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Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

Service First, Then Charge a Fee

By Bettina Vestring

France is fighting a seemingly solitary war in Mali. Sure, the United States has provided a couple of transport aircraft but they want to charge a fee for those. Washington apparently likes to go its own way in the War on Terror.

Translated By Ron Argentati

29 January 2013

Edited by Lau­rence Bouvard

Germany - Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (German)

The world applauds. France has garnered global approval for its military engagement in Mali. Every nation that fears it could become the target of Islamic terrorists was relieved by the rapid and thus far successful French response.

It's just too bad that applause and approval don't feed the bulldog. France discovered that its European Union and NATO partners weren't really keen on jumping in except to provide training and donations for African soldiers instead of putting themselves in harm's way.

The most glaring example has been provided by the U.S.: The transport aircraft America provided to the French army will apparently cost a pretty penny; the U.S. plans to present the French with a $20 million bill for their use. Washington was slow to respond to demands for an explanation for the misunderstanding.

Why such meager help? Barack Obama, America's Black president, really doesn't want to take part in a mission that carries even the faintest odor of colonialism. His military has its own ideas of how best to combat terrorism. The U.S. wants to set up unmanned drone bases in neighboring Niger and use drones capable of reaching every part of the Sahel zone. First for reconnaissance, later certainly for combat.

Washington fashion is a lot different to Paris fashion. Even when it comes to war.



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