No Budget Cuts Here: US Boosts War Role in AfricaSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Mon, 03/04/2013 - 23:58
On the first full business day that the "sequester cuts" are to hit the nation, the following article appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Boosts War Role in Africa
American Drones Help French Target Militants in Mali, as Chad Claims Killings
Wall Street Journal | March 4, 2012
The U.S. is markedly widening its role in the stepped up French-led military campaign against extremists in Mali, providing sensitive intelligence that pinpoints militant targets for attack, U.S. and allied officials disclosed.
The Obama administration has agreed to provide air tankers to refuel French warplanes targeting rebels in Mali, sharply expanding the level of U.S. involvement in the campaign. WSJ Pentagon Correspondent Adam Entous reports. Photo: Getty Images.
WSJ reporter Joel Millman talks by phone with a young Eritrean refugee being held for ransom by kidnappers in Egypt's Sinai desert. Photo: Getty Images.
U.S. Reaper drones have provided intelligence and targeting information that have led to nearly 60 French airstrikes in the past week alone in a range of mountains the size of Britain, where Western intelligence agencies believe militant leaders are hiding, say French officials.
The operations target top militants, including Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the mastermind of January's hostage raid on an Algerian natural gas plant that claimed the lives of at least 38 employees, including three Americans. Chad forces said they killed him on Saturday, a day after saying they had killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, the commander of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's Mali wing.
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