I realize that there has been a lot of foreign policy oriented material on this site lately, yet as I have stated many times before, foreign affairs dictates the history of weaponry and military strategy.
The video below is a fantastic piece describing what is actually going on in the western failed state of Mali. Literally half the country is now controlled by terrorists and jihadists who are bent on taking their holy war directly to the western world. A large portion of the weaponry that was looted from Libya during its Civil War found its way to Mali and directly into the hands of Al Qaeda operatives who are not only living in the northern half of that country, but ruling it. Meanwhile, the southern part of Mali is being ruled by an incredibly weak provisional government that will probably fall in the not to distant future if nothing is done to bolster their military capabilities.
As with anything in “deep’ Africa, the west is quick to turn a blind eye to the security issues and human suffering at hand. Although, in the case of Mali, we may not have a choice as to intervene or not as the results of an entire country ran by Al Qaeda and Jihad driven groups will eventually come to our shores if we act too late or not at all. Sadly, this is not a problem that cruise missiles and helicopter gunships can solve alone, Green Berets on the other hand, backed by largely non-invasive CIA operations, possibly. Unless we train the south’s military and provide them with basic arms it will only be a matter of time until we have a problem on our hands equivalent to, or worse than, Afghanistan on September 10th, 2001.