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What now for Darfur?

by Colman Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 09:36:02 AM EST

Sudan says the African Union (AU) force that is trying to keep the peace in Darfur must leave the country when its mandate ends later this month. The demand comes amid growing concern about a week-old offensive by Sudanese troops in the remote western region.

A UN resolution passed last week, seeking to replace the weak AU peacekeeping force with 17,000 UN troops, was rejected by Khartoum.

The UN has warned of a new "man-made catastrophe" in war-torn Darfur.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions been made homeless since 2003 in fighting between pro-government militia groups and rebels demanding greater autonomy.(BBC)

So we're down to either persuading the Sudanese government to accept a peace that they perceive to be against their interests, mounting an invasion in order to keep the peace or standing by and watching further ethnic cleansing.

An invasion would lead to all sorts of unintended consequences. Seems like the best thing we could do is secure and supply refugee camps, except that people making their way to "safe areas" would be obvious targets for ethnic cleansers.

I still don't see how military power can achieve anything here without the agreement of a government that is supporting the people causing the probelm.

Update [2006-9-4 11:2:16 by Colman]: Looks as if the government is now saying the - largely ineffective - AU mission can stay if its mandate is extended but that the UN mission isn't welcome.


Display:
It's quite possible that I'm being stupid of course.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 09:37:11 AM EST
Sadly, I think you're reflecting the reality of the situation.

  1. No "peacekeeping force" can prevent a government sponsored ethnic cleansing. "Peacekeeping forces" have neither the mandate nor usually the firepower to do such a job.

  2. Observers on the ground can help prevent small atrocites by virtue of "being witness" but if the local government is determined, it will throw the observers out.

  3. Our international system relies on agreement between competing "great powers" on the UN Security Council. Without it, no "blue helmet" invasion can get UN approval. As has been observed, the day any country upsets the US, China and Russia all at once, it will feel the full force of the UN.

  4. Likewise, without "great power" agreement, there is little chance of diplomatic pressure preventing the ethnic cleansing unless the country happens to be economically dependent on just a couple of countries. Sudan has some oil, which means at the moment sanctions are unlikely to happen and/or work.

  5. In short, it's going to be horrific.

What can be done? Well, we could engage in some "liberal hawking" and stage a NATO invasion. But, the killer is not winning the invasion, but what happens next. Short of setting up a separate state, it's hard to see how an invasion will solve the friction between the central government of Sudan and those in this southern area. And do we have the political capital and goodwill to go and create a new country after an invasion? Or indeed the strategic reserve of troops to do it whilst holding down commitments in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon (plus minor engagements elsewhere)?

I think not.

Which is easy to type when you don't live in Darfur, but I don't see any good solutions. I'd like to see a much stronger diplomatic effort, but I think it will fail because China has no interest in recognizing the rights of minorities (c.f Tibet) and besides neither China nor Russia have many reasons to trust the West, it seems at the moment.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 09:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgive me for being cynical, but this all really reminds me of Rwanda.

Never again, until next time, huh?

Interesting how the most powerful countries in the world are expert decision makers when it comes to issues of maintaining their own power, esp the economic power, over the rest of the world, but when it comes to doing something just because it is decent and humane and ethically responsible, they all act like confused, oblivious, indecisive followers waiting for someone else to "go first."

Please, don't let them fool you.  If the UN really wanted to help these people, they would.  These countries can invade half the Middle East, pay to send people into outerspace, negotiate the ownership of the world's natural resources.  It's not that we can't end a genocide.  It's that it is not a priority.  Life in Europe and America and Russia and China will go on without poor people in Africa.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 10:46:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid that you're over-stating the power of the powerful.

First, the most powerful countries in the world are crap at making decisions when in comes to maintaining their own power. Let me point at Imperial Britain and the current US regime, which has massively undermined its power, as obvious examples of this.  They're also shit at negotiating the ownership of resources. Generally this involves giving them to people who fund and support people who are trying to destroy the most powerful countries.

Second, the result of their invading the middle east is, among other things, to make clear that we need to ask "what next"? We could, maybe, stop a genocide for a while by invading. What then? Occupy the area for a few decades? Split up the existing state into a few more?

Going into space is easy: that's just a problem of technology and money.

Rwanda might have been doable if we had intervened very, very early on when the government were busy whipping up the people into a frenzy.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 10:53:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, of course it reminds you of Rwanda. Why would it be any different. Most people don't care. That's a basic political reality.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:02:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Metatone wrote:
No "peacekeeping force" can prevent a government sponsored ethnic cleansing. "Peacekeeping forces" have neither the mandate nor usually the firepower to do such a job.

What about Chapter VII of the UN charta?

I just googled this from Africa Action: How the UN Can Stop Genocide in Darfur. Don't know if it is all true. Check for yourself:

Precedents Prove Case for UN-African Peacekeeping Operation

Under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, the Security Council may take such action as necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. The members of the UN have previously shown their willingness and capability to invoke Chapter 7 peace enforcement and peace-building instruments in response to conflict in Africa. Now, the UN can and must furnish the AU with a strong civilian protection mandate and with international backing in the form of a UN peacekeeping mission to support the AU in Darfur.

Precedents show that the UN is a viable source for effective and appropriate international intervention to stop genocide and other crimes against humanity. The following examples also show instances of successful cooperation between African regional bodies, which intervened as "first responders", and the UN, which acted to reinforce their efforts with a larger international force.

(1) In Sierra Leone, after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened to enforce the peace in 1998, the UN Security Council acted in 1999 to authorize an international force with a robust mandate, under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, to work alongside and coordinate with the ECOWAS mission. In late 1999, ECOWAS troops in Sierra Leone were "re-hatted" as UN peacekeepers, and transitioned into a UN mission the next year. The transition in early 2000 was initially rocky, but the Security Council rallied behind the mission and boosted its strength, and the mission was able to deter conflict and restore a secure environment to Sierra Leone.

(2) In Liberia, ECOWAS intervened to enforce the peace in 2003, and in August of that year it was granted the authority and mandate by the UN Security Council, under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, to establish security and facilitate humanitarian assistance in Liberia and to pave the way for a UN intervention. The UN Security Council acted swiftly and decisively to authorize and deploy (within 2 months) a larger multinational intervention in Liberia. The ECOWAS troops acted as the first contingent of the UN mission to Liberia, and authority was successfully transferred to the UN operation in October 2003. This international operation has been successful in promoting peace and stability in Liberia.

(3) In Côte d'Ivoire, the UN Security Council granted authority to ECOWAS and to France in 2003 to take the necessary steps to provide security and protection in Côte d'Ivoire. In 2004, a UN operation was authorized to take over from the ECOWAS force and work alongside the French forces to facilitate the implementation of the peace agreement and to provide protection in Côte d'Ivoire.

(4) In Burundi, the AU authorized and deployed its first peacekeeping operation in 2003, when the institution was itself only one year old. The AU operation in Burundi faced financial and logistical challenges, but it was able to oversee the cease-fire and provide some stability. It coordinated with the UN to ensure a relatively smooth transition to a UN operation in Burundi after one year.

Also under a Chapter 7 mandate, the UN already has a precedent of authorizing and deploying a peacekeeping operation in southern Sudan. In March 2005, the UN passed a resolution establishing a UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) with up to 10,000 personnel and a mandate to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. At present, UNMIS comprises some 4,000 troops from more than 50 countries, the majority of which are outside the African continent.

These examples illustrate several important lessons, which must now be applied to a UN intervention in support of the AU mission in Darfur. First and foremost, these precedents reveal that a UN-authorized Chapter 7 intervention force in support of an African-led force can be effective in providing security and protection. They show that the Security Council can act with swiftness and decisiveness to grant a robust mandate and troop strength to protect civilians, and they highlight that such an intervention can act as a deterrent to violence and as a catalyst to make a peace process successful.
http://africaaction.org/newsroom/index.php?op=read&documentid=1603&type=15&issues=1024




Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni
by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not stupid, but perhaps desperate/frustrated/depressed, like most of us?

At least this sounds desperate and contradictory to me:

I still don't see how military power can achieve anything here without the agreement of a government that is supporting the people causing the probelm.

I mean, if the government is supporting the genocide, how likely is it that the government agrees to peacekeepers?

(And if the government were not supporting the genocide, there would not be a genocide, but "only" mass murder...)


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not contradictory. If the government is supporting the genocide than the likelihood of it agreeing to effective peacekeeping would be zero.

So just despressed.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:25:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Contradictory" in the sense that you hoped that the government agrees to peacekeeping troops.


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni
by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:34:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hoped is rather too strong a word.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Sudan
Area - Total 2,505,813 km² (10th)
Population - July 2006 est. 36,992,490 (33rd)
AR, please specify the military commitment you envision here.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@ Migeru
Okay, but in what parts of Darfur do people live? Are they living spread out everywhere or are there some population centers? Sure, they don't live in cities etc, but...
What about creating "safe zones"?
What about seizing or destroying all helicopters and trucks used by the Janjaweed and their supporters. And seizing their fuel depots... Not easy, not perfect, but it makes a difference and you don't need a huge number of troops. You "just" need Chapter VII. It would be dangerous for those troops, no question about that.

I am not pushing for a military commitment. I just responded to some arguments made in the comments here.

I understand the problem you mention. Therefore I would like to see more diplomatic action: Carrots and Sticks.

  • Smart Sanctions.
  • No Business Fairs. Sudan does not need no Mercedes Benz, and should not get oil drilling equipment for now.
  • Divestment to put pressure on Siemens, Alcatel and others. Sudan does not need better telecommunications to better organize the genocide/mass murder, expulsions etc.

The Sudanese government will not stop the genocide as long as Western companies continue to help underwrite Sudan's economic growth.

According to the Investor Responsibility Research Center:
Siemens AG and its subsidiaries have operations in the energy, telecommunications
and manufacturing sectors of Iran. The company also has operations in Sudan's
energy and telecommunications sectors as well as Syria's telecommunications sector.
Due to the company's scope and type of involvement in these sectors, financial or
reputational risks exist with respect to global security concerns that merit investor
attention. These risks are compounded by Siemens AG's operations in more than one
country and sector reviewed by the Monitor.
The energy sector has potential security risks including the following:
* Activities in this sector can generate significant hard currency revenues,
particularly from energy exports, that are available for discretionary use by the
government;
* Certain types of power generation facilities and related components have potential
military applications;
* The governments covered by the Monitor often rely on foreign firms for advanced
technologies, equipment, industry expertise and financing for large-scale energy
projects; and
* These governments and their state-owned entities or agencies are closely linked to
the commercial energy sector.
The telecommunications sector has potential security risks including the following:
* Certain telecommunications equipment and technologies have potential military
(or 'dual use') applications;
* Certain types of telecommunications infrastructure, such as command and control
technology, computers, communications and intelligence systems, are central to
military capabilities;
http://www.irrc.org/company/Siemens_SampleRpt.pdf

The folks running the divestment campaign believe that it works:

UC Divestment from Sudan - Position
"The effectiveness of divestment from Sudan has clear and recent precedent. Talisman Energy's 2003 decision to extricate itself from operations in Sudan following widespread and sustained economic pressure by Western investors over human rights abuses committed by the government during the North-South civil war prompted two other international oil companies to sell their stakes in Sudan. Faced with the prospect of continuing loss of FDI, Khartoum signed the Naivasha Treaty with southern rebels shortly thereafter, paving the way for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South in January of 2005.

Finally, divestment will do minimal harm to innocent Sudanese. The divestment criteria designed by the taskforce, and specifically enumerated in Section VIII, exclude any company engaged in the provision of goods and services intended to relieve human suffering or to promote human welfare. They also exclude sectors of the Sudanese economy, such as agriculture, which provide employment for large sectors of the population."
http://www.inosphere.com/sudan/position.asp#proposal

I am not so sure about it since China is more and more important for Sudan. However, I think we often exaggerate China's economic influence a bit. Besides, if we are unwilling to send troops, then more funding and operational support for the AU (operating under a better mandate) as well as divestment should be the least we should do.

What do you propose, Migeru?


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 12:08:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to agree. The problem is that calls for military intervention are distracting from more sensible schemes that might have some chance of working.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 02:47:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct, but if the government is supporting the genocide, then the logical outcome is that you can't "peacekeep," and it would seem that logically you have to "regime change."

But, my depressing conclusion is that that is politically unlikely to be supported in most countries around the world.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:33:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A question is whether regime change would be an improvement. It often isn't. This seems to be a long running and deep conflict fuelled by sectarianism and racism, fed by assorted colonial powers and funded with oil money. How you do change the regime to something acceptable?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:35:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate to repeat myself, but if there is no peace to keep you cannot send in "peacekeepers". According to the Sudan Tribune article I quote on a parallel thread, this proposed UN force would be Police and Military Police. Now a fighting force.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
migeru wrote:
if there is no peace to keep you cannot send in "peacekeepers".

"Peacekeepers" can have either a Chapter VI mandate for peacekeeping (=keeping the peace) or a Chapter VII for peaceenforcement (trying to create peace, where none exists).

The bluehelmets operating under a Chapter VII peace enforcement mandate are also called "Peacekeepers".

"Peaceenforcers" would be a better term, but the charta (?) and everybody only refer to them as "Peacekeepers".


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 12:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, in addition to my other comment, we have some people familiar with Russia on this site.

What is the view from Russia of Darfur? What does the situation look like from there? What's the thinking about what should happen?

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 09:54:22 AM EST
The Mail and Guardian, a Liberal daily of Johannesburg, South Africa. Has an interesting Reuters Article "AU can stay in Darfur, for now" on the current Darfur situation. It provides a little more detail on the Sudan government's position. Below are the first and last paragraph:

"Sudan will allow African Union (AU) troops to remain in its turbulent Darfur region but only if their AU mandate was extended beyond September 30 and not as part of a United Nations force, a presidential advisor said on Monday....

The EU's executive commission called on Sudan on Monday to recognise the broad international consensus for the AU to hand over to a stronger UN mission, citing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur."

by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 10:08:08 AM EST
The BBC seems to have updated their story, which now correctly says
UN officials in the capital, Khartoum, for talks with Sudanese leaders say they will continue to work towards getting the government's consent.

Sudan objects to a UN force replacing 7,000 African Union (AU) peacekeepers.

At least 200,000 have died in the conflict in the past three years, and two million people have been displaced.

instead of "Sudan says the AU force must leave".

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:00:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So perhaps the diplomatic effort should be focussed on bolstering the AU force?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:07:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is where it should always have been. The first thing to do is to write a biggish cheque. There are problems with the AU force beyond that I think.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:12:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, obviously the problems of Mandate remain and it would take some pressure on the Sudanese government to accept any increase in the size of the force.

But bolstering it financially would be a huge step forward.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's see what google news has to say about the UN resolution...

Reuters AlertNet: Russia criticises "hasty" UN resolution on Darfur (04 Sep 2006)

...

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S and British-backed resolution was drawn up without proper consultations with the Khartoum government, which has argued that the U.N. mandate's goal was "regime change".

Lavrov said the decision to hand over the AU mission to the United Nations "should have been done in accordance with the basic rule of the U.N. which envisages that such a decision should be ... agreed upon with the government of Sudan."

"Unfortunately this resolution was taken in haste without continued consultation with the government of Sudan, while we and China at the Security Council had hoped for continued consultations. But this was not done," Lavrov said while visiting AU headquarters in Addis Ababa on Monday.

Russia, along with China and Qatar, abstained from voting at the U.N. Security Council on the resolution to create a U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur last Thursday.

The resolution was passed nevertheless.

For balance:

Ria Novosti: Lavrov blasts adoption of UN resolution on Sudan (04/ 09/ 2006)

Russia's foreign minister criticized Monday a UN Security Council resolution on Sudan, saying it had been adopted too quickly and so had angered the African state's authorities.

Under the resolution adopted August 31, peacekeepers will be deployed in Sudan's western Darfur region to stop clashes between government forces, Arab tribes and rebel groups representing the interests of native non-Arab population. Since the start of the conflict in February 2003, death toll estimates have varied from 50,000 to 450,000 and more than 2 million have been made refugees.

But Russia's Sergei Lavrov said, "Unfortunately, the resolution was adopted hastily without preliminary consultations with the Sudanese government."

This resulution must not be under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, that is, it has no teeth and otherwise it might have been vetoed by Russia.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:15:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and yes. But I get the general impression it is a rather prickly subject around which everyone shuffles with their eyes cast down. Africa seems to want the AU build up by its own strength, the African way (not unlogical in my view), and the western world, suffering from a combination of post-colonial shame and neo-colonial indifference, does not want to commit itself or even offer financial assistance.

But if I now went into Over-Generalise Mode, please slap.

by Nomad on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 08:32:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just because you asked, I do agree with you.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:01:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also via Google News, here's an article that explains some details of the UN resolution...

SudanTribune: UN resolution greeted by Khartoum's new Darfur offensive (4 September 2006)

Civilians and humanitarian operations will not be protected except by National Islamic Front genocidaires

On Thursday, August 31, 2006, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1706, "inviting" the National Islamic Front regime in Khartoum to allow a large and robust UN to enter Darfur with the primary goal of protecting acutely vulnerable civilians and humanitarians. This force (between 23,000 and 24,000 troops, police, and Formed Police Units) could at the very least begin to halt the accelerating slide toward cataclysmic human destruction, destruction that UN aid chief Jan Egeland warned the Security Council on August 28, 2006 could reach to hundreds of thousands of human deaths.

Gee, thanks, finally an article giving the number of the resolution so we can actually go searching for it!
This [ilitary operation launched by Sudan] is Khartoum's bluntest answer to the UN "invitation" to allow into Darfur a meaningful international peacekeeping force. To be sure, there have been public responses from Khartoum's genocidaires as well. In the words of the BBC, "the Sudanese government has vehemently rejected a UN Security Council resolution that would send a UN force to Sudan's Darfur area"; the BBC cites a report from the state-controlled SUNA news agency: "`The Sudanese people will not consent to any resolution that will violate its sovereignty'" (BBC [dateline: Khartoum], August 31, 2006).

...

"Sudanese vice-president Ali Osman Taha vowed that the regime would maintain its opposition to a United Nations peacekeeping force for Darfur and hailed Hezbollah as a model of resistance, said reports on Friday [September 1, 2006]. Taha was quoted as saying: `We have options and plans for confronting the international intervention.'"

Oh, goody. I have no idea how representative the Sudanese VP is of the feelings of the ordinary Sudanese people, but can anyone argue convincingly that a UN-sponsored invasion will not be greeted by strong popular resistance?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:36:03 AM EST
Yes, let's send western forces to attack another Muslim government. What could go wrong?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about 25k AU troops under a Chapter 7 mandate?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They still need to be allowed in by the government. I submit that the only reason the current AU force is tolerated is because it can't be very effective.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the troops are going in under Ch. 7 they don't need to be allowed in. But then you need more than 25k troops, don't you?

Wikipedia: Military of Sudan

The Sudan People's Armed Forces is a 60,000-member army supported by a small air force and navy. Irregular tribal and former rebel militias and Popular Defence Forces supplement the army's strength in the field. This is mixed force, having the additional duty of maintaining internal security. Some rebels currently fighting in the south are former army members. Sudan's military forces have historically been hampered by limited and outdated equipment. In the 1980s, the U.S. worked with the Sudanese Government to upgrade equipment with special emphasis on airlift capacity and logistics. All U.S. military assistance was terminated following the military coup of 1989.

During the 1990s, periodic purges of the professional officer corps by the ruling Islamist regime has eroded command authority as well as war-fighting capabilities. Indeed, the Sudanese Government admits it is now incapable of carrying out its war aims against the SPLA and NDA without employing former rebel and Arab militias to fight in support of regular troops. Oil revenues have allowed the government to purchase modern weapons systems, including Hind helicopter gun ships, MiG-23 fighters, Antonov medium transport aircraft, mobile artillery pieces, and light assault weapons. Sudan now receives most of its military equipment from the People's Republic of China, Russia, and Libya.

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Popular Defense Force Militia

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,739,982 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 5,380,917 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 398,294 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $581 million (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.5% (1999)

In other words, you can expect to have to beat a force of anywhere between a 60k regular and a 6M-strong full-blown insurgency.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 11:56:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have thought you'd need a pretty full-on advanced western invasion force to destroy Sudan's military capabilities with acceptable casualties - you can't ask the AU to do that bit and die in much higher numbers - followed by using the AU as occupation troops in the disputed area. I don't think attempting to occupy the entire country is necessary.

Of course, then there's the little matter of insurgency.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 12:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the best equipped African armies? Isn't South Africa quite wealthy and well-armed?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 12:07:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

From an article febr./06 in International Herald Tribune
Annan recognizes that air power is essential if Darfur's civilians are to be protected from their own government and the janjaweed raiders to whom it has outsourced conduct of its genocidal policy. The African Union force's lack of tactical air power has long limited its ability to conduct its mission, which remains under threat of Sudan's air superiority.

I did read reports of the AU-forces that they have no defence against aerial attacks, no tactical aircraft and no air defence systems.
The Sudanese bombard with whatever plane they can get in the air (their Hinds and fighters are mostly grounded due to several problems)sometimes throwing grenades from light cargo-planes. The Sudanese sometimes coordinate this with  the relief-flights to the refugee camps to terrorise people when they are amassed for the food-distributions.
With European troops busy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libanon, DR-Congo and a few other places, our politicians will think twice before doing something.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 12:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the UNSC were to impose a no-fly zone over Darfur, who would enforce it? What AU members have the necessary Air Force capabilities to do that?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 12:57:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And to run the required forward operating bases and command and control? Nobody? Maybe South Africa would have the planes but I doubt they could run the distant bases.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Darfur borders Chad. Could the operations be run from airfields there?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, they can , as they prooved in the Angola-war some time ago. Again economics (oil) and politics (Russia, China...) have their own (hidden) agenda.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:25:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Egypt, which gets tons of US military aid and is run by a former member of the air force.


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni
by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Possible perhaps.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Via Wikipedia, UN press release and full text of the resolution.

UN: Security Council expands mandate of un mission in sudan to include darfur, adopting resolution 1706 by vote OF 12 IN favour, with 3 abstaining (31 August 2006)

Invites Consent of Sudanese Government; Authorizes Use of `All Necessary Means' To Protect United Nations Personnel, Civilians under Threat of Physical Violence

...

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council authorized UNMIS to use all necessary means as it deemed within its capabilities:  to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment; to ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, assessment and evaluation commission personnel; to prevent disruption of the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement by armed groups, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan; to protect civilians under threat of physical violence; and to seize or collect arms or related material whose presence in Darfur was in violation of the Agreements and the measures imposed by resolution 1556, and to dispose of such arms and related material as appropriate.

Oh, so it is a Chapter 7 resolution.

So, who is committing the 20k troops?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:36:52 PM EST
The Security Council

...

1.   Decides, without prejudice to its existing mandate and operations as provided for in resolution 1590 (2005) and in order to support the early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, that UNMIS' mandate shall be expanded as specified in paragraphs 8, 9 and 12 below, that it shall deploy to Darfur, and therefore invites the consent of the Government of National Unity for this deployment, and urges Member States to provide the capability for an expeditious deployment;

Background on UNMIS: Wikipedia, Official site.

Is this "invitating the consent" of the Sudanese government anything other than courteous language?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 02:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN: Resolution 2005 (24 March 2005)
The Security Council

...

16. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
(i) Decided that UNMIS is authorised to take the necessary action, in the areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, joint assessment mechanism and assessment and evaluation commission personnel, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Sudan, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violance.
...

UN: resolution 1706 (2006)

The Security Council

...

12.  Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations:
(a)   Decides that UNMIS is authorized to use all necessary means, in the areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities:
--    to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, to ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, assessment and evaluation commission personnel, to prevent disruption of the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement by armed groups, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan, to protect civilians under threat of physical violence,
--    in order to support early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, to prevent attacks and threats against civilians,
--    to seize or collect, as appropriate, arms or related material whose presence in Darfur is in violation of the Agreements and the measures imposed by paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556, and to dispose of such arms and related material as appropriate;

Now I am a little miffed, because in an article by Eric Reeves which I quoted in a top-level comment, claims
Civilians and humanitarian operations will not be protected except by National Islamic Front genocidaires
based on the fact that the resolution "invites the consent of the Government of National Unity for this deployment" in its operative Paragraph 1. Both Resolutions 1590 and 1706 are Chapter VII resolutions, which means that the UNMIS is authorised to go into Sudan by force if necessary, and to protect civilians "without prejudice of Sudan's responsibility", which I take to mean that just because the UNMIS is there to protect them doesn't mean that the Sudanese government is free of its responsibility to portect its own civilians. In other words, if civilians as a result of UNMIS' inability to protect them, it's still Sudan's fault.

I am not a lawyer and would appreciate it if someone sho is took a look a these things. It seems to me the mandate of UNMIS is robust, it can use force at its own discretion to protect civilians under Chapter VII,, and it can also use force to deploy over the objections of the Khartoum government. What am I missing?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:09:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if civilians as a result

I mean if civilians die as a result.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, chapter VII resolution already in 2005.

So UNMIS has the mandate, but not the ressources to make a real difference...?


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is what I am trying to get someone to answer me. People keep shouting back and forth on US vs. EU, and on "how about Israel", "how about Sudan", "how about Bosnia", and nobody goes and looks at the actual resolutions.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@ Migeru

perhaps we are mixing up the mandate for Darfur with the one for Southern Sudan.
I was emailed that UNSC resol 1706 is the first chapter VII resolution for darfur. That's why the opposition from Khartoum.


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 09:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, it appears that the original UNMIS did not include Darfur among its deployment areas, but 1706 extends its area of deployment.

What I am trying to understand is, once a resolution is under Chapter VII, what does Khartoum's opposition mean? UNMIS is authorised already to deploy by force.

A peacekeeping mission under Chapter VI (like UNIFIL) presumably cannot deploy without the consent of the host nation, but presumably a Chapter VII mandate allows that? Is Khartoum calling the UNSC's bluff? "Oh, yeah? Well, show us how you're going to 'use all necessary means' to deploy against our wishes."

In any case, contrary to expectations, the UNSC hasn't failed to provide a Ch.VII resolution on Darfur, and neither Russia nor China vetoed it. So, in whose court is the ball now? [in Spanish we'd say "on whose roof...?"]

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 09:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Resolution 1706 "invites the consent" of the Sudanese Government to the deployment, although Khartoum has said on several occasions that it is opposed to any kind of UN force taking over the role of the African Union's (AU) current operation - known by the acronym AMIS - in Darfur.
http://www.unmis.org/english/darfur-updates.htm

I guess, the ball is on the international community's court/roof.
Approval for deployment is not needed, but it is desired, because the risks for the UN troops would be smaller and more countries are likely to committ troops to UNMIS.

If Khartoum agrees to a UN deployment, then it is basically giving up its support the genocidaires and UNMIS does not have to fight. It'a some sort of vicious circle principle, if you know what I mean.

Has any country volunteered to send UN troops?

Someone by the blog name Sudanese Thinker writes this:


"10,000 people in Darfur protested against the UN's plan to come in. Surprise to all of you who think all Darfurians will welcome UN troops with wide open arms. Many desperate ones want them but there are others who don't.

To sum it up, let me present to you an updated version of my famous straight forward equations.

Darfur previously = Disaster

Darfur now = Worsening disaster

Darfur - AU troops = Big fat disaster

Darfur - AU troops + Sudanese troops = I have no freaking clue

Darfur + UN troops = Bigger disaster

Darfur + UN troops + Al Qaeda = HUGE disaster

Darfur + UN troops + Al Qaeda + Sudanese Islamists = One big ass GIGANTIC Disaster
Darfur + AU troops reinforced by UN & NATO = HUGE improvements."
http://www.sudanesethinker.com/2006/09/07/darfur-the-continuing-dilemma/

Another of his posts starts with this:

"Iraq Has Arrived

Many of the things I predicted are now coming true. Iraqi style instability has arrived in Khartoum and a bigger one is to be expected in Darfur real soon especially if the UN steps in.

Sudan is currently mourning the death of beheaded editor Mohamed Taha. Yes, that's right beheaded!  This is probably the first time in the history of Sudan something like this happens. The man was kidnapped from his house and found later with his head next to his body. That's murder Iraqi al-Qaeda style."
http://www.sudanesethinker.com/2006/09/07/iraq-has-arrived/

So what are we doing?
Which countries shall be persuaded to send troops to Darfur?
Who dares it? Who cares about black people?

I thought our discussion here got quite interesting after first discussing amount of suffering and the UN resolutions, we started to move on to about what to do. However, no most participants seem to have gone...

Can we continue the discussion here? Or shall I transform this comment into a new post and also ask the following questions?:

What kind of action shall we advocat?
What exactly should the international community do?

Donate more to aid agencies isn't enough, because the agencies can't do their work freely in the current (in)security situation.

Shall we only call for more divestment and diplomatic pressure on Khartoum to let 17,000 UN troops in?
Is that number of troops enough for the huge territory of Sudan?
What countries shall provide the troops?

How shall they protect the civilians in Darfur?

  • Create safe heavens?
  • Try to disarm the Janjaweed? How many troops do you need for that?
  • Bomb Khartoum? Then what?
  • Regime change? Are we prepared to deal with civil war and attempts of "ethnic cleansing in reverse" after a regime change? How long would that occupation last?

What realistic and fast course of action shall we advocate?

What are the Darfur and military experts suggesting?

Shall we ask the international community to send more money and ressources to the African Union? Is the African Union willing and capable to fight and disarm the Janjaweed and their supporters?

The consensus seems to be that the AU hasn't done enough and can't do enough (why?) and that UN troops are needed, but I don't quite understand, why the UN would do a better job. The countries with most military and peace enforcement experience are not volunteering to send troops to the UN, are they?
What exactly should the UN troops do?

What kind of pressure can we and Western governments put on Khartoum to accept a UN force?



Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 12:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Go for a new diary.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 12:36:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could make this a new diary, there is enough meat in it.

I am still a little confused about how "Chapter VII" is not 'enough pressure'. How can the UNSC up the ante even more? The UNSC is saying "we'll come in with 20k troops by force if necessary". Khartoum is saying "I dare you". So what, now?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 12:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first resolution is 1590 (2005), not 2005.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:49:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The link to the text of UNSC Res 1590 (2005) seems to be broken. Here is a good link.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 07:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After speaking a bit with my professors and I have grasped this:

a) Sudan has the responsibility during all circumstances for the protection of civilians.

b) UNAMIS is of course also bound by international law to abide by humanitarian law

c) There is a legal basis for intervention

d) The invitation of Sudan is solely a diplomatic opening

However:
There seem to be some legal discussions wheter the resolution is a clear chapter VII or more like chapter VI and a half.
There is a trend, as seen in Lebanon and other, that one use the wordings and language of a chapter VII mission but in a VI resolution. Apparently the deal is, that this gives the force the possibility of pulling out if the missions turns out to be a disaster. That is a lot more difficult with a chapter VII mission, since you are almost legally bound to finish the job.

I am sorry that I am not able to give a clear answer. I am investigating more, and will hopefully return with a clear answer. If there is one.

For me though, it seems like a clear chapter VII.


Andreas The Oslo Blog - www.akiaby.dk

by The Oslo Blog (andreas.kiaby@gmail.com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 09:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If and when you get a clear answer it would make a great diary.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 09:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 01:46:13 PM EST
The difficulty is not in stopping the government and allied forces but in stopping ethnic cleansing. Shut down the Sudanese government's ability to use air power and air supply and their ability to defeat the various Darfur rebel groups would be undermined.  The problem is that there's a good chance that a full defeat of the Sudanese army and Janjaweed would lead to ethnic cleansing in reverse. The rebels weren't angels to begin with, and after years of horrible suffering by their populations, I suspect they'd be into paying back the local Arab population in kind.  Putting the victims of genocidal violence in charge of the perpetrators in mixed areas doesn't tend to work out all that well for the civilians on the other side. Rwanda is probably about as good as it gets - a repressive dictatorship of the victim group, but no systematic reverse ethnic cleansing. However, the Rwandan Tutsis had a single, well disciplined military force, that's not the case in Darfur.
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 02:34:52 PM EST
The "what then?" question.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 02:48:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. But does that mean we basically say that massive man made humanitarian catastrophes, including genocide are ok, at least when they don't affect vital realpolitik Western interests unless they can be alleviated for a low cost in money and minimal one in lives? I guess so. We've done a little in various bits of Africa (Congo, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia) but not much. The EU is willing to go into Lebanon since the conflict does endanger key interests, both sides accepted the EU military presence, and they do have control over their respective military forces. None of these apply to Darfur.

I'm not necessarily opposed to military intervention, I just think that most of those supporting it aren't thinking clearly about how difficult it would be and the risks it would entail. Before I support such action I'd need to be convinced that they had seriously considered the problems they would encounter, and understand that this conflict, like most, is not a morality play of good vs. evil but of two rather unsavoury and chaotic sides, albeit with differences of degree, with one side a lot more powerful than the other.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:26:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's probably something either racist or deeply hopeless, or both, in my thinking here. I have some sort of half-a-hope that it would be possible to come to some sort of sensible arrangement in Lebanon. I don't see that in some parts of Africa. The people are too poor and too desperate and the states are too artificial.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lebanon is pretty artificial. Decades of civil war. The sort of sensible arrangements in Lebanon don't last long.

There have been UN troops all around Israel's borders since the 40s.

Thousands of politicians, NGOs, scientists deal with bringing peace to the Middle East.

Wouldn't it be fair to commit a small percentage of those monetary ressources brain power, creativity etc to Darfur or Africa in general.

Europe, the US and the UN... we all failed to bring peace to the Middle East despite the enourmous ressources we invested. Let's try our luck in another region. Waste some money somewhere else.

I don't see that in some parts of Africa. The people are too poor and too desperate and the states are too artificial.

Compared to Africans, the people in the Middle East are not poor. And yet they are not willing to compromise.

Poverty is not the cause for conflicts or the reason why peace is so difficult. Rather a middle class that is getting poorer is often a main cause for conflicts.


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 08:34:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
understand that this conflict, like most, is not a morality play of good vs. evil but of two rather unsavoury and chaotic sides, albeit with differences of degree, with one side a lot more powerful than the other.

Didn't we learn that lesson in Bosnia?


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni
by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 08:24:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone is cowering in fear before the Khartoum regime, convinced that even the slightest intervention would lead to an Iraq-style quagmire.

I call bullshit.  I submit that defeating Khartoum would be quick and easy.  And the precedent is not Iraq, but Serbia.

For three years the western powers dithered over what to do about Bosnia.  Send in outnumbered UN "peacekeepers" who sat back and watched as Bosnians were massacred.  Send a token jet it to allow food convoys to pass through, only to have them blockaded again.  We can't intervene because we can't fight a war, we can't sort through centuries-old ethnic hatreds.  Excuse after pathetic excuse.  Blah blah fucking blah.

Finally President Clinton acted, and started bombing the Serbs.

The war ended in a month.

Four years later: repeat identical scenario in Kosovo.  Chomskyites started screaming about imperialism in the Balkans and how all this would strengthen Milosevic....who was overthrown within a year.

The NIF regime in Khartoum do not have the military power of Hitler or the political cunning of Milosevic.  They are cowards, pure and simple, murderous cowards who can kill children and rape defenceless women, but who have no ability to fight a truly determined enemy.  

A NATO force that bombed the shit out of Khartoum and the oil fields would end the genocide in a week.  

But only black people would benefit, so we don't do it.

(And if you insist on the Iraq parallel, the correct analogy is not 2003, when the regime had snuffed out opposition and was firmly in control, but 1991, when the regime faced two-front revolts and could have been overthrown by local elements with only token external aid.  Today, Iraqi Kurdistan, the only place where this was allowed to happen, is Iraq's most peaceful and well-governed region.)

by tyronen on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:35:46 PM EST
So work through the scenario for me:

  1. We bomb some stuff.
  2. We send in lots of troops to do what, exactly?
  3. What happens next?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read your own comments people.

Just do for Darfur exactly what was done for Bosnia.  Bosnia may not have a truly stable peace, but it is miles better off than it was 1992-95.

by tyronen on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 01:41:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While Americans were so happy about their bombing campaign in Bosnia that they had to repeat it in Kosovo and then in Afghanistan and Iraq, Europeans are still blistering from the experience in Bosnia and have no appetite for further adventures.

Again, you want the US to bomb Khartoum and the EU to pick up the pieces?

There are two Chapter 7 resolutions empowering UNMIS already, 1560 and 1709, with authorisation to deploy almost 20 thousand troops. The troops could come from anywhere.

I hasten to add that we're still busy coming up with 15000 troops for UNIFIL to cover Israel's ass in Lebanon.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 02:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I call bullshit.  I submit that defeating Khartoum would be quick and easy.  And the precedent is not Iraq, but Serbia.

While I don't think it would be quite as quick and easy as all that, I agree it would be well within the capabilities of the EU or the US, and could be done at minimal cost in EU or US lives. The problem is keeping the peace afterwards. Bosnia initially had sixty thousand well armed troops. We'd need far more in the much larger Darfur. Where are we going to get them? In Bosnia we also had the convenience of fairly clear ethnic boundaries courtesy of the ethnic cleansing that had preceded the intervention. That made preventing reverse ethnic cleansing easier, unlike in Kosovo where most of the Serb minority was scattered among the Albanians.

we can't sort through centuries-old ethnic hatreds.

It's not centuries old ethnic hatreds that I'm worried about but rather quite understandable hatred generated by what has happened over the past several years.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While I don't think it would be quite as quick and easy as all that, I agree it would be well within the capabilities of the EU or the US, and could be done at minimal cost in EU or US lives. The problem is keeping the peace afterwards.

Exactly.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there had been a ground invasion of Serbia, NATO would still be mired there.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 04:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do realize Bosnia is still effectively an EU protectorate? Yeah, Clinton came in, bombed, ended the fighting, left, and the EU is still busy keeping the whole tottering edifice from collapsing.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 05:04:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sometimes it is really easy to guess where people are from...

Does anybody know how many US troops are still on the Balkans?
Isn't slowly becoming a rule or tradition that the brave US "bombs some stuff" and the "fucking retarded" Europeans then babysit for the next few decades?


Atlantic Review - A press digest on transatlantic affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni

by Atlantic Review (bl -at- atlanticreview dot org) on Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 08:55:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
any reason Europe can't clean up its own mess, without involving US bombing or troops?
by wchurchill on Fri Sep 8th, 2006 at 03:18:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you say "Europe" do you mean the EU, the CoE, the geographical definition? (see here for details)

Depending on your meaning of Europe, in what way was the Balkan mess "its own"? (Example: you interpret Europe to mean the EU, and so the mess would not be in the EU but in its "back yard", a problematic concept in itself) There are subtle ways in which Powell's Pottery Barn rule applies to the EU-12 and the Balkan Wars, but is that what you're thinking about?

See also this thread for a look a who is actually busy cleaning up messes not of their own making (the US deployment in Iraq doesn't count: the pottery barn rule applies).

In any case, in the 10 years since the war in Bosnia the EU has developed its Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Defence Agency precisely to address its failures in the Balkan wars. Some attempt has been made to learn from past mistakes, especially so that US bombing or troops is not necessary.

Who's cleaning up Israel's mess in Lebanon?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 8th, 2006 at 04:50:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm bored of this particular argument. I'll put up a front-page story and see if we can tease it out.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 8th, 2006 at 05:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am too confused in this thread. So many questions are being posted, and it all ends in 78 comments.

Is there any way of structuring this thread?

A lot of good points though!

Andreas The Oslo Blog - www.akiaby.dk

by The Oslo Blog (andreas.kiaby@gmail.com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 09:41:16 AM EST
It seems that this thread died off, but a new one was spawned.

One way to structure the discussion is to summarize it to the best of your ability and give your own take in a new diary.

And so on.

Welcome to ET, by the way.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 09:56:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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