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French special forces in Mali

Le Parisien shows raw footage of French special forces operating in Niono village in Mali on Thursday. Niono is "the government's most forward position and the rallying point ... for a growing number of French ground troops who local officials anticipate may soon mount a push to retake Diabaly, 40 miles to the north," according to a McClatchy report.

READER COMMENTS: "French special forces in Mali"

Posted by Matt at January 19, 2013 5:09 PM ET:

What are the journalist complaining about, we make the news, you make us pay for it, our own headlines. The public don't want to see what is going on there.

Posted by snmp at January 20, 2013 3:17 PM ET:

List of the Long Range Patrol Vehicles in video:

* Panhard VPS base on P4/Benz G
* Panhard P4 SAS /P4 PATSAS (base on Benz G)

Posted by blert at January 21, 2013 3:17 AM ET:

The opfor swims in a sea of RPGs.

IMHO, the French are wrongly expecting to meet light resistance.

If the MSM accounts are even half-way right, the opfor has plenty of pretty heavy equipment -- and the training to use it.


I would advocate an almost Fabian strategy. After all, the opfor is operating out of the world's largest desert. Virtually all of their POL must be coming up from Mali's southwest.

Libya is hundreds of kilometers to the northeast, across trackless desert rock and sand. Drones should make any such transit problematic.

In less than one-hundred days it will be too hot to fight during the daytime. The limited water sources dictate the flow of fighting.

( See, Beau Geste, the film.)

Like Libya, all fighting turns on water wells.

There are no factories, nor warehouses, in Saharan Mali.

In the time at hand, a new Malian army needs to be recruited. For, apparently, the better part of the previous army has gone over to the opposition.