Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mali: Britain 'Risks Being drawn into Afghan-style conflict'

Risks Being dragged Britain into a drawn out Afghan-style conflict in Mali, MPs warned David Cameron Effective Announced That more than 300 troops Would Be feels to north Africa in the fight against al-Qaeda.

In a significant escalation of Britain's military commitment to the region, Downing Street Said that up to 330 troops would go to Mali and Neighbouring countries.

Up to 40 will be based in Mali, training government troops As They Support the French-led action against the country's al-Qaeda-linked rebels. Another 200 will be felt to train soldiers in other African countries so They Can join the assault.

Britain will share intelligence and aussi offer a roll-on roll-off ferry to carry equipment to Mali French. A joint logistics headquarters aussi Could be, established with France.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, conceded there was a danger That of "mission creep" in Mali That goal insisted Britain had "an absolute duty" to Intervene against terrorists.

Senior military figures and MPs from Both Sides of the Commons Concerns raised of a lengthy conflict in north Africa resembling the wars in Afghanistan or Vietnam. In an Urgent Motions Motions, Mr Hammond insisted Britain's That role in the conflict was in the national interest, and promised an "efficient" result.

"The UK HAS clear interest in the stability of Mali and territory Ensuring icts Does not Become an ungoverned space available for al-Qaeda and Its associates to organize attacks on the West," he said. "We have an absolute duty to Intervene Wherever there is a threat to Britain's national security and the security of Britain's intérêts around the world and this is exactly Such a box."

British troops will be Authorised to open fire only in "self defense", he said. No troops Would provide "force protection" for the Proposed European Union Training Mission in Mali and there was no "intent" to deploy front-line troops, he said. "We are very clear about the Risks of mission creep. We have very Carefully Defined That the media we are willing to Provide to the French and the Malian Authorities. "

John Baron, a Conservative MP, Mr Hammond warned That Could Britain be "drawn into ever deepening conflicts". Jim Murphy, the shadow defense secretary, Said the public was "wary and weary of conflict" and Frank Dobson, the form Labour cabinet minister, Suggested That Mali Could Become Britain's "Vietnam," war Which he Said Began with American troops "in a training capacity. "

As French troops swept into Timbuktu, form the head of the Army, General Sir Mike Jackson, That nations warned the country faced Involved in a "protracted guerrilla warfare."

The troops Being feels directly to Mali will join an EU-led training mission. The other 200 British troops to the area feels Being Will Be Deployed to English speaking countries, Ghana and Nigeria Such as, Which are Contributing to soldiers supporting the Malian government.

Talks on the details of assignments Were Both Continuing last night. The Prime Minister's spokesman disclosed That 70 British personnel were based in Senegal Already operating a Sentinel spy plane to the French media, while 20 RAF crew Were operating a C-17 transport, Which will stay for three months in Mali.

The Government aussi Prepared to make facilities available for British "allies", thought to include the U.S. to mount mid-air refueling operations. It Has refused to send drone aircraft to Mali Because it cannot Any spare from operations in Afghanistan.

The Commitments so far will mean that up to 60 staff will be inside British Mali, with about 270 elsewhere in the region.

Mr Cameron's spokesman said: "It is in the international community's intérêts to supporting the Malian government and the WIDER area in dealing with terrorist havens and That Is exactly what we are doing."

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