In a turnaround for the Pentagon, the U.S. has agreed to help French troops deploy to the west African nation of Mali, where the French military is currently trying to push back on the ground against a growing faction of militants tied to the terrorist organization al Qaeda. Reuters reports that the U.S. will lend its strategic airlift capacity to move French soldier sand necessary supplies into Mali.
Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the U.S. had yet to decide whether to assist France:
Q You said earlier in the week that the United States would consider providing logistical support to France and Mali. How does [the possibility of al Qaeda's involvement] affect that?
MR. CARNEY: Well, I'm not sure that it does. [...]