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Malian leaders who I talked with want the French troops to stay until after the elections for security, and to make sure democratic institutions are in place.

The U.S. needs to participate in training the African troops, to prepare them for an extended security role in Mali, in the event the Islamists return.

John Price is a former U.S. ambassador to Comoros, Mauritius and the Seychelles islands. He currently serves as a resident scholar at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. He is the author of the book “When the White House Calls” and regularly writes commentaries on Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.