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Come for the Civil War, Stay for the Civil Unrest

January 15th, 2013 - 1:20 pm

REUTERS: France to stay in Mali until stability restored. Here are the details:

France will end its intervention in Mali only once stability has returned to the West African country, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday, raising the prospects of a costly, drawn-out operation against al Qaeda-linked rebels.

Paris has poured hundreds of soldiers into Mali and carried out air raids since Friday in the northern half of the country, which Western and regional states fear could become a base for attacks by Islamist militants in Africa and Europe.

That’s a fifty year project, as I wrote about Iraq before the war there began. We stayed for nine. We showed more patience with Afghanistan, even though it’s a country less deserving of it for reasons strategic and practical. And the place will still fall apart (or worse) as soon as we leave.

There’s nothing about Mali to make me think it will be any different there.

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