Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Mali (in Algeria)

France has now gone into Mali, or rather over it (edit: no, I was right the first time), Nigeria is preparing to send troops, ECOWAS cannot be far behind, and the US is making noises.  While I cautiously admit that in this case, a solution is likely to be at least partly military, the intervention does raise a few points. (An abbreviation guide and links to other resources are at the end.) 1. It’s quite evident that some countries – particularly France, but also the US – are using the Mali crisis as an excuse to do something in the absence of clear and uncontroversial steps … Continue reading Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Mali (in Algeria)

In which Nauru and Tuvalu are the most moral nations in the world

[17:30 This post has been edited slightly since a number of errors of fact and thought were pointed out to me.] Ever since the coup in Mali a few weeks ago I’ve been waiting for my thoughts to crystallise into something coherent that I could post.  As it is, things have changed a little and now I suddenly have far too much to say. The initial Communist President of Mali, Modibo Keïta, was overthrown in 1968 by a military coup headed by Moussa Traoré.  Traoré then stayed in charge, consolidating power around himself while the economy collapsed in slow motion.  … Continue reading In which Nauru and Tuvalu are the most moral nations in the world