Non sequitur – Heavy going fo French forces in Mali February 22, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Admin, General Catholic, non squitur, silliness, Society.
Some may not be aware, but there has been a rather nasty “civil war” in Mali, if you call largely foreign islamist insurgents attacking and attempting to take over the country a civil war (I know there was a civil war aspect in the first half of 2012, but once the islamists, seeing their chance in a divided Mali, became involved, they have been the dominant factor in the fighting ever since) ongoing there for over a year. Earlier this year, the French – who used to govern what is now Mali as part of French Northwest Africa – intervened, when it looked like the islamists just might win. French military power – which is somewhat significant compared with africans running around with RPGs and AKs – rapidly transformed a failing military situation into one of great dominance for the Malian government. But after clearing the islamists from most of the country, including the ancient, culturally rich city of Timbuktu, the islamists have now struck back with their favored tactics, hit-and-run terror attacks, and this could be a long, unpleasant counterinsurgency. A few days ago in the SE city of Gao, the French were having a hard go of it with a determined band of islamists:
There are bad things like this going on all over the world. We are involved in this conflict, supplying heavy strategic airlift and almost the entire aerial tanker force so the French can be supplied and have airpower in theater. Obama has also deployed a Predator unit to provide overhead surveillance, because the French, like most of the Europeans, have huge gaps in military capability when it comes to things like drones, airlift (instead of buying the far more capable and similar cost C-17, the French and some other European nations have spent 20 years trying to develop their own “strategic” airlifter, which is only slightly more capable than a C-130 at only three times the cost!), tankers, strategic reconaissance, datalinks, combat-capable communication systems……well, the list goes on for quite a while. Most European militaries are “show” militaries with a few actual, deployable units. The French are better than most, but a very long way from US capability.
The reason for this is that the Europeans have a 40-50 year head start on us on socialism, and almost all monies are directed to that end, and their militaries have been terribly underfunded, especially since 1990. Their militaries can bring some nice capabilities, but almost always need US logistic support to make it happen.
The APC in the video is a VBCI, the new French wheeled APC, firing a 25mm x 37 cannon. The troops fired an AT-4 rocket at the insurgents (the tube looking device). French troops are equipped with the FAMAS bullpup type rifle. Meh.
Ah, well, it’s Friday