Tackling the region's security challenges will require a long-term commitment from Washington and the international community at large. North Africa and the Sahel are inextricably linked. If Libya was a splash, Mali is a ripple.
Halting the advance of Islamist militants in Mali is not the same has defeating them. Now that France has committed itself to the crisis, Hollande will need to better define France's mission in Mali and outline how long French forces will remain there.