France will shortly be engaged in rebuilding Mali, a country twice the size of Texas. Does the U.S. really want to join in another nation-building exercise, in a Muslim country, on a continent where Americans are not welcome?
Whilst equipment, intelligence, training and support from American, British and French special forces will add steel to the operation, it will nevertheless involve difficult desert fighting conditions against a well-armed enemy.
This has all been a long time coming. In northern Mali, a growing Touareg rebellion has created tens of thousands of refugees and has displaced many more than that. Yet this rebellion is far different from the rebellions of past decades.