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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | Thursday, January 17, 2013

Military intervention alone won't bring peace

In the battle against Islamist rebels France deployed ground forces in Mali on Wednesday. But military intervention won't be enough to establish enduring peace in the country, the liberal-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung contends: "In Africa, where regional organisations with a military component are still in the initial stages of development, the Nato states have no option but to take action when it comes to defending their security interests. ... The Europeans, as President François Hollande has rightly pointed out, can't simply delegate this unpleasant task to the US. ... One of the lessons Afghanistan has taught us is that the armed forces alone are not up to the task of fighting terrorism. They can temporarily force back rebels with well targeted strikes. ... But permanent peace can only come from an approach that takes account of all society and the deeper causes of political violence. Without credible local partners - this is another thing Afghanistan has taught us - any intervention from abroad runs the danger of eventually being perceived as an occupying regime."

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