France’s Overstretched Military Not Enough to Stabilize the Sahel

French military personnel after liberating the city of Timbuktu from Islamist militants, Mali, Jan. 31, 2013 (AP Photo by Harouna Traore).
French military personnel after liberating the city of Timbuktu from Islamist militants, Mali, Jan. 31, 2013 (AP Photo by Harouna Traore).

More than any other outside power, France is currently investing the most military and political resources to combat terrorist groups in West Africa and the wider Sahel. Driven by a perception of a clear and present danger, French security policy in the region has undergone a fundamental shift in recent years, but not in the direction that many policymakers in Paris had hoped at the beginning of the century. Instead of slowly decreasing its military presence and political involvement in its former colonies’ internal affairs, France has stepped up both amid new realities and interests. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian […]

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