Lessons for the UK deployment to Mali, mondediplo.com

As the UK prepares to deploy troops as part of the UN mission to fight violent extremism in Mali (Minusma), politicians and defence commentators insist this is not another Iraq or Afghanistan. But, after years of other military operations struggling to have the desired impact in the Sahel quagmire, we must ask if we have truly learnt the lessons of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War. […]

Meanwhile, some ethnic groups have been painted with a broad brush as terrorists for the convenience of local and national political actors — for example, the conflation of Fulani herders with ‘jihadists’. This has led to an ‘ethnicisation’ of the conflict, sharpening social divides and sparking cycles of attacks and retribution between communities. […]

It is clear from experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and indeed in Mali itself that military operations alone will not bring an end to conflict. In this respect, the ‘success’ of this deployment is as much down to our aid workers and diplomats as it is to the MoD. Läs artikel