We Need To Talk About Chad: Franco-America’s Favorite Hired Gun, original.antiwar.com

Danny Sjursen, retired US Army officer, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP)

After some hints to the contrary, it turns out French troops in the Sahel aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So said President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on February 16, even before his virtual summit with France’s former-colonial ”partners” – Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Chad – comprising the G5 Sahel Joint Force. Formed in 2014, it’s described in bureaucratic Paris-speak as ”an intergovernmental cooperation framework, in order to put forward a regional response to the various challenges.” In reality, the G5 are little more than a misfit crew of problematic proxies doing the bidding of the French generals leading a seven years-running Operation Barkhane – and that of America’s AFRICOM proconsuls propping-up Paris’s pet forever war in the Sahel. […]

Such pesky details aside, both Paris and Washington view Chad as an essential ally in the regional fight against Islamist groups. In fact, almost two months to the day before the G5 summit’s kickoff, US AFRICOM’s commander, General Stephen Townsend, paid homage at Déby’s tinpot dictatorial court – where he ”thanked Chad for its continued leadership in regional security and for hosting US troops.” Right after that, Proconsul Townsend dropped by the French Barkhane team and the European Union training detachment (Task Force Takuba), ”recognizing their efforts to bring increased security and stability to the Sahel.” That’s the symbiotic relational rub: it’s France – backed by big brother America, and with a clutch EU-assist – that keeps Déby-the-despot in power, thereby fueling the foundational instability driving much of the regional mess. Läs artikel