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A camel caravan hauling salt to Timbuktu, Mali, rests after a long day's march (PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

Britannia Crosses Another Country off Her Bucket List

• January 25, 2013 • 1:17 PM

A camel caravan hauling salt to Timbuktu, Mali, rests after a long day's march (PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK<)

Writing at’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 book All 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


Ivory Coast




Marshall Islands




Sao Tome and Principe




Vatican City

Michael Todd
Most of Michael Todd's career has been spent in newspaper journalism, ranging from papers in the Marshall Islands to tiny California farming communities. Before joining the publishing arm of the Miller-McCune Center, he was managing editor of the national magazine Hispanic Business.

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