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By Pete Moore On January 29th, 2013

And protected by the French?! Channelling the ghost of John Reid, the government is sending 300 British troops off to the back of beyond to take on the great fiction which is “al-Qaeda”.

More than 300 British military personnel could be deployed to tackle al-Qaeda linked fighters in Mali, Downing Street announced today […]

“It is not our intention to deploy combat troops. We are very clear about the risk of mission creep and we have defined very carefully the support we are willing and able to provide to the French and the Malian authorities,” Mr Hammond said […]

British troops will be able to fire in “self defence” only during their deployment in Bamako, the Malian capital, where they are being protected by the French, Mr Hammond said.

All troops are combat troops when the need arises. It doesn’t matter if your main tool is a pen or a kitchen knife. When trouble comes you pick up a gun. I can’t help thinking of John Reid, Hammond’s predecessor, who cheerily sent troops into Helmand with a “We would be perfectly happy to leave in three years time without firing one shot.” A couple of hundred deaths later, we know how well that went.

There’s the usual blather from Hammond about protecting “Britain’s national security” in Mali. They really do think we’re as thick as that.


5 Responses to “OH GREAT, NOW WE’RE OFF TO MALI”

  1. It’s curious that we have sent in these military types only after first establishing that the French were doing considerably better than expected.
    This is rather a departure from our grand past.

  2. I was chewing this over this afternoon.
    I understands that France made it quite clear that they are fed up with us and that Germany and France are like this (holds up two fingers)
    So why then have they not turned to their nearest and dearest for military assistance in Mali?

    Could it be that les rosbifs have some use after all? Personally I don’t think we should be getting involved, but Dave is obviously anxious to ingratiate himself with Monsieur Hollande..

  3. This does look as if it could be a case of mission creep, or you never know it might turn out to be a succesful and completed mission lasting just a few months and coming to a genuine end. Lets hope it’s the latter.

  4. I don’t believe that the British unwitting corporate mercenaries soldiers are going in to get control of Mali’s sand.


    – Mali has abundant mineral wealth. Gold has become Mali’s second-largest export after cotton and has emerged as a leading export for the African country since 1999. Mali is West Africa’s second largest gold producer with an estimated 2009 output of 1.6 million ounces, or 49 tonnes, and total gold wealth is estimated at 350 tonnes.(5)

    South African-based Randgold Resources owns 80% of the Loulo gold mine (open pit and underground) and the Government of Mali owns 20%. This mine produced 282,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US$ 522 per ounce in 2009. –

    South African-based Randgold Resources: who owns that, I wonder? Oh – it’s controlled by Blackrock Group based in London. Now it makes a lot more sense.

  5. I gave you a ‘recommend’ for that piece of research Allan.