And the winner of the Oscar for Best Sequel of 2013 goes to... The Global War on Terror (GWOT), a Pentagon production. Abandon all hope those who thought the whole thing was over with the cinematographic snuffing out of "Geronimo", aka Osama bin Laden, further reduced to a fleeting cameo in the torture-enabling flick Zero Dark Thirty.
It's now official ~ coming from the mouth of the lion, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, and duly posted at the AFRICOM site, the Pentagon's weaponized African branch.
Exit "historical" al-Qaeda, holed up somewhere in the Waziristans, in the Pakistani tribal areas; enter al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). In Dempsey's words, AQIM "is a threat not only to the country of Mali, but the region, and if... left unaddressed, could in fact become a global threat."
With Mali now elevated to the status of a "threat" to the whole world, GWOT is proven to be really open-ended. The Pentagon doesn't do irony; when, in the early 2000s, armchair warriors coined the expression "The Long War", they really meant it.
Even under President Obama 2.0's "leading from behind" doctrine, the Pentagon is unmistakably gunning for war in Mali ~ and not only of the shadow variety.  General Carter Ham, AFRICOM's commander, already operates under the assumption Islamists in Mali will "attack American interests".
Thus, the first 100 US military "advisers" are being sent to Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo and Ghana ~ the six member-nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that will compose an African army tasked (by the United Nations) to re-conquer (invade?) the parts of Mali under the Islamist sway of AQIM, its splinter group MUJAO and the Ansar ed-Dine militia. This African mini-army, of course, is paid for by the West.
Students of the Vietnam War will be the first to note that sending "advisers" was the first step of the subsequent quagmire.
Nobody, though, is paying attention. General Carter Ham is so excited with the prospect of AFRICOM accumulating more gigs than Led Zeppelin in its heyday, and himself acquiring iconic savior status (Carter of Africa?), that he's bungling up his data. 
The general seems to have forgotten that AFRICOM ~ and then the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ~ irretrievably supported (and weaponized) the NATO rebels in Libya who were the fighting vanguard in the war against Muammar Gaddafi.
But he believes it was "mercenaries paid by Gaddafi" who abandoned Libya and brought their weapons, and "many of them came to northern Mali".