Monday, January 01, 2007

Darfur - A Civil Affairs mission

I've been saying that for anyone to reasonably support an intervention in Darfur, they should be rooting for the US mission in Iraq to succeed, because the force and TTPs (tasks, tactics and procedures) we would have to develop in order to succeed in Iraq would be necessary to succeed in Darfur as well. In other words, Western humanitarians have to become far more capable of using soft and hard power together when it comes to addressing the violent, disconnected regions of the world. Read this Reuters story about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and ask yourself what current mission it reminds you of (d'uh - Iraq), and then wonder about the idiocy of people who call for intervention in Darfur in one breath, protest the mission in Iraq in the next breath, and for an especially deranged few, actually come to the conclusion that the military should be removed as an option for intervention in Darfur in a third breath. On that point, I would agree that we shouldn't use the military to intervene . . . until we build a force and a system capable of forceful intervention that provides security, stability and domination of a region, and then smoothly transitions to nation-building. Darfur is crying out for a military Civil Affairs mission. At the same time, we need to radically upgrade our Civil Affairs capabilities and connect the dots on one force that can carry out the A-to-Z of a successful intervention in the most extreme circumstances.

In a Reuters report, Darfur conflict threatens aid operation, filed on Dec 31, 2006, Opheera McDoom writes . . .
"Many war victims fled to the relative safety of the three Darfur state
capitals during the conflict and formed mass makeshift camps surrounding the
towns."

"But that feeling of safety was shattered when militia ran riot
several times in recent months or clashed with former rebel forces inside
Darfur's main towns. In December U.N. and aid agencies evacuated hundreds of
staff from Darfur cities, paralysing some humanitarian operations.
"The situation here remains like a tinderbox," said one aid worker who witnessed
clashes in December in el-Fasher town before evacuated."

"With a May peace deal signed by only one rebel faction, violence has
escalated as many other rebel commanders formed a new military alliance and
renewed hostilities with the government. U.N. officials say Khartoum remobilised
proxy militia, known locally as Janjaweed, to combat the rebellion."

Iraq . . . Darfur . . . strip away the superficial differences and get down to the boots on the ground level, and it's the same damn mission.

Eric

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