Mali is a land unknown to 99% of the American people. Of course, Iraq and Afghanistan were also lands unknown to the American public until George Bush decided to send in the troops. Mali is a rather large nation, not much people, but lots of land, most of which is desert and not the place one seeks to visit on a vacation. But, Mali now contains thousands of militant Islamic fanatics who left the employment of one, Muammar Gaddafi in order to return home. Of course, they returned with lots and lots of weapons, ammunition and desire to fire away at one and all targets.
France sent in troops in order to halt the spread of a fanatic form of the Islamic religion which entails imposing strict Sharia law upon people who are Muslims and do not practice such a form of religion. At this point, the Obama administration refuses to support the French. We can supply helicopter assault planes, we can supply equipment and logistical support, but fear of another Iraq makes America gun shy. It is time to provide as much non-combat support to the French army as possible.