Once again the French have proved themselves meddlesome inadequates when it comes to their Africa policy. Unlike the British, who never want to be tangled up there again, the French fancy themselves a bit of an African player on the ground.
That's the principle reason why Chad is about to be seized by Islamists coming out of Sudan. The French as guarantors of the continuation of stability have failed. Whether that failure is permanent remains to be seen.
Yet if you look at the map below, you can see that, with radical Islamists in charge of both Sudan and Northern Nigeria, the way is clear for a pan-Africa Islamist alliance stretching from the Red Sea to the Gulf of Guinea and the South Atlantic.
Both Sudan and Nigeria are oil-rich countries. No one seems to see where this is trending. Obama wants the US out of Iraq, the British appetite for action seems to be determined by the likes of Matthew Parris and the BBC. All the time vital resources are coming more and more under the power of hostile entities who are essential to the interests of China, and potential allies of Russia (which is in turn vital to Europe's energy requirements).
Oh, and the economies of the West are showing ever greater fragility.