Russia’s Mercenary Power Play – WSJ

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France said last week that it will withdraw military forces from Mali, where Paris has led a counterterrorism campaign for nearly a decade. This is a setback for the fight against Islamic extremism, but it is also a victory for a Russian power play in Africa.

“We cannot remain militarily engaged with de facto authorities whose strategy and hidden objectives we do not share,” French President Emmanuel Macronsaid Thursday of the Malian government. He added that the pullout of some 2,400 French troops could take as long as six months as France considers where in the region to re-station forces fighting Islamic State and al Qaeda.

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