10/03/2020 (Sat) 13:40:47
So I'm at the chapter about the preconditions of the coup, and the first one is the Economic Backwardness. Actually this is more than just economy, but everything that a working economy could provide, or prevent:
the general condition of the population is characterized by disease, illiteracy, high birth and death rates, and periodic hunger
Also the divide between the political elite and the rest of the society - even those who belong to local bureaucracy - that prevents the latter actively participating in politics, and not be just simple subjects.
To sum it up:
The social and economic conditions of the target country must be such as to confine political participation to a small fraction of the population.
Mali is one of the poorest country on the Earth, about 165th in GDP (PPP) per capita, and 184th in HDI. Both the paper I mentioned above at the kidnapping of Cisse, and the MINUSMA assessment confirms that the general populace is detached from the political activity, and those who participates are basically from the same circles, makes little difference for the people who is at the helm of the country. The little people and their attention is trapped in their tight world around them, the local community, clan, tribe. For them it's entirely irrelevant if a coup replaces people above their heads.
The fact that the leaders of the country can be picked from a small group leads to the second point: Political Independence. In this section Luttwak points out that coups cannot be successful in countries which are occupied by a foreign power, or dependent on one, without the blessing or at least neutrality of that foreign power. The first example he gave is Hungary: in 1956 the Revolution successfully took over the country's direction, but eventually failed, because the real source of power was Moscow. Luttwak soon arrives to France and her ex-colonies:
Former French colonies in West Africa are the most persistent examples of such dependence because the presence of the former mother country is very real—and very effective. Instead of large and expensive armies, there are military and economic “advisers,” there is economic aid, and, above all, there is the tight web of long-established dependence in nonpolitical spheres.
Although the French have generally opted for neutrality in the face of African coups, intervening only now and then, they have retained in Africa or in rapidly deployable form a force of several thousand air-transportable troops with efficient, albeit light, weapons.
Basically a coup cannot happen in Mali without France deliberately looking the other way. This is made easy by the fact that doesn't matter who's gonna be the next boss in Mali, those guys only can be promoted from Mali's political elite (since noone else with the necessary education, wealth, connections), and this whole political elite holds the approval of the French government. For France it doesn't matter who holds the reign in Mali, all candidates considered presentable. Oh yeah, they express their concerns about "constitutionalism", they did both 2012 and 2020, but that's a routine act for the international community.