Yes, I know they’re “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”, but in this case they have a point. Three things to consider.
1. Obama was one of the three players in the Libyan War which led to Mali. He is responsible for Al Qaeda overrunning Mali and has a clear responsibility to clean up the mess. The French bear more responsibility, and they’re doing more.
2. France is not asking Americans to fight. They’re asking for refueling and other technical assistance that will not endanger Americans, and will cost money, but less money than Obama pisses away on funding unions in Brazil or rum factories in the Virgin Islands. And the cost of this is a lot lower than what it would cost us to send thousands of troops to Mali.
3. You might be tempted to go Rand Paul on this, but if Al Qaeda gains an entire country to play with, we are going to end up having to go in sooner or later. Terrorist groups don’t just stay in place or expand horizontally and vertically, they score points with spectacular terrorist attacks against Western targets. Those attacks bring them cash from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
France is increasingly upset by what it sees as limited Obama administration support for the war it is waging in Mali against al Qaeda militants, including an initial U.S. demand, since dropped, that Paris foot the bill for any Air Force transport flights, French officials said.
After the French went public with their complaints over the weekend, the Pentagon yielded on one of them, saying Sunday night that it would not seek reimbursement from Paris for the flights.
However, the unusually harsh criticism from Paris underscored the longtime U.S. ally’s growing frustration with the U.S. commitment to the Mali mission.
Considering the murderous cuts that Obama is making to America’s military, you can’t blame the Pentagon for trying to protect every penny. That money can mean the difference between having a viable Marine Corps and being reduced to Obama’s “Horses and Bayonets” vision of national defense.
But the Obama Administration should be stepping up and allocating money for the operation in Mali.
The U.S. is providing “invaluable” intelligence-gathering help for the Mali campaign, the French officials said. But the U.S. has yet to decide on whether to agree to France’s request for U.S. planes to refuel French fighters in flight, they said. France has a small fleet of aging refueling tankers and says more are needed to maintain the tempo of air operations in remote Mali.
France also has asked the U.S. to send additional manned and unmanned surveillance planes to spy on rebel communications, but the White House so far hasn’t responded to that request either.
Obama administration officials have said they support the French campaign but want to get a clear picture of the mission and the rebels being targeted in French strikes before providing more assistance.
What clearer picture does Obama Inc. want? The Al Qaeda occupation of Mali has been underway for a while already. Even the CIA should be able to provide talking points that no one will edit and that even Susan Rice can grasp.
Clearer picture is code for an unwillingness to take action, because Obama Inc. is fixated on winning over Islamists by fighting secular governments. And protecting the Mali government by fighting the Islamists is the opposite of Barack Hussein Obama’s foreign policy agenda.
The French officials said they were particularly “perplexed” last week when the U.S. agreed to provide limited airlift assistance but insisted on getting reimbursed for the costs. U.S. and French officials said the U.S. estimated the bill for up to 30 cargo flights would come to between $17 million and $19 million.
Other countries including Canada have offered to transport French military equipment and troops to Mali free of charge, according to French, European and Canadian officials. As a result, France is considering not using the U.S. proposal for flights between Europe and Africa, the French officials said.
17-19 million is money, but it’s not that much by the standard of a military operation. And it’s about what an Obama vacation costs. Kicking in that much to get Al Qaeda out of Mali is a bargain, considering what it will end up costing if Al Qaeda takes Mali.