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Thread: French air campaign - Mali

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kovy View Post
    There is a common point though : in both case we are supporting the population against a violent group of people, holding the country by force in the case of Libya, or trying to take it by force in the case of Mali.
    Issue is situation in Mali is a lot more grey than that.

    The Tuaregs are an ethnic group that has been heavily oppressed by the Mali government. Initial Tuareg insurgents were "secular", though with the help of Al Qaeda Maghreb, Islamists have come to the fore.

    I suspect this has more to do with French power in sub Saharan Africa than any humanist concerns.

    The Western approach to these interventions has been extremely flawed:

    - Supporting warlords heavily involved in drug smuggling in Afghanistan
    - Creating a near failed state in Libya
    - Creating a NATO protectorate in Kosovo with no political resolution in sight
    - Creating an extremely unstable Iraq whilst expanding Iranian influence in Iraq.
    - Protecting a corrupt government
    - In Somalia destroying the first government the country had in 20 years (support of African Union troops involved in toppling an Islamic based government).

    Only Bosnia was a success but then that had a political resolution and the people involved were closer to Western values. Whilst similar values are found in Serbia, Kosovo is too spiritually important for them to just let go.

    The West has applied same values to Africa/Middle East despite these societies often being extremely different.

    Iditioc assumptions made by Westerners:

    1. That these countries are actually coherent national entities and not artificial constructs created mainly by Western powers.

    2. That the local populations are loyal to their countries and not their family, clan, ethnic group or religious preferences.

    3. That most Muslims approve of separation of religion and state. This is generally unheard of in Islamic countries throughout the ages.

    4. That these people have western style democratic values. They want democracy but in a total different format to the West (and one that is incompatible with Western values).

    5. That civil society/institutions exists in countries where there has only been colonial governance followed by dictatorial oppression or endemic warfare. Libya is a great example - first it was ruled by Italy and for most of it's independence it was ruled by Gaddafhi. Hence all the civic institutions/society was heavily influenced and if not created by Gaddafhi.

    6. Lack of economic infrastructure - all these countries had poor economic infrastructure (again including not only roads, factories but also institutions) and Western intervention didn't help develop these. Western development aid was often misappropriated (by both West and locals).

    7. Lack of proactivity - the West sat around prior to 9-11 letting threat of Islamism grow. The intelligence services got lazy. Now the West is playing catch up and in the process weakening it's own position.

    I recently read an interview with ex-CIA officers who stated that the organisation has become to paramilitary and not focused on intelligence gathering.

    This is the wrong approach.


    I think the approach should not be one of bombing but one of subtle action (be it funding for approved candidates, trade treaties or manipulation of local politics) and compromise where needed (e.g. opening up restrictions on trade and useful aid not designed to further interests of Western companies).

    In case of Mali, France and co should've been pushing the Mali government to stop discriminating against Tuaregs and other ethnicities through a carrot and stick approach.

    This could've alleviated Tuareg need to team up with AQIM or let alone pursue an insurgency.

    But stupid is as stupid does.

    I know this is politics but war is just a tool of politics.
    Last edited by thobbes; 14th January 2013 at 21:19.

  2. #62
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    A few comments:

    1/ I agree with Thobbes... Europe has been exploiting african countries since WWII, and they don't seem keen to let go. Actually, I'm convinced that the best hope of african countries to thrive would be if european intervention stopped altogether. "Humanitarian" help is just bull to make people think we are helping africa and not just raping it. In 2 years, Thomas Sankara made burkina self sufficient. Just get rid of the IMF & world bank & send the UN away and you're on the right path.

    2/ I don't know why the french intervention in Mali is plastered all over the news like that. France had been bombing and sending troops in various places in africa for many decades, and never had it been so much publicized.

    3/ Hollande is heralded as a "warlord" all over the french press. Messiah style. Oh which brings us back to number 2.

    Nevermind...

    Oh and 4/ it must be tough to be a french spy. One day you work against islamists in Afghanistan, the next day you work with them in Libya & Syria... and next thing you know you're working against them in Mali... way to become schizo.

    Nic
    Last edited by Nicolas10; 14th January 2013 at 21:32.
    "allah akbar": NATO's new warcry.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas10 View Post
    2/ I don't know why the french intervention in Mali is plastered all over the news like that. France had been bombing and sending troops in various places in africa for many decades, and never had it been so much publicized.

    I suspect it's due to it being a "slow news day." Right now there's nothing really happening globally except the same old foibles that have been going nowhere for years and if not decades (e.g. Palestine, Afghanistan, Iran, South China Sea, North Korea).

    I'm also surprised the news coverage various global warming conferences get despite them usually accomplishing nothing at all except adding to the problem by flying and driving lots of delegates around.

  4. #64
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    Cool

    'Slow news day'... exactly what I was thinking after reading all that gibberish!

  5. #65
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    As a matter of fact, Hollande had the media busy h24 with the gay marriage for a few months. I guess that after a demonstration in paris with about 800 000 persons against gay marriage, he had to put something else on the frontpage?

    Now he's refered to as Holland the warlock.

    Jesus what is France coming to

    Nic
    "allah akbar": NATO's new warcry.

  6. #66
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    4. That these people have western style democratic values. They want democracy but in a total different format to the West (and one that is incompatible with Western values).
    Freedom is the same everywhere, and those in power, those who enjoy the fruits of freedom must make an effort in bringing it to people who don't have it. Yes it may cause wars and bloodshed in the short term but in the end it will all be worth it. Iraq is now far better than it was under Saddam for example, it went through a period of lawlessness but now it is a good democracy.

    Compare that to Egypt where there was no intervention, Mubarak replaced by what looks like a more Islamised version, no improvement.
    Love Planes, Live Planes

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Ripe View Post
    Edit: and a C-130 for moving Compagnie Epervier instead of a C-160! That surprises me after all we've been told about the Transall being better-suited for the African environment.
    Are you sure the fondamental characteristic deeming the C-160 better-suited was "African"?
    FAF used both C-160s and C-130s for years, in Africa & elsewhere.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by quadbike View Post
    Freedom is the same everywhere, and those in power, those who enjoy the fruits of freedom must make an effort in bringing it to people who don't have it. Yes it may cause wars and bloodshed in the short term but in the end it will all be worth it. Iraq is now far better than it was under Saddam for example, it went through a period of lawlessness but now it is a good democracy.

    Compare that to Egypt where there was no intervention, Mubarak replaced by what looks like a more Islamised version, no improvement.
    Though what is freedom?

    Is freedom the ability to vote or the ability to pursue whatever you like or the ability to impose your own values on minorities? If the majority of the country wants to live under Shariah or Common Law or whatever, does that mean those laws should be applied to groups who do not adhere to those values?

    And just cause you can vote and buy consumer goods doesn't mean you're free. Just ask homosexuals in many countries including Western ones where they're still stigmatised for their sexual preferences .

    Iraq is now far better than it was under Saddam for example, it went through a period of lawlessness but now it is a good democracy
    With growing terrorism and the Kurds still operating their own mini country in it. Oh and heavens forbid you're Jewish, gay or like heavy metal music.

    I'd rather not be able to vote but be able to walk down the street without being blown up by a jihadi just because my version of god is slightly different to their version or be stoned to death cause I prefer Megadeth and Slayer to the morning chanting of mullahs.
    Last edited by thobbes; 14th January 2013 at 23:46.

  9. #69
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    thobbes if you want to talk politics go to the general discussion! You have already had to edit a post due to its highly offensive content, that the mods didn't instaban you beggars belief! Do you have anything to say about the air campaign?

    Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedaykin View Post
    thobbes if you want to talk politics go to the general discussion! You have already had to edit a post due to its highly offensive content, that the mods didn't instaban you beggars belief! Do you have anything to say about the air campaign?


    Only that I don't agree with it. The problem could've been resolved without bombs and ground troops if only the West paid a bit more attention.

    Though the use of Rafales on long range bombing missions is interesting given there's half a dozen Mirage 2000Ds in Chad (though they've flown missions as well). Dassault marketing scheme anyone? :P
    Last edited by thobbes; 14th January 2013 at 23:51.

  11. #71
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    Fine! Start a thread in the general discussion if you want to talk about the politics of it or that you don't support it. This is the military section and a thread about the mechanics of an air campaign.
    Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

  12. #72
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    Have a cup of tea and chill out dude!

    Anyhow seems the rebels are continuing their advance:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...424381974.html

    Frenchies might get a taste of what the Libyans experienced in the Toyota War (Libyan Invasion of Chad) in the 1980s (i.e. mobile opponent able to strike anywhere and then disappear into the desert).

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Ripe View Post
    Good links, thanks skeeler.

    Interesting in the second one that they're using Mk 82s ( stencilled as such ) as the basis of the GBUs ; I thought the AdlA used Matra freefall ordnance?

    Perhaps the GBU kit only fits the Aero casings, but I thought they'd only bought the guidance kits.

    Edit: and a C-130 for moving Compagnie Epervier instead of a C-160! That surprises me after all we've been told about the Transall being better-suited for the African environment.
    French air force / Navy uses both MK8x and smpe BANG bombs with their paweway kits
    http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagal...es/bang_ds.pdf

    The Transal are getting very old
    The Rafale international forum :
    http://rafale.freeforums.org/

    Rafale news blog :
    http://rafalenews.blogspot.com/

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by thobbes View Post
    Frenchies might get a taste of what the Libyans experienced in the Toyota War (Libyan Invasion of Chad) in the 1980s (i.e. mobile opponent able to strike anywhere and then disappear into the desert).
    It worked so well for Iraqi troops.
    Go Huskers!

  15. #75
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    Different situation.

    Iraqis never tried hit and run during invasion. They stuck with an outdated Warpac model. Most of their troops were conscripts that had no loyalty to their regime or probably even the country.

    Secondly US troops were far more concentrated with multiple divisions worth of troops.

    French involvement is limited and the French are trying to get more African troops involved.

    Thirdly the bulk of the fighting occured in Iraq initially in more populated areas with reasonable road infrastructure. Northern Mali is desolate with few cities and atrocious infrastructure. Lots of arid hilly regions.




    Last edited by thobbes; 15th January 2013 at 02:23.

  16. #76
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    Wrong. During the first 48 hours they tried all sorts of nonsense that backfired. They tried to mask attacks with blowing sand storms, but it turns out allied night vision saw mostly through what blinded the Iraqis themselves and counterattacks were turkey shoots.
    Go Huskers!

  17. #77
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    Is there any Mali air force outside wikipedia? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Mali. If so is it operating at all and if so is it coordinated with French effort?

  18. #78
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    According to this blog (in french), there's not much of a Mali air force, apart (maybe) two operationnal Mi-24s...

    http://mars-attaque.blogspot.fr/2012...mirage-12.html

    *EDIT*

    Another point:

    Quote Originally Posted by thobbes View Post
    Frenchies might get a taste of what the Libyans experienced in the Toyota War (Libyan Invasion of Chad) in the 1980s (i.e. mobile opponent able to strike anywhere and then disappear into the desert).
    Well... a "Toyota War" is something the french army can do too. In fact I've seen a lot of picture of French soldiers patrolling the desert in armed Toyotas or ACMATs, in Chad or in Djibouti, during the 80's and 90's...

    And remember that during the Libyan invasion of Chad, the Chadian were supported by France who watched their Toyota War as a prime witness...
    Last edited by Merlock; 15th January 2013 at 08:15.

  19. #79
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    Islamist groups have been taking control of almost 2/3 of the Mali for months, forcing one of the strictest interpretations of the Sharia on its inhabitant, cutting hands, stoning, destroying thousands of years old monuments, kidnapping European civilians etc.

    Knowing the international community was putting in place a African military force to stop their exactions in North Mali, these groups decided to act fast before such a force could be assemble to prevent them from acting.

    Of course it’s more than possible that if Mali didn’t have such resources in its ground, particularly Uranium, and wasn’t the first supplier to France, there would be no French troops currently involved, but there are no one on this forum naïve enough to believe states spend millions in militarist’s interventions just because of the generosity of their hearts!

    That been said, Islamic factions with very close link with extremist elements, transforming the Mali into a terrorist state isn’t acceptable and the day such groups would channel radioactive element to even more dangerous elements, or start making attacks on Europe and such those here trying to claim the moral high ground would be the first to say how unacceptable that nobody did anything in Mali and that after all it’s only because they don’t have oil…

    For those crying about France being an ex-colonial power, well first of all, the Malian’s government was the one calling and for a while I might add, second of all every time the International community didn’t act in Africa it lead to genocides and such, and other powers like China have filled the void left by the ex-colonial powers.

    Of course many things could have been done to help and prevent the situation maybe, calling all these groups terrorist isn’t going to help negotiate with them about a political resolution of the conflict etc. but doing nothing would have been worse than doing something in that situation.

    And if you think you could have done better why are you sitting on your behind in front of your computer and why are you not over there trying to talk to people that will cut your head in a heartbeat? Beat you up because you don’t have a beard?

    Anyway, on the military intervention, looks like France is now deploying two F1Rs directly from Mali to reduce the flying time. Also the presence of 4 Rafales can easily be explained by the fact that they’ve got more endurance, meaning the very old fleet of French’s tankers can focus on resupplying shorter legged aircraft like Mirages 2000D and F1 while leaving the Rafale with longer range and better protection as well as more weapons carried to strike deep behind enemy’s lines in a very vast territory that is the Mali.
    “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!”

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas10 View Post
    Now he's refered to as Holland the warlock.
    They're calling him a wizard? Why?

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Ripe View Post
    Good links, thanks skeeler....

    Edit: and a C-130 for moving Compagnie Epervier instead of a C-160! That surprises me after all we've been told about the Transall being better-suited for the African environment.
    Maybe it's because of the Transalls wearing out, & having difficulty scraping up some for the task. Isn't that why France is the first A400M customer? Short of usable transports? Perhaps all the serviceable Transalls are committed.
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  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by thobbes View Post
    Frenchies might get a taste of what the Libyans experienced in the Toyota War (Libyan Invasion of Chad) in the 1980s (i.e. mobile opponent able to strike anywhere and then disappear into the desert).
    It was called "Operation Manta" and "Operation Epervier" (read it in French).
    The Chadian troops were suported, armed and trained by the French.
    The hundreds of pickup´s equiped with MILAN (read it in French) ATGM´s who gave the name to the war were provided by the French, the training to use the ATGM´s was provided by the French and (just like Merlock pointed) there is enough evidence to point to the presence of French special troops right beside the Chadians in that war to conclude that the "Frenchies" have quite an experience in that particular scenario.

  23. #83
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    Belgium will be joing the operation.
    it was announced this morning that we will be sending 2 C-130H's and 2 Agusta A-109's in Medevac configuration.

    http://www.expatica.com/be/news/belg...li_255479.html

    the article says 1 helo, but MoD, Pieter De Crem, said in an interview there will be 2 (1 operational, 1 as backup)

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    Maybe it's because of the Transalls wearing out, & having difficulty scraping up some for the task. Isn't that why France is the first A400M customer? Short of usable transports? Perhaps all the serviceable Transalls are committed.
    That's probably the case, looks like the youngest Transalls are > 30 years old.

    Found this page about Epervier dispositions that lists one C-160 and one C-130.

    I suppose that's a useful mix, the '130 for range and the '160 for soft, short strips or for when one of the Pumas goes tech and needs to be airlifted out.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sintra View Post
    It was called "Operation Manta" and "Operation Epervier" (read it in French).
    The Chadian troops were suported, armed and trained by the French.
    The hundreds of pickup´s equiped with MILAN (read it in French) ATGM´s who gave the name to the war were provided by the French, the training to use the ATGM´s was provided by the French and (just like Merlock pointed) there is enough evidence to point to the presence of French special troops right beside the Chadians in that war to conclude that the "Frenchies" have quite an experience in that particular scenario.
    Indeed. The French had been doing it for years. It's hard to say who invented it, but similar tactics were used effectively in WW2, e.g. by the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) & Popski's Private Army (officially No. 1 Demolition Squadron). BTW, one of Peniakoff's deputies in PPA was Jean Caneri, born in Egypt of Corsican parents. He commanded it when Popski was absent.

    I was at university with (different courses, but lived in the same block of student flats) a Scot who'd been invalided out of the Foreign Legion as a result of an injury, & had served in Tchad, fighting FROLINAT in the early 1970s.
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    funnily if our Transall's are exhausted while German ones are not it because ours spent their time making freight and dropping between France and Chad ... for Toyota wars

    They are not made for this, and when the French were fed up to make grocery delivery day and night with everybody on the deck during Epervier, they called for a C5 Galaxy (already) and we saw the difference... (it's really huge when you see it...)

    This one had a mechanical issue on the Dakar airport though... but thanks

  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Ripe View Post
    That's probably the case, looks like the youngest Transalls are > 30 years old.

    Found this page about Epervier dispositions that lists one C-160 and one C-130.

    I suppose that's a useful mix, the '130 for range and the '160 for soft, short strips or for when one of the Pumas goes tech and needs to be airlifted out.
    I always thought that back when they were both new, a Transall/Belfast mix might have been useful. Once the Belfast's original drag problems were sorted out, of course. A pity that there doesn't seem to have been any thought of cooperation.

    Quote Originally Posted by c-seven View Post
    funnily if our Transall's are exhausted while German ones are not it because ours spent their time making freight and dropping between France and Chad ... for Toyota wars
    Yeah, yours have certainly led a harder life.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

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    Mildave, I know uranium in Niger. Not so sure about Mali on that point...

  29. #89
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    Uranium has been found in at least two places in Mali, but AFAIK none is being mined yet.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

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    Picture taken in N'djamena, Chad.

    Canon cover out (and only 2 GBU's)

    I wonder if they made some straffing like the F1 used to make in Africa. Would be interesting to know and with which results.
    Let's note that A to G modes for the canon has been fully opened not that long ago.
    Last edited by c-seven; 15th January 2013 at 13:21.

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