U.S. may step in to help in Mali
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is contemplating broad military, political and humanitarian intervention to stop a slide toward chaos and Islamic extremism in Mali, the top State Department diplomat for Africa said on Thursday.
The international but largely U.S.-funded effort to expunge al-Qaida-linked militants and restore political order in Somalia could present a model for Mali, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson said.
Since 2007, the United States has spent more than $550 million to help train and supply an African proxy force of about 18,000 soldiers in Somalia, which has brought a measure of stability to the war-torn country for the first time in two decades.
Although the United States has not committed to replicating that approach in Mali, Carson and others are holding up the routing of the al-Shabab militia and conducting of elections in Somalia as a template for actions elsewhere.
“It's a model that should be reviewed and looked at as an element for what might be effective in that part of the world,” Carson said in an interview, “but it's not there yet.”
The Somalia comparison offers the clearest view yet of U.S. thinking about the growing terrorism threat from Mali, a landlocked West African country the size of Texas that has imploded politically since a military coup in March.
As in Somalia, the threat to the United States and other countries from Mali is wrapped in a larger problem of lawlessness, poverty, tribal friction and weak governance.
Somalia adopted a provisional constitution in August, and a new federal government was formed after years of chaos that had fueled terrorism, piracy and famine. Security has slowly improved under the proxy force, which is led by the African Union but bankrolled and trained by the United States, European Union and United Nations.
Carson said the internationally backed plan for Somalia's political reconstruction was working because the country's neighbors, the United States, E.U. and United Nations had subscribed to a common set of goals.
He cautioned that a regional and international consensus would be required..
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers sign former star LB Harrison; Tomlin talks ‘different climate’
- Steelers’ Taylor recovering from forearm surgery
- Cranberry police trying to ID repeat burglary suspect
- Experts weighing in on how to fight Pa.’s heroin problem
- West Virginia notebook: Holgorsen likes energy level as Mountaineers head into bye week
- Jury acquits Stowe man of charges related to bar shooting
- Attorney general rejects Tribune-Review request for ‘racy’ emails
- Port Authority: Drivers ‘reckless’ before buses bumped, wrecking 1
- Pittsburgh teacher accused of choking, pushing student acquitted
- Steelers defense must replace 3 injured starters after victory
- State Sen. Jim Ferlo: ‘I’m gay. Get over it. I love it’