French and Malian forces have captured an airport and a strategic bridge in the radical Islamist haven of Gao in northern Mali, according to the Washington Post and other sources, while the United States is offering to increase its limited military assistance to French forces.
According to the Pentagon, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to his French counterpart on Friday to discuss U.S. support for the French intervention. Panetta informed French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian that "the U.S. Africa Command will support the French military by conducting aerial refueling missions as operations in Mali continue," according to DOD spokesman George Little, and they also discussed plans for the U.S. to transport troops from African nations, including Chad and Togo, to support the international effort in Mali.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama Administration asserts that the U.S. military assistance is justified, because France has told the UN Security Council that its intervention is being conducted at the request of the government of Mali, which is fighting "terrorist elements."
Lyndon LaRouche commented that the French probably do need the U.S. refueling capability, but that "we have to change a thing or two here in the United States." The most important factor in this regard, he emphasized, is Friday's court decision slapping Obama down for his violation of the U.S. Constitution. That is the key lever for everything; that is the issue to look at, and not take things up piecemeal, LaRouche said.