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July 16th, 2012
08:42 PM ET

Al Qaeda's foothold in Africa: Is Mali America's next big problem?

U.S. Special Forces, civil war, and a rising Islamist insurgency which includes al Qaeda. No, it's not Afghanistan.
This is the situation in the African nation Mali. And it could be America's next big problem.

The Obama administration is tight-lipped about U.S. Involvement in Mali. However, three U.S. Army commandos were killed in a mysterious car crash in Mali's capital this spring and there are reports of a major C.I.A presence.

Rand Political Scientist Seth Jones is OutFront.

U.N. defers decision on military intervention in Mali

The United Nations called for sanctions against Islamist fighters in northern Mali and warned it is considering a proposal by West Africa states to deploy troops in the troubled country.

In a resolution passed Thursday, the U.N. Security Council did not authorize a military intervention, but said it is willing to review such a proposal and called on sanctions to restore peace.

It also urged U.N. member states to submit names of those with ties to al Qaeda in the nation.

The Economic Community of West African States has proposed plans to deploy troops from member states, but the Security Council said it needs more details on the request.

"The council expressed its readiness to further examine this request and encouraged close cooperation between the Malian transitional authorities, ECOWAS, the African Union and other countries to prepare detailed options in regard to any such forces mandate," the United Nations said in a statement.

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Filed under: International
soundoff (One Response)
  1. thomasvincentahearn

    I think, like most Americans, Mali hasn't appeared on my radar, yet, but the threat of Al Qaeda in any part of the world certainly has. It's compelling to me, as a story, that both you and President Clinton, two people whose opinion I respect and admire, think the threat is viable. I look forward to the reports on Mali and the education therein. ( I've been thinking a lot of memes as a precursor of trends and movements: what do you think the meme, the consciousness of a collective subconscious, of Al Qaeda could be? Were does the embrace of the violent means to their end begin? Is it really Islamic, or economic displacement: it we could strike at the root, the tree would surely die.) Love your show-keep up the great work. All the Best, TVA

    July 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply

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