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    Tuareg presentation Tuareg presentation Presentation Transcript

    • The Tuareg And Why They Matter to Us Major Tommy Waller
    • Agenda • • • • • Why Africa Matters to us • Resources / Access / Allies Geographic Overview • The Magreb • The Sahel • Sub-Saharan Africa The Berbers • Ancestry • Islamization / Discrimination The Tuaregs • Ancestry / How they live • Their influence on the region • Tuareg & AQIM • Rebellion and Independence WIIFM?: How all this affects our Operations • OIF & OEF Afghanistan to OEF-TS • Partnerships / Mil2Mil / Theater Security Cooperation • Exercises • Who gets future missions? 2
    • Why Africa Matters • • • • • It’s HUGE!! • 53 Countries! N/S >5000mi; E/W >4600mi • Resources / Access / Allies Resources • Petroleum • Minerals • Rare elements (uranium etc.) Foreign Competition • China • Europe (former colonial powers) • Iran US Needs Allies • Friends don’t host terrorists • Reducing illicit trafficking (drugs/humans) US Needs Access • Ports and Airfields • Corporate Access 3 3
    • The Maghreb 1. 2. 3. The Maghreb is usually defined as much or most of the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. The term “maghrib” is in origin an Arabic word for "west, occident", denoting the westernmost territories that fell to the Islamic conquests of the 7th century. Maghrebis are largely composed of Berber and Arab descent with European and Sub-Saharan elements – Mostly Africans as traders or slaves coming from the Sahel region. Interesting Facts: - The Maghreb was inhabited and ruled by the Phoenicians, then the Carthaginians, then the Romans, then the Vandals, then the Byzantine, then the Berbers, and finally the Arabs, who finally secured control over the entire region by 700 AD. - Morocco was the first country to recognize the US 4
    • The Sahel 1. 2. Interesting Fact: - The Sahel states were limited from expanding south into the forest zone of the Ashanti and Yoruba as mounted warriors were all but 3. useless in the forests and the horses and camels could not survive the heat and diseases of the region The Sahel is the transitional zone between the Sahara and the tropical savanna (the Sudan region) and forest-savanna mosaic to the south, having a semi-arid climate. The Sahelian kingdoms were a series of monarchies centered in the Sahel, between the 9th and 18th centuries. Their wealth of the states came from controlling the Trans-Saharan trade routes across the desert, especially the slave trade with the Islamic world. Their power came from having large pack animals like camels and horses that were fast enough to keep a large empire under central control and were also useful in battle. 5
    • Sub-Saharan Africa 1. 2. Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. Politically, it consists of all African countries that are fully or partially located south of the Sahara (excluding Sudan). It contrasts with North Africa, which is considered a part of the Arab world. Somalia, Djibouti, Comoros and Mauritania are geographically part of Sub-Saharan Africa, but also part of the Arab world. Interesting Facts: • • • • • Youth make up 36.9% of the working-age population, but 59.5% of the total unemployed, which is much higher than the world‟s average for 2005 (43.7%). For the period 2000–06, Seychelles had the highest adult literacy rate (92%); Mali and Burkina Faso had the lowest (24%). South Africa has 84 mobile phones per 100 people; Ethiopia has 1 per 100 people. In Liberia, almost no one has internet access (0.03 per 100); there are 34 in every 100 people in Seychelles. In Sierra Leone nearly three children in ten die before the age of five (270 per 1,000 live births); in the Seychelles, the rate is 13 per 1,000. (MDG 4, IDA 2). 6
    • North African Resources Interesting Fact: • Although most of the desert's inhabitants are poor, there are rich natural resources to be found under the sands. • Algeria has abundant oil and gas reserves • Niger has one of the world's largest uranium reserves, which power France's nuclear plants. • Mali is Africa's third biggest gold producer. 7
    • The Berber People Who are the Berbers? 1. 2. 3. The Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity, and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not a homogeneous ethnic group and they encompass a range of phenotypes, cultures and ancestries. The unifying forces for the Berber people could be their Berber language, belonging to the Berber homeland, or a collective identification with the Berber heritage and history. 4. The Berber-speakers established their own cities in the Sahara, and named nearly every landmark in it. Though stereotyped in the West as nomads, most Berbers were in fact traditionally farmers, living in mountains relatively close to the Mediterranean coast, or oasis dwellers; but some, such as the Tuareg and Zenaga of the southern Sahara were almost wholly nomadic. 8
    • The Berber People Islamization 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The first Arab military expeditions into the Maghreb, between 642 and 669, resulted in the spread of Islam Unlike the conquests of previous religions and cultures, the coming of Islam, was to have pervasive and long-lasting effects on the Maghreb. The new faith, in its various forms, would penetrate nearly all segments of Berber society. Nonetheless, the Islamization and Arabization of the region was a complicated and lengthy process. Whereas nomadic Berbers were quick to convert and assist the Arab conquerors, it was not until the 12th century, under the Almohad Dynasty, that the Christian, Jewish, and animist communities of the Maghreb became marginalized. The spread of Islam among the Berbers did not guarantee their support for the Arab-dominated caliphate due to the discriminatory attitude of the Arabs. The ruling Arabs alienated the Berbers by taxing them heavily; treating converts as second-class Muslims; and, worst of all, by enslaving them. Berbers are Muslim, but many of them generally consider their Berber identity as important or greater than their Islamic identity. 9
    • The Berber People Discrimination 1. 2. 3. “He never allowed us to speak our language, he never allowed us to speak freely in the media or anywhere. He doesn’t allow us to give our children Berber names.” “Only a democratic regime would secure the rights of the estimated half million Berbers living in the Nefusa mountains.” - Sifao, Lybian Berber quoted during the rebellion in Apr 2011 4. 5. Berbers have been discriminated against heavily by Arabs. In Morocco, the Amazigh, commonly known as Berbers, were Morocco's first inhabitants and still account for about 60% of the country's nearly 32 million citizens. But Amazigh activists say they are treated like a minority by members of the dominant Arab culture. In Libya, the regime of Muammar Gaddafi banned the teaching of Berber languages, and the dictator warned Berber leaders "You can call yourselves whatever you want inside your homes – Berbers, Children of Satan, whatever – but you are only Libyans when you leave your homes.“ As a result of the persecution suffered under Gaddafi's rule, many Berbers joined the Libyan opposition in the 2011 Libyan civil war. Unfortunately, the Berbers will likely continue to suffer under North African regimes practicing Sharia law. 10
    • Tuareg Overview Ancestry 1. Tuaregs are a subculture of the Berbers and like other Saharan peoples, including the indigenous African peoples who formed the basis of ancient Egyptian society, describe themselves as "the red people," in contrast to other Africans who are "white" or "black." 2. They are known as the "Blue Men," for their indigo-dyed garments which leave dark blue pigment on their skins, and as the "Knights of the Sahara" for their generosity, desert hospitality and respect for women. (according to themselves) 3. The ancient ancestors of the Tuaregs lived west of the Nile Delta; they traded with the Egyptians, and several of their leaders ruled pharaonic Egypt for over 200 years. 4. The Tuareg homeland today is in the Central Sahara, where they have lived for several thousand years since their ancestors began migrating from the northern Sahara following colonization of coastal North Africa by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs. 5. About 100 years ago, the Tuareg people were divided up into separate countries, under separate administrative governments and artificial national 11 boundaries established by French colonizers.
    • Tuareg Overview Where and How They Live Now 1. The Tuaregs are currently the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa. 2. Most Tuaregs live in the Saharan parts of Niger, Mali, and Algeria. Being nomadic, they move constantly across national borders, and small groups of Tuareg are also found in southeastern Algeria, southwestern Libya and northern Burkina Faso, and a small community in northern Nigeria. 3. Tuaregs occupy the largest non administered area of the world – so they almost pass as a form of government in this inhospitable area. 4. Historically, the Tuaregs have been fierce fighters with an unmatched knowledge of the Sahara and how to wage war within it. 5. These traits make them desirable to co-opt by regimes and organizations who need fighters to control territories or spread influence. 6. For example, the same Muammar Gaddafi who discriminated against Berbers in general recognized the Tuaregs as determined and resourceful fighters. He promoted thousands of them in the Libyan army and encouraged them to be loyal to him. 12
    • Tuareg Territory Libya 1. For decades Qaddafi recruited the Tuareg to serve in his military. In the early 1980s he called them to join his Islamic Legion, which he styled as the military cornerstone for his dream of building a united Muslim state in North Africa. 2. After ill-fated military adventures in Lebanon, Chad, and Sudan, he disbanded the legion and invited the Tuareg to join special brigades within the Libyan army. 3. In recent decades, various Tuareg rebel groups, many of them trained in these Libyan units, have fought in neighboring Mali and Niger. After each of these conflicts was settled, Qaddafi provided aid and shelter to the rebel leaders and many of their former combatants. 4. Many Tuareg fought on the Gaddafi side in the civil war in Libya last year. Fighters were offered up to $1000 per day and those who didn’t want to fight were pressed into service. 5. For all the mention of the “peaceful / patient” lifestyle from their supporters, the truth is that the Tuareg fought alongside (and in come cases participated) Arab Islamists in the wholesale slaughtering of Libyan civilian protesters. 13
    • Tuareg Territory Mali 1. The Tuaregs have been long-time opponents of Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure’s government, complaining that the central government located in the southern capital city of Bamako has ignored the Tuareg in the country’s impoverished north. 2. As thousands of Tuareg people returned to Mali and Niger after Gaddafi‟s death, well armed but empty 4. From January through April, MNLA handed, coupled with the expedient timing seized military control of the three of internal Tuareg politics, it was an regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, opportune time to launch a new with intentions to form an campaign to assert the autonomy of the independent state for the Azawad. Tuareg people. 5. Allegations were made by the Mali 3. In January 2012, the Tuareg rebel group, government that the MLNA had allied the National Movement for the with Ansar Dine and AQIM – who want Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) began a to spread Sharia rule. rebellion against Toure’s government. 14
    • The Tuareg and AQIM Islamist Efforts to Co-Opt 3. 4. 5. 6. 1. Most Tuaregs are Muslim by convenience, but do not subscribe to true Sharia law. However, because they live unfettered by North African states and in an ungoverned land, they are an attractive target to be co-opted by Islamists, namely Al Queda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM). 2. Over the past year there has been much concern that AQIM would ally with the Tuareg and strengthen their influence throughout the Magreb and create a sanctuary for terrorist activity and violent spread of Sharia. Mistreatment of the Tuareg by the Malian Govt and military initially led to some Tuaregs aligning with the Islamists they fought alongside in Libya. In February 2012 a Mali Government commission reported the killing of government soldiers by AQIM combatants collaborating with MNLA. The report is strongly denied by MNLA. In March 2012 rebels gained control of Kidal, capital of Mali’s northernmost region and witnesses confirmed presence of both MNLA and Ansar Dine. In April 2012, the MLNA declared a cease fire, but was about to be pushed aside by better-armed Islamist groups, ceding Timbuktu to Ansar Dine which has different objectives from the MNLA and seeks to impose Sharia law in Mali. 15
    • The Tuareg Rebellion The last 10 months • • • • May 2012 - The Tuareg MNLA and Islamist Ansar Dine rebel groups declare northern Mali to be an Islamic state. Ansar Dine begins to impose Islamic law in Timbuktu. Al-Qaeda in North Africa endorses the deal. • June - July 2012 - Ansar Dine and its Al-Qaeda allies turn on the MNLA and capture the main northern cities of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao. They begin to destroy many Muslim shrines that offend their puritan views. Autumn-Winter 2012 - Northern Islamist rebels consolidate their hold on the north and move into central Mali and closer to the government-held south-west. November 2012 - The West African regional grouping ECOWAS agrees to a coordinated military expedition to recapture the north, with UN and African Union backing. Preparations are expected to take several months. January 2013 - Islamist fighters capture the central town of Konna and plan to march on the capital. President Traore asks France for help. French troops rapidly capture Gao and Timbuktu and at the end of the month enter Kidal, the last major rebel-held town. European countries pledge to help retrain the Malian army. 16
    • The Tuareg, Mali & France 1. The MNLA, re-aligned with the Malian and French military, regained control of its northern stronghold of Kidal in spring 2012 when Islamist fighters fled French air strikes into hideouts in the nearby desert and rugged Adrar des Ifoghas mountains. 2. Residents of the ancient caravan town of Timbuktu were thankful for their liberation from Islamists, who had handed down punishments including whipping and amputation for breaking sharia. Islamists also smashed sacred Sufi mausoleums and destroyed or stole some 2,000 ancient manuscripts at the South African-sponsored Baba Ahmed Institute, causing international outcry. 3. Many secular Tuaregs have stated they are willing to help the French-led mission by hunting down Islamists and have offered to hold peace talks with the government in a bid to heal wounds between Mali's restive Saharan north and the black African-dominated south. 4. By March 2012 France says military intervention will be scaled down in April after apparent deaths of main Islamist commanders. 17
    • The Tuareg, Mali & the US 1. As the West wrestles with what to do next in Mali, a potential militant base for launching terror strikes across the region and possibly beyond, some experts say the U.S. needs to change course by putting less emphasis on a strategy that relies on the Malian army to do the heavy lifting. 2. Instead, more should be done to bolster the standing of secular Tuaregs in the north, the key stakeholder in a region now dominated by Islamic militants such as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. 3. In January 2013, Rudolph Atallah, former Africa counterterrorism director for the Defense Intelligence Agency, said : “The Malian army, which sees the Tuaregs as its primary enemy, should be kept out of the north entirely” … “the army’s history of heavy-handedness in dealing with ethnic groups in the north could drive potential allies into enemy hands.” 18
    • Tuareg Independence? 1. More than a year ago, in February 2012, Tuareg leader Ibrahim Ag Bahanga Mahmoud Ag Agali conducted an interview published in an Algerian newspaper “Echourouk” titled: “The Asawad Movement: „Grant us independence and we will destroy Al-Qa‟idah in Mali.‟” 2. In this interview the leader stated, “I assure you that we have nothing to do with Al-Qa‟idah, we are not drug smugglers and we are not gangsters.” “Give us independence and you will see the end of Al-Qa’idah, the abduction of Westerners and the smuggling of drugs in Mali.” 3. Although they’ve been fighting for it for decades, the Tuareg‟s current bid for independence may receive more international support because of the desire of nations involved in counter terrorism to recognize the opportunity to use this support for Azawad independence as another means of limiting Islamist influence in the region. 4. The government of Mali may also be more willing to negotiate independence for the Tuaregs because it clearly is unable to defend against a combined Azawad / Islamist rebellion. 5. For US DOS and DOD planners, the question remains – how do you keep the alliance of the government of Mali while engaging and supporting the Azawad movement? 19
    • OEF to OEF-TS How does this affect our operations? 1. Not only does USDOD policy forecast a drawdown in operations in Afghanistan, but AQ has actively migrated west in a way that makes Northern Africa another future battleground. 2. With the area of AQIM influence roughly reflecting the same borders as the Tuareg population, one can quickly deduce the importance of the Tuareg in any future conflict against AQIM. 3. With the above map being generated by ICTS in January 2012, it is a more optimistic depiction of the AO than the current reality, with Libya, Egypt, and Syria in the midst of Islamist dominance. 20
    • OEF-TS So what are we doing? What kind of M2M / TSC? Partnerships / M2M 1. APS-13 (30+ countries) 2. Contingency Operations 3. FAST 4. HOA 5. Operation Onward Liberty 6. Pilot 7. SPMAGTF-13 8. SPMAGTF-CR 9. TSC – M2M – Q1 – 3 10. TSC – M2M – Q2 – 8 11. TSC – M2M – Q3 – 15 12. TSC – M2M – Q4 – 18 - - CT / CNT NLW Training Combat Engineer Training Sapper Training VBSS Familiarization Small Boat Maintenance Logistics Training NCO / Officer Leadership Dev Maritime Security Force Assistance Riverine Littoral Operations CI / HUMINT Training Humanitarian Mine Assistance CAS Aircraft pilot training / AC maintenance Tactical UAV Operations Fundamentals of Diving COC Operations Maritime Navigation Infrastructure Protection Vehicle Maintenance Advanced Armor Familiarization 21
    • OEF-TS Exercises 2013 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Africa Endeavor (AE 12) African Lion (AL 12) Atlas Accord (AA 12) Eastern Accord (EA 12) Flintlock 12 Southern Accord (SA 12) Western Accord (WA 12) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Western Accord (WA 13) Africa Endeavor (AE 13) African Lion (AL 13) Judicious Response 13-1 Judicious Response 13-2 Southern Accord (SA 13) ARMY 2013 2012 USMC 100 Exercises in more than 35 countries in 2013 22
    • Who gets to play? Because everyone needs a SASR poster! Seriously, though…what affects who gets the missions? - Proximity - - What’s his preference? What units does he have to choose from? - - - Active vs. Reserve!! - Who has a proven record in Africa? What affects operational reputation? Alignment of capabilities - USMC is the smallest!! Component Budgets Track record - Service Budgets - - Who is closest when needed? Theater Commander - - - What type of mission? What does the HN need? Who is the best to provide it? Force availability - Afghanistan drawdown! - Knowledge of the AO - - - Long War concept & regional focus for language and culture…is it getting enough attention? MARSOC model = CENTCOM, PACOM, AFRICOM How does the Reserve Component stay relevant? - PME, like this!! 23
    • QUESTIONS 24