The Mali Blowback: More to Come?

The Mali Blowback: More to Come?

The French-led military offensive in its former colony of Mali has pushed back radical Islamists and allied militias from some of the country’s northern cities, freeing the local population from repressive Taliban-style totalitarian rule. The United States has...
Mali, France, and Chickens

Mali, France, and Chickens

“It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts.” — Charlie Marlow from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness The vision that Conrad’s character Marlow describes is of a French frigate firing broadsides into a vast African...
From Here to Timbuktu

From Here to Timbuktu

As early as the 11th century, Timbuktu was a hub for trade in salt and gold between black Africans, the Tuareg, and Arabs from the north. A meeting place for African scholars, Timbuktu was also a center of learning where thousands of manuscripts and books were...
Mali’s War: The Wages of Sin

Mali’s War: The Wages of Sin

The reports filtering out of Northern Mali are appalling: a young couple stoned to death, iconic ancient shrines dismantled, and some 365,000 refugees fleeing beatings and whippings for the slightest violations of Sharia law. But the bad dream unfolding in this West...
Understanding the Standoff in Mali

Understanding the Standoff in Mali

The standoff between Mali’s government and the armed Islamists who control two-thirds of the country is unlikely to resolve peacefully, and the prospects for a new war in the Sahel appear increasingly probable. In January, a disciplined Tuareg separatist group,...