Here's What's Going On In Mali, The Wildcard Failed State Mitt Romney Is Making A centrepiece Of The Debate

Mali, defence, military

Photo: Samuel Bendet via US Army

Mali is a landlocked nation located in the west of Africa which has been making geopolitical waves for those interested in the region.In March, President Amadou Toumani was overthrown out of office in Mali through a military coup, opening up the country to al-Quaeda militants.

Here’s what happened next, according to the Financial Times:

This allowed al-Qaeda-allied Islamists and rebels from the Tuareg, a native Berber people, to seize control of the north of the country. Since then, al-Qaeda has established an alarming foothold in the region. It has taken control of a territory twice the size of France, with airstrips and training camps. It has acquired significant military materiel from the remnants of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. It has conducted appalling atrocities.

Mali has remained a sleeper topic in this election. The nation is no doubt a failed state, but the international response led by France is lackluster and doesn’t include direct American involvement. 

The intervention force is a 6,300-strong force, half from West African nations and the other half from the Malian forces from the previous regime in the unconquered south. 

Romney doesn’t even have a mention of the failed state on his Africa foreign policy page, so it’s unclear both if Romney has a cohesive plan for Mali or if he’s raising up a wildcard issue that has stayed off of the political grid in an attempt to make a play during the debate.

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