Thursday, March 22, 2012

If I was the semi-deposed President of Mali, I would…

Thinking in Toure’s shoes, after a military coup ran by a Captain arrested several of my military leaders, closed the borders, imposed a curfew, and looted my palace.
Provided I am well and located with my elite forces, which remain loyal to me, I would take the following steps:
1.  Contact regional commanders to determine who is still with me, what assets are available, and how long it would take to get to me.  It appears that communications with the outside world are still open so it should be possible to contact regional commanders and other leaders by cell phone, radio, or email. 
2.  Contact allies (French, US, neighbors) to see what support they could lend and what would it cost me.  Algeria could be involved since they want deals for access to resources in the North to continue to be valid (but could be swayed by coup leaders with the possibilities of sweeter deals).
3.  Determine the loyalties and capabilities of the Gendarmes/Police to see if they could be leveraged to break out of the compound and assist against the coup.  Granted the Gendarmes/Police have limited capabilities but their leadership could be influenced to act.
4.  Be patient.  If I can get loyal troops to rally to my side and with (and perhaps without f I could get my limited air assets airborne) outside intervention I could wrest power back from the coup leaders.  Since the coup leaders are younger and potentially not well organized a power struggle may ensue within the coup and
5.  Determine location of Captain Amadou Sanogo & the rest of the revolutionary council and decide to either to kill them directly or negotiate and then kill them later.
6.  Declare martial law once I have subjugated the military again and delay elections due to security issues.  This coup attempt gives the President reason to extend his mandate and postpone elections until the situation is more stable (in other words- indefinitely).

Not a recommendation, of course, but these steps seem logical to me.  If the coup leaders are smart they would have reasoned along the same lines and initiated actions against each of these steps.  By capturing some of the military leaders they are isolating the President.  Since this seems like more of an impulsive action (military uprising began after the Minister of Defense visited the barracks and was shouted down by Soldiers who then took arms to go see the President in Bamako yesterday) i dont think that any outsiders would have a direct line to the coup leaders.  However, if i was trying to get influence with a new government in Mali I would be trying to establish contact.

It will be interesting to see how things play out.  I hope the people are able to stay safe and things don't turn out badly for Mali.

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