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Posted on 08/12/2013 8:05:41 PM PDT by neverdem
Frances campaign in Mali exposes Europes unpreparedness for 21st-century war.
WITH WELL-ARMED radical Islamist insurgents closing in last winter on Malis capital, Bamako, French President François Hollande suddenly decided to defend Western civilization. Plunging in the polls as the most unpopular French president since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958, he just might have had ulterior motives; diverting hostile public opinion at home with a military escapade abroad is a tried and true tactic for floundering chiefs of state. Be that as it may, French troops, mainly Foreign Legion, began deploying to Mali in Operation Serval on January 11. The French applauded his unwonted boldness. He got a brief bump in the polls.
But it quickly became clear that Hollande, for maximum go-it-alone swagger, had ordered the operation without prior consultation with his potential allies. Even less had he assembled an operational coalition. Frances great new friend Germany quickly ruled out sending combat troops, proving that the ballyhooed Franco-German Brigade is useful only for creating a façade of European military cooperation and parading down the Champs-Elysées on Bastille Day. The European Union hemmed and hawed, finally promising a modest training mission for African troops in Mali. Even NATO, eager for new missions to justify its existence in the absence of the Cold War, declined to get involved.
The European Defense Agency (EDA) in Brussels, created nine years ago ostensibly to further European defense cooperation? Count them out: Theyre too busy with visionary projects like using solar power to reduce military energy needs. As retired French Air Force General Étienne Copel, a former assistant chief of staff, scoffs, The EDA is incapable of even doing a feasibility study. The lack of an operational European defense effort is a catastrophe. That left Britain to volunteer a couple of military transports...
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
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I never understood making the F-35 with those possibilities at hand.
The Frenchies will never change. After the blood bath of WW1 the French damn near bankrupted their country building their marvelous, wondrous, super fantastic concrete hole in the ground called’’ The Maginot Line’’. A marvel of underground tunnels with a small electrically-powered train to move men and material about deep below the ground, large radio rooms to communicate with the world above , barracks, mess halls, infirmaries, storerooms with gun emplacements of various caliber cannon and machine guns set in concrete and steel pill boxes and revetments fronted by fields of land mines and barbed wire. No more would French soldiers be slaughtered in the open as before. Now they could sit in comfort and safety behind concrete and barbed wire while their enemies, ‘’les Boches’’, the Germans, would fling themselves uselessly against the great Maginot Line. Trouble was the Frenchies were ready to fight the last war and the Germans were fighting the new one. A mobile war of tanks and fast moving masses of troops supported by tactical air power. When war came in May 1940 the Germans didn’t oblige the French by committing suicide on the Maginot Line, they just went around it. Wouldn’t have mattered much even if the Germans hadn’t side-stepped the Line. The doddering old fools of the French High Command were miles behind the lines in an grand old chateau without even so much as a telephone. They relied on dispatch riders to ferry messages back and forth. Seventy three years later and the Frenchies are still missing the boat. And in a supreme bit of irony, the man who designed this underground fortress,World War 1 hero and Minister of Defense, Andre Maginot, never lived to see it’s completion. He died one day after eating bad oysters.
French President Francois Hollande... the most unpopular French president since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958... diverting hostile public opinion... French troops, mainly Foreign Legion, began deploying to Mali in Operation Serval on January 11... without prior consultation with his potential allies... Germany quickly ruled out sending combat troops... The European Union... finally promising a modest training mission for African troops in Mali... NATO... declined to get involved. The European Defense Agency (EDA)... too busy with visionary projects like using solar power to reduce military energy needs... That left Britain to volunteer a couple of military transports...
A map of the Sahel region showing where Al Qaeda operates (AFP/Graphic)
Iran Deploys Troops, Ballistic Missiles To Eritrea
France has a history of doing this too, that’s how Algeria got annexed.
Of course, Charles X didn’t stay on his throne to see it through. Hollande should keep that in mind.