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FEB 07, 2013 - New Statesman

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The intervention trap

The joint French and British military action in Mali misunderstands the nature of terrorism in the Sahel and the ambitions of al-Qaeda.France’s official war aims in Mali are: 1) combatting “Islamic terrorism” and 2) re-establishing Mali’s territorial integrity. The question is how those aims relate to one another. Is Mali threatened by “Islamic terrorism”? That depends on what one means by the term, and it is clear that we are still stuck in the kind of semantic and political confusion introduced by the Bush administration when it launched its “war ... Read More

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