Vive La Françafrique!
France Sets Up Permanent Anti-Terror Force in Africa

After deploying troops to Francophone countries in Western Africa more than once in recent years, and as the region only grows less stable, France has decided to establish a permanent force there. The Economist reports:

Twice last year, with uncharacteristic decisiveness, Mr Hollande sent French troops into African conflicts: to beat back a jihadist incursion in Mali, and to curb ethno-religious warfare in the Central African Republic (CAR). Now France wants to reorganise its troops in the region, under the banner “Operation Barkhane”, as a 3,000-strong counter-terrorism force.

The new force will be permanent, with its headquarters in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena. It has been designed with five countries that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, all former colonies. A thousand French soldiers will remain indefinitely in Mali (down from a peak of over 4,000 last year), focused on counter-terrorism operations in the north, where there has been a resurgence of violence. Another 1,200 will be stationed in Chad, the rest split between a surveillance base in Niger, a bigger permanent base in Ivory Coast, and some special forces in Burkina Faso. The French will supply Barkhane with 20 helicopters, 200 armoured vehicles, ten transport aircraft, six fighter planes and three drones.

France’s new deployment will target two jihadist-plagued areas, the Western Sahara desert and the religious and political fault line of the continent that lies right below it, where the Muslim north and the Christian south of Africa have been in increasing conflict.
It is in the interest of the U.S. to see Europe assume more of the global security burden in the terrorist age. As the world ignites, it looks like France stands ready to help contain the blaze.
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  • FriendlyGoat

    France is a smaller-scale player than the USA can be, but France perhaps is starting to “get it” more clearly about what the Islam problem portends.

    • Breif2

      This positive development is the “easy” part. More challenging is dealing with its own Muslim fifth column. “Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.”

      [Obligatory disclaimer: Not all Muslims yadda yadda.]

    • Corlyss

      Don’t bet the farm on it. The French are fundamentally cowards and opportunists at heart. They will either get rich in the deal or flee when others need them most, perhaps both.

  • Pete

    The is good. Let the French do some work.

  • Corlyss

    “As the world ignites, it looks like France stands ready to help contain the blaze.”

    If this works as well as their deployment to the Balkans and their protection of Srebrenica, all this means is the store is now open for business with everything for sale to the highest bidder with the most cajones.

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