The new leadership will struggle to re-imagine Germany and the EU's role in the changing geopolitics. Based on the manifestoes, debates and campaign speeches, there is little to indicate that the Chancellor candidates will move beyond Merkelism in this domain.
France entered the Sahel to manage the risks cascading onto Europe in the form of the terrorist threat, refugee issues and trafficking. The Sahel region (comprising countries in West Africa such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Mali) has been witnessing terrorism for a decade. The region provides a safe haven to terror groups due to the instability caused by internal governance issues, economic deterioration and unravelling social cohesion.
In the past few years, the Taliban has shown itself to be the only power capable of establishing control in parts of Afghanistan. The US saw this 'writing on the wall' as they sought to legitimize the Taliban, especially since the Doha events from 2017.