The letter revealed a deep strategic fracture between AQIM’s leadership and its lieutenants on the ground, as Droukdel saw a military intervention as all but inevitable and therefore wanted to focus the group’s strategy on outliving it. The letter further highlighted major internal dysfunction between AQIM’s leadership and its subordinates in the Sahara. Finally, it showed a deep commitment to success and a worrisome plan for the future.Siegel closes by stating:
As the French-led military forces retake northern Mali, Droukdel’s eight month old letter should resonate as an ominous warning as it points to a long-term strategic plan to outlive the intervention and sets the stage for a potentially successful return. Clearly, under Droukdel’s leadership, AQIM has no intention of relinquishing northern Mali.