"The success of French forces in Mali was held as proof that Europeans, or at least some of them, are willing to project hard power. (...) Europeans have caught the interventionist bug just as the US has shaken it off. (...) But Europe lacks the means. So we live in a world where Americans are unwilling and Europeans are unable to deal with the myriad conflicts and ungoverned spaces of the Middle East and Africa. (...) The Europeans still rely on the Americans at the very least to lead from behind. (...) [T]he war has since been sustained by the US: alongside heavy-lift and tankers, Washington is providing almost all of the “ISR” – intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – that the French need to track and engage Islamist militants. (...) Intervention is the easy bit. I have yet to hear anyone offer a serious answer to the “what then” question. And why, I wonder, have neither the Europeans or Americans done anything much to help nurture stability in the place where all this started – Tunisia. Is it really easier to dispatch troops than to provide economic aid and to open rich western markets to nascent Arab democracies?"
Philip Stephens, "Intervention: the US won’t, Europe can’t" (Financial Times, 8.2.2013).