Writing at Wired.com’s Danger Room, David Axe (who’s also done some sterling work for us) notes, citing The Guardian, that British commandos have joined French troops on the ground in Mali. No real surprise—France and the U.K. have long been military dance partners, and David Cameron’s ambiguous jig this week on the U.K.’s future in the European Union aside, Franco-British military ties have only gotten tighter in recent years.
But their presence also allows Britain to add another notch to its gunbelt.
As Stuart Laycock wrote in his 2012 bookAll the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To, he could only identify 22 countries in the world that had never hosted British troops (or their proxies) firing in anger from their soil. And Mali was one of them.
Our Tom Jacobs wrote about Laycock’s tally a few months ago, and concluded whimsically—well, this is war, so maybe not whimsically—that this low-hanging fruit was ripe for marking off Great Britain's bucket list:
Wait—haven’t al-Qaeda-linked militants taken over much of northern Mali? Attention, Prime Minister Cameron: Here’s an excellent opportunity to check another one off of your list.
As an aid to predicting future British invasions, here are the remaining untouched countries.
Central African Republic
Congo, Republic of
Sao Tome and Principe