As this is a thorny problem with no obvious solution, and one that I have long admired (in the sense of 'My, my, that is indeed one hell of a problem'), I found Chap's thoughts very welcome indeed. He's a professional military man and one of the brightest guys I know, and when he thinks out loud like this, I tend to pay attention:
Make yourself a cup of coffee (I've done just that in my little hotel room in California) and go read the whole thing.
We need a better method of deciding when to “go into Bosnia”. One component is a military doctrine that addresses different things than did the Weinberger/Powell doctrine while still considering the same concerns. We need to consider the impact of time on political will, the danger of changing goals once committed, the danger of expanding problems, and the long term nature of intervasion. Congress will need to have this made easy for them, too. It’s easy to call for Darfur intervention now; much harder to keep the heat on a couple of years later.
The UN peacekeeping forces were not feckless in Rwanda merely because Kofi Annan was in charge of that UN region. They had people who weren’t organized, trained and equipped to do the job they needed to do–but more importantly, they couldn’t shoot people. “Creating a security space” means, among other things, that the forces can shoot people if they need to. It also means that they can’t set up pedophile rings and graft and corruption as is rampant in some of the UN efforts. Do we need different rules for a combined group of folks that isn’t quite the UCMJ, or a superset that is compatible that all parties in this new setup could use? How do we support an ally who wishes to intervene like this? If an ally wishes to join us, how do we modify our military coalition efforts to support the other country using all the new tools we have? Coalitions are the way things get done internationally, despite our size. How do we learn from what the other guys are doing?
Chapomatic » On A Genocide Prevention Corps