethiopia. Unconfirmed reports suggest the aircraft was downed by the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) during the armed conflict known as the Tigray War that started in November 2020 between Ethiopia and the Tigray Region.

The aircraft was a Hercules, formerly operated by Ethiopian Airlines as ET-AJK, was seen in an all white colour scheme at Addis Ababa - Bole International Airport in 2006 without any serial number.

. . . identification from the C-130 that was shot down . . .

E4uLLDAXIAA4yDG
 

daftandbarmy

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I wonder if China's efforts to build an iron ore economy in Guinea had anything to do with the recent coup:

China determined to build iron ore hub in Africa as Australia goes Quad

There was a time when Japan, like China today, was the rising power in the East that kept military planners in the West awake at night.

"It is very certain that no other nation at the present time is spending so large a part of its revenue on naval preparations," military author Hector Bywater wrote in the 1921 book "Sea-Power in the Pacific -- A Study of the American-Japanese Naval Problem."

But Japan had a critical weakness: a lack of steel.

"Since the close of the Great War, shipbuilding in Japan has been seriously hampered by the difficulty of obtaining steel," Bywater wrote, referring to World War I. His book accurately predicted a naval conflict between Imperial Japan and the U.S. two decades later.

Japan had previously imported large quantities of American steel under a special agreement between the two governments. But in 1917, the U.S. imposed a steel embargo which stemmed the flow to the Asian country.

"So serious has the shortage become of late that the output of tonnage in Japan during 1920 was 25% short of the forecast of 800,000 tons which had been made in January of that year," Bywater wrote. "This scarcity of steel reacted on the naval program, delaying the launch and completion of ships."

Chinese state planners looking to learn from history would quickly notice that the glaring vulnerability for Beijing today is its dependence on iron ore from Australia. While Beijing has tried to squeeze and punish Canberra for proposing an international investigation into the roots of COVID-19, it has been unable to wrestle itself away from Australian iron ore, which accounts for over 60% of China's imports.


China determined to build iron ore hub in Africa as Australia goes Quad
 

Colin Parkinson

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Opportunity or crisis?

Nearly 6,000 fighters from the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group in northeast Nigeria have surrendered to the Nigerian military in recent weeks, the Nigerian armed forces said on Thursday.

Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, a spokesman for the Nigerian military said, “Within the last few weeks, more than 5,890 terrorists comprising foot soldiers and their commanders have surrendered with their families to own troops in the North East Zone.”

He added that 565 of the surrendered fighters had been handed over to the government of northeastern Borno State for “further management after thorough profiling,” but gave no further details.

While that is a feather in the cap of the military’s counter-insurgency efforts, it presents an entirely new set of challenges for the Nigerian government and citizens. Nearly 350,000 people have died in the fight against Boko Haram during the past dozen years. Further, more than two million citizens have been displaced. The violence spilled over to neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. So, although the former terrorists have seemingly renounced their ways and are controversially seeking to re-enter mainstream society, the distrust among parts of the population is well-founded.

Even the Nigerian government’s program, Operation Safe Corridor (OSC), aimed at deradicalizing low-risk former insurgents, is controversial among citizens.
 

CBH99

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Opportunity or crisis?

Nearly 6,000 fighters from the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group in northeast Nigeria have surrendered to the Nigerian military in recent weeks, the Nigerian armed forces said on Thursday.

Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, a spokesman for the Nigerian military said, “Within the last few weeks, more than 5,890 terrorists comprising foot soldiers and their commanders have surrendered with their families to own troops in the North East Zone.”

He added that 565 of the surrendered fighters had been handed over to the government of northeastern Borno State for “further management after thorough profiling,” but gave no further details.

While that is a feather in the cap of the military’s counter-insurgency efforts, it presents an entirely new set of challenges for the Nigerian government and citizens. Nearly 350,000 people have died in the fight against Boko Haram during the past dozen years. Further, more than two million citizens have been displaced. The violence spilled over to neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. So, although the former terrorists have seemingly renounced their ways and are controversially seeking to re-enter mainstream society, the distrust among parts of the population is well-founded.

Even the Nigerian government’s program, Operation Safe Corridor (OSC), aimed at deradicalizing low-risk former insurgents, is controversial among citizens.
Be very very skeptical of such claims coming from the Nigerian military. More often than not, it is for local or regional PR purposes or to regain lost trust by the local governments/civilians?

Remember those 250 school girls that were allegedly kidnapped from school at gunpoint, by Baka Harem fighters? The international community raced to offer whatever help they could - even Transport Canada offered to deploy its high-tech wizard plane to assist.

Yet, not much of that help ever materialized…

The media portrayed it as yet another example of empty promises from the west. A racist world system in which Africa is neglected and forgotten, and western powers are all talk with no walk.

Turns out, after some very aggressive intelligence gathering by several affiliated agencies/countries, there were substantial doubts as to whether or not that had even happened at all. Doubts shared even by the locals.

And in the 24hr news cycle, and some dumb nonsense they need to waste people’s time with… that story faded into the ether…


Or when another Nigerian general said they had completely defeated Boko Harem. Completely. All gone. Done. Dead or fled!! Turns out…naaahhhhh…not really….


This news? Hope it is true, genuinely. But best to see how it turns out a week or two from now.

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