Mali

  • Fighters from the Tuareg separatist rebel group MNLA take shade under a tree in the desert near Tabankort, February 13, 2015

    Commentary

    Mali's Peace Accord Offers Little More Than an Opportunity

    The good news is that Mali's latest attempt at peace presents a real opportunity. The bad news is that all the reasons that previous agreements failed are still present.

    Mar 11, 2015

  • Brigade General Gregoire de Saint-Quentin (L), head of France's Operation Serval in Mali, stands with General Nabere Honore Traore, army chief of Burkina Faso, during a handover ceremony of the Timbuktu mission, April 23, 2013

    Report

    What Can the U.S. Army Learn from France's War in Mali?

    French Army operations in Mali provide an example of how a technologically sophisticated army organizes and fields an expeditionary force. While the French way of war may not be optimal for U.S. commanders, who have greater resources at their disposal, the Army should still examine it for useful insights.

    Oct 17, 2014

  • French President Francois Hollande arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris to speak about French airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic State militants, September 19, 2014

    Commentary

    Does France Have the Master Plan to Defeat ISIS?

    In Mali, France stopped jihadists from taking over, ejected them from the country almost entirely, and struck a major blow to their ability to threaten France and the region. This success story provides important lessons for the U.S. debate about how to deal with ISIS.

    Sep 24, 2014

  • French Army General Bernard Barrera (L) speaks with a soldier during a patrol in northern Mali, March 23, 2013

    Commentary

    France Gets Tougher on Terrorism

    The launch of Barkhane, a new military operation by France, signals a change. Rather than simply reacting to an emergency as it did in Mali, France is committing to a long-term counterterrorism campaign, a much greater and more public commitment. This is welcome news for the U.S.

    Jul 29, 2014

  • French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, Mali, January 19, 2013

    Commentary

    NATO Needs a Southern Strategy

    If NATO wants to avoid strategic irrelevance, it needs to give increasing attention to the threats from the Middle East and North Africa region. A southern strategy should draw on recent experience, such as NATO's intervention in Libya and the successful operation in Mali.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Malians attending a concert for their upcoming elections

    Commentary

    Remembering What Mali Needs

    Free and fair elections are important, to be sure, but what Mali really needs is a leader who is dedicated to democracy, unity and reform of Mali's politics and institutions, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin.

    Jul 26, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    Toward a Secure and Stable Mali: Approaches to Engaging Local Actors

    Discusses how lasting security and stability can be established in northern Mali after the 2012 conflict there, with an emphasis on understanding the region's complex dynamics and engaging northerners in security solutions.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • USARAF commander meets with Mauritanian senior leaders

    Commentary

    What Does the Amenas Attack Mean for U.S. Policy in Africa?

    Coinciding with continuing, contentious hearings on the U.S. response to last September's terrorist attack in Benghazi, the attack on the Amenas natural gas facility in Algeria has elevated a more general debate about the war on terrorism and U.S. policy in Africa, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jan 31, 2013

  • Armed Islamist fighters race near the Mauritania-Mali border

    Commentary

    The Motivations Behind the Amenas Terrorist Attack

    An attack of this complexity would have required months of reconnaissance, planning, recruiting of inside confederates, and training of participants. France's intervention in Mali was used to “justify” an attack that would likely have taken place anyway, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jan 29, 2013

  • French soldiers prepare for their departure for Mali on January 25, 2013

    Commentary

    Foreign Intervention in Mali Is Libya in Reverse

    France is in Mali not just to prop up a failing state in French Africa, but because Mali was becoming a magnet for jihadis from around the world and Paris rightly feared the country could become the next Afghanistan—only much closer to Europe, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Jan 25, 2013

  • Touareg rebels in Mali hoist a flag

    Q&A

    The al Qaeda Threat in North Africa

    Last week's terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas complex in Algeria, along with the recent success of the militant groups fighting government forces in Mali, indicate al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are gaining influence in North Africa. RAND experts weigh in on the latest developments.

    Jan 24, 2013

  • A Tuareg rebel in Mali poses with an assault rifle.

    Commentary

    Hostage Taking Exposes Terror Threat in Africa

    There is a danger in viewing Mali through the prism of counter-terrorism, since the rebel element there is tangled up in movements and groups with a wide variety of interests and motives, ranging from sincere religious conviction to local political rivalries to base economic opportunism, writes Michael Shurkin.

    Jan 18, 2013

  • Malian refugees

    Commentary

    The French Intervention in Mali Is Necessary, but Risky

    No solution is likely to offer more than a short-term reprise if it is not accompanied by real progress toward resolving Mali's political crisis and strengthening the Malian state and Malian democracy, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin.

    Jan 17, 2013

  • Malian troops stand guard outside Kati Barracks in Bamako, the headquarters of coup leader Amadou Sanogo

    Commentary

    France Needs More Than Force in Mali

    France should coordinate military action with efforts to engage with local factions to use as partners and proxies, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin. This is, in effect, how France conquered and secured northern Mali in the first place a century ago.

    Jan 17, 2013

  • Malian pro-government militia members take part in a training session at their base in Sevare, Mali, November 12, 2012

    Blog

    Unrest in Mali Leaves Opening for Radicalism

    African leaders meeting in Paris on Wednesday agreed that an African-led operation is needed to keep the western part of the continent from becoming overtaken by terrorists, including al Qaeda affiliates.

    Dec 6, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    From Insurgency to Stability: Volume II: Insights from Selected Case Studies

    This book examines six case studies of insurgencies from around the world to determine the key factors in the successful transition from counterinsurgency toward stability.

    Sep 7, 2011