France & The Mali Conflict - Edward Berenson

  • Aired:  01/24/13
  •  | Views: 21,139

Professor Edward Berenson discusses the colonial history of France, narcoterrorism in Mali, and the nature of French military force. (3:38)

>> Stephen: SACRE BLEU!

[ LAUGHTER ]

SO IS FRANCE ABOUT TO GET THEMSELVES INTO AN AMERICAN-STYLE QUAGMIRE, OR IS AMERICA ABOUT TO GET ITSELF IN A

FRENCH STYLE MENAGE-A-QUAG?

HERE TO TELL ME IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE OF FRENCH STUDIES AT NYU, EDWARD BERENSON.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOIN US -- JOINING US.

OKAY.

FIRST OF ALL, WHO OR WHAT IS MALI?

AND WHY DO THE FRENCH CARE?

>> MALI IS WHAT.

>> Stephen: OKAY, GOOD.

>> IT'S IN NORTHWEST AFRICA.

IT'S A BIG.

>> Stephen: HOW BIG COMPARED TO FRANCE?

>> UP THERE.

IT'S BIG.

IT'S BIG.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU FOR YOUR --

[ LAUGHTER ]

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRECISION.

WHY DOES FRANCE CARE ABOUT MALI?

>> HERE IS WHY FRANCE CARES.

MALI SAY FORMER COLONY OF FRANCE.

RIGHT?

>> Stephen: OKAY.

WAIT, THEY HAD COLONIES?

>> THEY HAD A TON OF COLONIES.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

THERE WERE COUNTRIES THAT SURRENDERED TO FRANCE?

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> AND FOR MANY DECADES.

>> Stephen: NO LONGER COLONIES.

>> NO LONGER A COLONIES.

THE FRENCH GAVE UP THE COLONIES AROUND 1960 BUT KEPT THEM ON A LONGER OR SHORTER LEASH

DEPENDING ON WHICH COUNTRY AND HOW MUCH STUFF THEY HAD.

MALI IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A PART OF AFRICA WHERE THERE'S NATURAL RESOURCES, TONS OF OIL OFFSHORE.

A LOT OF THAT OIL GETS DEALT TO THE FRENCH ON GOOD TERMS.

ALGERIA IS A PLACE WHERE THERE'S ALL KINDS OF STUFF THE FRENCH WANT AND GET.

>> Stephen: IS THIS AL QAEDA IN THERE?

>> IT'S AL QAEDA.

>> Stephen: THERE A GUY LIKE BIN LADEN?

IS THERE A NAME I HAVE TO PEOPLERRIZE AGAIN?

>> NOT YET AND I HOPE THERE WON'T BE ANY.

>> Stephen: MY ABU AND BIN THIS AND BIN THAT BIN IS KIND OF FULL RIGHT NOW.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THINK OF THESE GROUPS IS A COMBINATION OF MEXICAN DRUG ORGANIZATION AND ISLAMIC

TERRORIST GROUP.

HOW MANY NAMES OF MEXICAN DRUG LORDS DO YOU KNOW?

NOT THAT MANY BUT YOU KNOW THEY DO BAD THINGS.

YOU HAVE NARCO TERRORISM IN A WAY.

IN MALI IT'S A BAD THING.

>> Stephen: THIS IS GOING TURN INTO AN AFGHANISTAN FOR FRANCE OR LIKE A VIETNAM SITUATION

WHERE YOU GO IN AND YOU ARE STUCK THERE?

>> IT COULD.

BUT THE FRENCH HAVE, IN THE PAST DECADE, GONE TO OTHER PARTS OF WEST AFRICA BRIEFLY AND GOTTEN

OUT QUICKLY.

THEY WENT TO THE IVORY COAST IN 2002 AND 2011.

THEY WENT IN AND GOT OUT.

>> Stephen: HOW COME I DIDN'T KNOW THEY KICKED ASS AND TAKE NAMES?

I KNOW ABOUT THE FREEDOM FRIES.

>>?

THEY KNOW WHAT IS IN THEIR BACKYARD AND WHAT ISN'T.

THEY DIDN'T THINK IRAQ IS IN THEIR BACKYARD BUT NORTH AFRICA IS DEFINITELY THEIR BACKYARD AND

THEY ARE WILLING TO GO THERE.

>> Stephen: HOW DO YOU SAY IN FRENCH I'M SORRY FRANCE, I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE BAD ASS.

>> [SPEAKING FRENCH]

>> Stephen: WHAT HE SAID.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.