French intervention a short-sighted solution

Since France has invaded Mali, they have won praise from numerous NATO nations, including Great Britain and the United States for its contribution to the war on terrorism. Within the first week of their intervention, French-led forces captured key locations along the border with the al Qaeda-controlled north and began critical bombing operations which crushed the enemy forces.
While the international support for this intervention is strong, it forgets the bigger issue that both France and NATO have horrible records with interventions, as seen in both Algeria in the 1950s and Vietnam in the 1960s. Mali has its own sovereign government and is in no way a colony of France, and therefore, the French intervention is still just another act of nation building.
Nation building is when a larger country becomes involved in the political redevelopment of a third-world country at war.
Already the French president Francois Hollande has issued a statement suggesting that French troops will withdraw from Mali in a week. However, we do not have any evidence to suggest the French intervention in Mali will be successful by that time.
It is likely that al Qaeda will simply reemerge as the French withdraw, as their tactic has been to do so after larger nations leave conflicts. While the U.S intervened in Iraq, the Taliban forces appeared to taper off to the small roadside bomb insurgency that Americans became familiar with in the late 2000s, but today, after the U.S has withdrawn, the Taliban has restarted large-scale suicide bombing of major population centers, killing hundreds at a time. This pattern has repeated itself in Afghanistan for the past three decades with both the Soviets and now the Americans.
In order to avoid the same guerilla war we have seen in the Middle East for the past three decades, these interventions must take place far before violence begins.
NATO and its allies should not fight al-Qaeda with weapons because al-Qaeda is not just simply a terrorist cell, but an idea.
Ideas can only be beaten with better ideas, and by providing improved infrastructure and systematic solutions to problems in the Middle East, that are more appealing than terrorism, the French campaign in Mali can be more than just another doomed overextension of power.