The flag-draped coffin of French lieutenant Damien Boiteux of the 4th helicopter special forces regiment, who was killed during the French intervention in Mali, is carried by pallbearers into the courtyard of the Invalides during a national ceremony of homage in Paris, on January 15, 2013. (Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)
Europe's Army? -- Paul Ames, Global Post
French military prowess isn't always fully appreciated in the United States.
But there are few troops anywhere in the world better prepared for their task than the marines, foreign legionaries, and other elite French units rolling north to confront the Jihadist militants controlling much of Mali.
"The French special forces are tip top, they're up there with the best of them," says Brooks Tigner, chief policy analyst at Security Europe, a specialist newsletter.
"They also have vast experience in expeditionary forces in West Africa," he adds. "They really know the territory, the boundaries, the topography and the ethnic problems. They are very well placed."
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My Comment: The French Foreign Legion and their special forces have always been underestimated by many in the States and elsewhere .... and it has been totally undeserving. Aside from the British, the Germans (maybe) and Russia's special forces .... the French have some of the best soldiers in Europe, and in today's North Africa they are the best.