Panetta: “No US boots on the ground” in Mali

| January 16, 2013

The Washington Times reports that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that there will be no US troops on the ground in support of the French effort to eradicate jihadists in Mali;

State Department officials said that support could include cargo planes to shuttle troops in and out of theater, flying tankers for aerial refueling, ammunition, spare parts, and even troops’ rations.

“We share the French goal of denying terrorists a safe haven in the region, and we support the French operation,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “We are supporting the French by sharing information. And we are considering requests for logistical support.”

While that’s good news, I like it when our so-called allies shoulder part of the task of policing the world, I have a hard time believing it. We did the same thing for the French in Vietnam – my father was on the aircraft carrier that delivered the first jet aircraft to the French in Vietnam – and we got roped into that.

“We have one goal: to ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process, and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory,” Mr. Hollande told a news conference Tuesday in the United Arab Emirates, according to Reuters.

Sounds like the plan for Afghanistan, doesn’t it? But the French decided to beat feet before that operation ended.

“We are precluded under the countercoup restrictions from funding a military that has been involved in a coup until democracy has been restored,” Ms. Nuland said, “But we’re not precluded from assisting allies and partners in trying to restore security to that country.”

I’m sure they have a plan to get around the “no boots” promise, too.

Category: Terror War

Comments (13)

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  1. rb325th says:

    Too bad we actually trained the guy who orchestrated the Coup….

  2. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Current and future statements of the administration:

    1. There will be no US troops on the ground

    2. There will some advisors dispatched in non-combat roles

    3. The situation is fluid and our options must remain open.

    4. The troops are assigned to the UN and will assist in the international effort to combat terrorism in accordance with UN resolution XYZ.

    5. The US troops are present to safeguard our dedicated resources.

    6. The unilateral attack on our troops will not be tlerated. Accordingly, the commander-in-chief has directed the addition of a minimal force of 15,000 troops to bolster the UN force in place there.

    7. You know the rest.

  3. USMCE8Ret says:

    Yikes. I’ll go out on a limb and ask if this potentially has the making for another Dien Bien Phu for the French and perhaps another Somalia for the U.S.?

    I only ask that because the French have, in the past, shown they cannot commit to anything for too long that makes them feel uncomfortable, and the rules for our involvement there are not clearly defined.

  4. Don Carl says:

    Yeah, because bailing out the French in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc didn’t teach us anything…
    Those who forget the past are condemned to…what was that?

  5. LIRight says:

    I saw that sound bite on Fox News and as I recall Panetta said that there are no plans for “boots on the ground at this time.” I think he gave the Obama Administration all the wiggle room that they need “at this time.”

  6. NYC_SGT says:

    They never said anything about no sneakers or sandals though…

  7. ohio says:

    Another “Rue sans Joy”.

  8. Stacy0311 says:

    Panetta says no troops on the ground? I guess I better start packing for another fun filled trip to yet another 3rd world shithole

  9. DaveO says:

    Jet fuel costs more than a brigade of grunts on the ground. Supporting NATO and France with C4ISR, logistics and combat assets will cost the same per day as Libya.

    During budget negotiations in which the POTUS needs to win, putting Americans into combat provides leverage over the GOP (which has always supported Americans in combat). It worked using Libya, and will work with Mali.

  10. Spade says:

    “Sounds like the plan for Afghanistan, doesn’t it? But the French decided to beat feet before that operation ended.”

    Based on recent executive branch statements, I guess they were right.

  11. RangerX says:

    Let’s play some word games shall we? No US Boots = The guys we send prefer athletic shoes. Black ones.

  12. Twist says:

    No US Boots = we will issue them ones made in China.

  13. FatCircles0311 says:

    US boots were on the ground in Mali many months ago.

    Keep lying to Americans though, Panetta.