France announced it has killed a leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).
Adnan Abou Walid al Sahraoui, chef du groupe terroriste État islamique au Grand Sahara a été neutralisé par les forces françaises. Il s’agit d’un nouveau succès majeur dans le combat que nous menons contre les groupes terroristes au Sahel.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 15, 2021
“Adnan About Walie al Sahraou, head of the terrorist group the Islamic Sate in the Greater Sahara, was neutralized by French forces. It is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel.”
This was made possible by their Operation Barkhane, which was a result of the ending of Operation Servel in 2013, when the French and the Malian government fought to regain territory lost during the 2012 Tuareg Rebellion. A few months back, frustrated at yet another coup in Mali, France had announced they were scaling down operations in the Sahel. Two weeks later, they announced they would still be performing joint operations with Mali.
Perhaps the first announcement was simply to save face. Better to pretend to come down hard on your coup-loving colonial servants than accept public your role in the chaos while you keep military operations and instability afloat.
And that brings us to now and the killing of this leader if ISGS. It seems ISIS and its affiliates, real, imagined, or enhanced have been one of the greatest gifts given to the West since the end of the Cold War. They no longer have Russia and the communists to be their wolf (unless you’re CNN, MSNBC, or the Democratic Party), so crying “ISIS” will do the trick. The Biden Administration just used it the other day.
This isn’t to diminish any real threats that innocent civilians experience; it is rather to point out the danger in the West’s policies channeled through their War on Terror. We have plenty of evidence that innocent civilians are the ones at risk from the West’s War on Terror.
France can tell us all about their great victory but very little good will likely come of it. What this does is allow France to justify their continued military presence in a foreign nation, where they also do things like bombing a wedding and ensuring their own economic prosperity. It appears there’s no greater plan for their forever war in Mali.