ND Expert: U.S. right to 'indirectly support' Mali government

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Michael Desch

The French military intervention in Mali has received support from both Malians and the international community — including the U.S. — as French troops battle Islamist militants both on the ground and in the air. The French recently increased their troop strength to 1,400 soldiers.

But what role, if any, should the U.S. play in this conflict?

“America neither should nor needs to take the lead in every front on the global struggle against violent terrorism,” says Michael Desch, University of Notre Dame political scientist and expert in international security and American defense policy.

“Even with the death of Osama bin Laden and the continuing attrition of his surviving followers, the long war against violent jihadists will continue for some time,” Desch says.

“France was right to come to the aid of the government of Mali in its struggle against them. The Obama administration was also right to limit itself to supporting their efforts logistically and otherwise indirectly.”

Contact: Michael Desch, 574-631-2792, mdesch@nd.edu