Mali is a land far, far away from the United States. It lies in West Africa and adjoins the southern boundary of Libya. During the reign of Muammar Gaddafi he frequently bought the services of fighters from Mali in order to terrorisze his own people. After his death, thousands fled back to Mali where they proceeded to take over the northern half and impose a severe form of the Muslim religion upon people who were moderates. A reign of amputating limbs, stoning women and terrorizing people resulted in an area governed by a form of the Muslim religon last seen in Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
US military planners are now working with members of the African Union to regain control of northern Mali. A plan is being developed that would include soldiers from Africa Union nations and the Mali army to challenge these extremists and free Mali people from life under mad men. There is fear unless such a military attack is launched, terror groups would flock to Mali and use it as a staging area for attacking other areas in Africa.