French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch One - The French Counterattack
French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch Two - Geography as a Barrier to the Islamists
French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch Three - French Advancing in the International War
French-Islamist Mali War Maps Batch Four - Final French Drive to Victory and Cartoon Propaganda Maps
The Islamists who took over Azawad/northern Mali had two great advantages in terms of military geography: low population density and open desert terrain. This allowed for lightening attacks and only required a limited amount of men to hold down large swaths of territory.
However, geography is against the Islamists as they try to take over the rest of Mali. The southern half of Mali is much more densely populated and the terrain is a complex mix of grasslands, wetlands, hills, forests, and human-impacted land like agricultural fields. The Islamist modern-day pickup truck cavalry's freedom of movement is denied by the changing terrain and the Islamist Tuareg are not use to having a large army capable of holding territory after initial victories. Finally, the Tuareg are entering a ethnically mixed land which is unlikely to provide support and aid to mobile soldiers with weak supply lines.
|Columbia University's map shows how southern Mali is much more dense than Azawad|
|USDA map shows that southern Mali terrain is much more diverse than the northern desert|
|The Atlas Jeune Afrique shows the Islamist Tuaregs are invading other ethnic groups' homelands unlike the Islamist conquering their own ethnic lands earlier this year|