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US taxpayers trained and armed Al Qaeda who overthrew elected gov. in Mali, killed and tortured. Obama Libya intervention has enabled Al Qaeda to advance across Africa-NY Times, Mead

January 17, 2013

1/16/13, “Report: Multiple Americans among hostages held by jihadis after BP plant is seized over France’s Mali intervention; Update: Malian government asked U.S. to intervene last week,” Hot Air, Allahpundit

“Reuters explains the economic significance of the target and how the west’s last intervention inadvertently helped place it in jeopardy:

The attack could have implications for security across the whole of Algeria’s energy sector, which supplies about a quarter of Europe’s natural gas imports and exports millions of barrels of crude oil each year.

Such an attack would require a large and heavily armed insurgent force with a degree of freedom to move around, all elements that al Qaeda has not previously had.

However, the conflict in neighboring Libya in 2011 changed the balance of force. Security experts say al Qaeda was able to obtain arms, including heavy weapons, from the looted arsenals of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.”

Update: With America’s last attempt to build a counterterror force inside Mali having failed utterly, will Obama respond to requests for a second try?

The besieged government in Mali asked the United States last week for military help to repel al-Qaeda-linked militants, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. The disclosure appeared to contradict earlier U.S. characterizations that only France had been asked to intervene.

The Malian government made a specific request of the United States, as they did the French, several days ago for assistance in combatting the threat posed by the rebels,” in the country’s north, the State Department official said.”

Minor problem: Because the Malian militarywhich was trained by U.S. forces — overthrew the democratically elected government last year,

the U.S. is now barred by law from intervening directly to help. Bear that in mind for when the inevitable stories start appearing at the Times or the Washington Post next month about how Obama is using drones and secret Special Ops to assist them after all. If he can ignore the War Powers Act in Libya, why can’t he ignore this?”

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1/15/13, “NYT Calls US Anti-Terror Strategy in North Africa a Catastrophe,Walter Russell Mead

“It’s clear Obama’s strategy to help weak North African states protect themselves from terrorists has failed catastrophically....

The Times story underlines the point Via Meadia has been making for some time:

the intervention in Libya set off consequences the administration neither understood nor prepared for.

When NATO drove out the Great Loon, many of his Taureg mercenaries packed up and drove to Mali, taking equipment and heavy weapons with them. They resumed an old fight for independence for their historic homeland, Azawad, routing and embarrassing Malian troops. They were joined by Islamist terrorist groups like Ansar Dine and al Qaeda. Flush with cash and weapons they dug in to the hills of the Sahel, set up training camps for new militants, lopped off the hands of accused thieves, whipped women who appeared alone in public, tore down historic shrines in Timbuktu, and sent tens of thousands of panicked civilians fleeing for their lives.

The US intervened hastily in Libya and failed to prepare for the afterparty. In vulnerable Mali Washington was relying on, training, and equipping Taureg commanders who defected to the enemy at a crucial moment.

And now we have an out-of-control mess on our hands….

Weak states like Mali are the new front line in the conflict formerly known as the global war on terrorthe war many Obama administration officials say we aren’t fighting anymore. Truth is—while the US focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, terrorists dug themselves into North Africa: a resilient new enemy popped up in a global game of whack-a-mole.”…

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1/16/13,  “Dozens held after Islamists attack Algerian gas field,” Reuters

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