Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Canada's Mission Civilitrice

Let's go kill some Tuareg scumbags!  Tuaregs? Aren't they a snazzy VW SUVs?  And what's scummy about a fine automotive prawduct like that?  Other than providing Canada's military with the danger pay bonus to actually buy one, maybe, there's not much 'scummy' at all.

While we may not be there yet - Mali is one of those places being considered for the peace-keeping ministrations of he CAF - others being locales in west Africa, eastern Europe or perhaps a return to Kandahar.  We haven't made up our  mind just what our response to the  NATO allies holding the line against a terroristic insurgencies in Africa is going to look like. Personally I think we had best take the example of Greece - another valued NATO ally - and tell 'the alliance' to go 'naff' itself.  Killing Tuaregs isn't going to do Canada, or NATO, any good.

Tuareg 'terrorism'

The Touareg - the original 'blue men'  of National Geographic cultural pieces - are an African tribe of the central Sahara area.  Long a powerful and influential trading tribe - like many  other African peoples they fell afoul European colonialism. In the Tuareg's case it was essentially French Colonialism,  although there are a sizable population in northern Nigeria (British)  and Southern Libya (Italian)   they didn't run as afoul as other tribes until fairly recently.  Like other tribes they found themselves split into foreign 'nationalities' when the gerrymandered boundaries of the imperial administrative districts became 'national borders'.  Usually well-organized, armed and willing to fight, the Touaregs were an 'asset' to any government smart enough to get them on-side. Nigeria for instance - largely used muslim northerners  in their armed forces to suppress rebellious Christian southern tribes and keep government hands on the nation's oil wealth. The Biafran revolt was largely put down by such fighters.  Now the Touaregs, perhaps aggrevated by  a seemingly incompetent series of corrupt governments, and the burgeoning presence of 'anti-terrorist' western forces in the region, raising-up and training essentially Christian armies to fight muslim terror,   have been trying to establish themselves as independent of the various nations in which they live for the past 15 years or so. In only one area - predominantly muslim CAR are the Touaregs a force fighting in support of the government. Should the CAR forces be used , as seems to be the plan, to suppress 'terrorism' in neighbouring areas , they could be faced with fighting other Touaregs. We seem to think they'd like  to do that for us.

France has been heavily involved in 'stabilizing' the  former members of its African empire from the time of independence in the 70's.  It fought a brushfire war with Libya's Ghaddafi over territorial claims to Chad back in the 80's and it has maintained 'training forces' all across the Sahara region.   Because Canada has a francophone population - and some bilingual military units - it is thought they might be a good fit. Given the kind of force deployed to Afghanistan - mixed in so very many ways - it's highly unlikely that language is going to make much difference. We could deploy a Muslim unit but they too, might as well be peace-keeping/training on the moon.

                                         French Bases in North Africa

Canada has maintained a small Special Forces training mission in Niger - at last until fairly recently.  At least as far as being part of  NATO's 'Operation Flintlock' in 2014.

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