US on Training Mali Troops: We Made Mistakes
Gen Ham admits not enough focus on 'values, ethics, ethos'
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2013 7:45 AM CST
In this Sept. 8, 2011 photo, Gen. Carter Ham, head of the US African command, attends a conference on terrorism in the Sahara in Algiers, Algeria.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A senior American official has admitted the United States made mistakes in its training of the country's troops, reports the BBC. Gen. Carter Ham of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) said that training had focused on tactics and "technical matters," at the expense of teaching recruits about following the rule of law. "We didn't spend probably the requisite time focusing on values, ethics, and a military ethos," said Ham.

But considering how poorly the Malian army has been fighting, that tactics and technical matters training may have been lacking, too. Since rebels took control of the majority of northern Mali last year, 1,600 of Mali's 7,000 troops are estimated to have defected to the rebels' side, and those remaining have suffered a series of embarrassing and serious losses, reports the New York Times. “Without the help of the French,” said one town's mayor, the Islamists fighters "would still be here." So far, 2,000 French troops have arrived in Mali, along with 1,600 troops from Nigeria, Togo, Niger, and Benin, to help drive out the rebels.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
HANKHILL
Jan 26, 2013 2:17 PM CST
just BEING THERE WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!
Freida
Jan 25, 2013 10:04 AM CST
Makes me wonder why we were involved in training soldiers for Mali? Now 25% have defected to the Islamists. Is the same person running this program that ran the Benghazi consulate protection service?
HANKHILL
Jan 25, 2013 9:21 AM CST
it is hard to work with savages!!!!!!!!!