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Panzer_Leader

French intervention in Mali

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When the french go to war, they are not overly concerned about preventing "collateral damage"; they do not take a potentially hostile press corps with them, and they do not have television channels banging on and on about 'exit strategies" or "root causes", or such like.

Nor did they suffer the illusion that the people of Mali (even the Muslims) might actually have enjoyed being pushed around by a bunch of self-righteous and extremist kids bent on imposing their own warped version of Sharia - a version which has as much in common with normal muslims as had the 'christianity" of Cromwell's puritans with ordinary christians.

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Their intervention was intended to boost Hollande's image and further French interests, but something tells me they;re planning games on us. Now, they say they are pulling their troops out of Mali next month, handing over to an African force..really? which one would that be?

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I'm resurrecting a dead thread but I thought some may find this RAND report on Fance's intervention in Mali of interest, particularly because of the mission's success and combined arms forces employed by France, including AFVs: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR700/RR770/RAND_RR770.pdf

 

I haven't read it yet but have saved a copy for future reference and the depth of analysis provided by RAND is usually excellent.

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Seems like the French got this right , now the sensitive people are going to loose their minds......wait for it............................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jk'ingxD

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I finished reading this study after seeing it referred to by both U.S. and Australian Army officers recently in the context of expeditionary operations and found it very interesting.  My key take-outs were:

- The French deployed with the high-readiness units they had to hand or pre-positioned

- They deployed with a very light logistical footprint with soldiers using the material and rations they deployed with without resupply in the initial period

- They were prepared to conduct aggressive, maneuver warfare

- The battlegroup / task force, combat team / company team task organisation employed worked well

- They relied very heavily on allies for strategic airlift and sustainment

- Some of their (pre-positioned?) VABs and AMX-10RCs were difficult to maintain due to age and wear

- They were lucky they didn't confront more resistance as it didn't seem they had in-theatre support to sustain significant vehicular or personnel casualties

- Their boots fell apart!

 

Overall, the balance between risk and reward seemed "about right", with a decent splash of luck that things worked out as well as they did.  I was impressed with the impression of some old school soldiering being done by the French.

 

Overall a great read and interesting contrast on the contemporary Western way of low-intensity warfare versus the contemporary higher-intensity, peer-on-peer examples coming out of the conflict in Ukraine. 

Edited by Panzer_Leader

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Had the opportunity to talk to a French officer who was over there while both of us were teaching on a international course a few years back at length. Your assessment is in line with his. He also stated that some of the troops had prior history in the region and that helped to overcome some of the issues. Unaware to me at the time the area was a hub or trafficking in just about everything for a price controlled by various factions/tribes, which he said contributed to the issues on the ground as turf was a concern to all deployed on the Op.

Great guy and great talk over a fre pops :)

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