Friday, January 25, 2013

Mali: the secret war against AQIM

The political will to destroy terrorist groups abuts the absence of armed drones.

France is currently trying to set up a special military operation in northern Mali, unprecedented in the recent history of our country. But despite the significant deployment of resources, it faces serious difficulties because of the vastness of the territory and the absence of armed drones in our arsenal.

It is breaking AQIM sense of the term, that is to say the capacity to destroy and kill the maximum number of members. In the entourage of the Minister of Defence, we do puzzles more cautious language: "We are at war and we will break the most out of these assholes." Basically, it would be to do what the Americans are in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere we identify high value targets (responsible for terrorist command center or logistics deposits) and the "tape" from heaven with precision munitions. To do this, the ideal weapon is armed drone Male, type Reaper. But unlike the United States, France does not have. Or not ...

Lack of armed drones, military do with the means at hand. They are not negligible. For surveillance and intelligence gathering (optical and electronic), France has deployed no less than five Atlantic 2, two Mirage F1CR two drones and Snowy, probably means air specific COS, or the DGSE. Very versatile, the Rafale can also be used for this type of mission recce. Americans and British also provide assistance in intelligence gathering.

But there are two problems: the vastness of monitor (larger than France) and elongation: for a patrol of Rafale from N'Djamena, is 2 to 3 hours over this vast area, must mobilize two tanker aircraft! Ditto for the Snowy drones who spend half their time of flight in transit.

The situation is the following: it is difficult to monitor everything and when a target is identified, we need to treat, that is to say, having to close a bomber capable of delivering ammunition. That's a lot of conditions that limit for the time scale strikes against AQIM. But the will, political and military, is there.

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