The Salafist Road to Sahelistan and Military-Centric International Response
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Since the January 2012 combined Tuareg-Jihadist offensive and the March 2012 military coup, the international community had been elaborating a gradual and comprehensive response to the political, military and humanitarian aspects of the Malian crisis. In January 2013, however, France responded to the Jihadist attack against the frontline towns of Konna and Sevare by launching offensive operations against the Salafist bases in Gao, Timbuktu, and Kidal. This unanticipated development has unfortunately disrupted the initial strategic plan, concept of operation, and projected timeline and skewed the action of the international community in the direction of a unilateral and military-centric response. Although uprooting the Jihadist footholds will inevitably require the use of force, military-centric action dominated by kinetic propensities is destined to prove counterproductive in the long term by overlooking political and societal dynamics that are fundamental to lasting stability in Mali.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics