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The Reluctant Power: Germany and the Mali Crisis

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

Germany’s reluctance to participate in the French intervention in Mali beyond providing logistical support and humanitarian assistance is hardly surprising. Europe’s “leading power” has been repeatedly absent from its partners’ past military efforts, the most notable recent example being its refusal in 2011 to take part in the operation against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi. Although Germany now hopes to prove itself a reliable partner, it appears to be caught between its reservations about foreign military intervention and its responsibilities as an ally, neighbor and large European power.

Despite every indication that the crisis in Mali is developing into a conflict with grave implications for all of Europe, France currently stands alone among European powers in its military intervention to avert a takeover of Mali by Islamist extremist forces. However, it is likely that the 2,500 French and 3,300 African troops to be deployed in Mali will soon require support from allies if they are to secure any gains made against the militants. ...

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