Is Mali the next Afghanistan?

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WASHINGTON — The war rages about cities with names such as Goa and Timbuktu, in a sparsely populated, mostly flat, dusty and landlocked country in northwest Africa. The combatants include a nomadic Berber people known as Tuareg, the French Foreign Legion and a coalition of al-Qaida affiliates who identify themselves with the Maghreb, the desert region of Northwestern Africa. It sounds as if it could be the plot for a new Indiana Jones adventure. But those who study international terrorism say it would be a mistake for Americans to think of this conflict as anything but deadly serious. The war in Mali is the new front in the war on international terrorism.Advertisement Some U.S. officials…

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