News / Africa

Pentagon Weighs US Military Options in Mali

People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.
x
People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.
People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.
Luis Ramirez
Pentagon officials on Tuesday neither confirmed nor denied reports that secret talks are under way between the United States and France on plans to bring northern Mali back under the control of the country's central government.

U.S. efforts to wrest control of much of northern Mali from Islamist militants have centered on enabling Washington’s partners in the region to win back control of the territory - and not by sending in U.S. troops to do the job.

News reports this week say France is sending in drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, to do surveillance missions - something Pentagon officials say the United States has been doing for several months.

Their targets are militants, including some with the al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb group, who have taken over large areas of northern Mali and sparked violence that U.S. officials are concerned might spread to other countries.   

Thomas Dempsey, an analyst with the U.S. Defense Department’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies, says the violence has been partly a result of turmoil in Libya earlier this year.

“There have been several rebellions in the north and that all came to a head earlier this spring, partly because of large numbers of former fighters from the Moammar Gadhafi regime in Libya returning to northern Mali and bringing with them significant numbers of arms,” Dempsay said.

Complicating efforts to regain control of the north is a humanitarian crisis brought on by a drought, and political turmoil in the capital, Bamako, in the south.  Mali’s weak central government is under the control of a group of junior military officers who led a coup in March that prompted the United States to suspend direct military cooperation.

Dempsey says that for now, sending drones in to obtain intelligence and sharing it with partners on the ground is the best approach.

“It is an incredibly remote part of Africa with very, very poor infrastructure, very poor road nets.  Simply knowing what is happening on the ground is very, very difficult.  And remotely piloted vehicles can be of great help in that regard,” Dempsay said.

The United States and its international partners say that if there is any outside military intervention in Mali, it should be undertaken by troops from other African countries.

You May Like

Video VOA ‘Town Hall’ Shines Light on Ebola Crisis

Experts call for greater speed in identification and treatment of deadly disease More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Funding Program Helps Extremely Poor in Ghana

Broad objective for Ghana's social cash transfer program is to lessen the impact of poverty on the most vulnerable people, elderly, orphans, those with disabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ojemu from: Nigeria
October 24, 2012 6:09 PM
Pentagon and NATO flexes their muscles when it comes to Africa affairs. Gadaffi did not do half of what the Syria president is doing now, they ganged up and removed and killed him. It is Mali"s turn now. Your drones do not know the road to Syria. Well done.

In Response

by: The American from: United states of America
October 26, 2012 3:05 AM
There are Alot of African Americans in America and few people for Syria ,SO of course America is going to get involved in Mali America has a black presidents also so that's common sense Africa is off limits and so is Europe get over it ! USA USA USA

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid