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Backchannels The French are winning handily in Mali

Enough with the facile Vietnam and Afghanistan analogies.

Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Some frankly silly thoughts and ideas have been punctured in the past few days about France's invasion of Mali. Most importantly, that the French military effort to roll back the advance of salafy jihadis who had captured much of the north of the country, bringing a reign of amputations and torture to locals for what they deemed violations of Islamic law, would turn into a repeat of Dien Bien Phu, where French forces were defeated by a 45,000 man Viet Minh army backed by both China and the Soviet Union.