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Thread: Rwanda (catch all)

  1. #61
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancien View Post
    For all you gents who have a intrest, I would recommend this (french).
    The author has no political idee in this, but it gives a very good discription on wat was going on right after the invasion by Kabila.

    regards
    Thanks for the link, Ancien!
    She was well known and respected among the Belgians in Zaire, but I never met her.

    Here's an English link to Lieve's Bio and her 2001 book, The Leopard's Dance.

    When Kabila tried to get rid of the allies who had helped him to power, a new uprising broke out in the east and Kinshasa became a beleaguered city. Foreigners fled en masse, but Lieve Joris decided to stay. The Leopard’s Dance shows what lies behind the television reels about one of Africa’s largest nations; hers is a harrowing portrait of a threatened land, but at the same time an act of homage to a people who have mastered the art of survival like no other nation in Africa.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  2. #62
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    Thanks Stan, I did not now her work was available in english.
    I did not read her other books yet but 'the leopard's dance' includes sounds and smels.
    Things you would never tel at home because nobody would believe you

  3. #63
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancien View Post
    Things you would never tel at home because nobody would believe you
    Tom would and I'd certainly believe every word of it (he also makes a mean grill and always serves beer with dinner)
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  4. #64
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Tom would and I'd certainly believe every word of it (he also makes a mean grill and always serves beer with dinner)
    Much of what we saw on a daily basis in Zaire simply would not be beileved in a rational world because the Congo is ultimately irrational.

    The Leopard's Dance seems much like Michela Wrong's In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz in which she recounted the "fall" of Kinshasa and the "surprise" collapse of the DSP. She did manage to get in Mo's lake house in Goma that was just 150 meters or so from where Stan and I lived for 40 wonderful days.

    Bob Gribbin's book does an excellent job of explaining how and why Kagame decided that Kabila the father had to go. Basically it amounted to the realization that Kabila was acting too much like Mobutu in dealing with his enemies in the Congo even as he began to accomodate the enemies of Rwanda.

    Best

    Tom

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    Thanks for the link's, sir
    I sure will read ambassador Gribbin's book.

    I can't say mush about Kabila, He is the one that got away in '64.
    In the end they all turn social, progressif on us. Putting the problems (and blaim) in the hands who ones helped them.
    Time for BBQ and beeres

    regards

  6. #66
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Rwanda Artilcle, Military-Review September-October 2008

    I have not gone through the other articles but the one on Reconciliation in Rwanda is weak, poorly researched, and simplistic in its level of understanding. Considering I made available 2 US Ambassadors, and 2 Defense Attaches to support the project and none of us were contacted, I guess I should not be surprised.

    Amnesty, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Rwanda - Major Jeffrey H. Powell, U.S. Army Failure to grant amnesty has mired the reconciliation process in Rwanda after the genocide there in 1994. gets a thumbs down from me.

    The September-October 2008 edition is now online. The full line up is on the SWJ blog.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 09-05-2008 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Added link.

  7. #67
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    I'm just downloading it now, but I have to say that the website gets an F- from me on usability. No online (html) tables of contents, not proper search, huge pdf files, absolutely crappy colour combinations all combine to make he reader totally frustrated.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  8. #68
    Council Member Michael F's Avatar
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    About the overall quality of the article, it really surprises me: For Military Review to publish such historically (On his return flight,
    Hutu extremists in the Presidential Guard shot down
    his plane on its approach to Rwanda’s capital city....), geographically ("Dar-es-Salaam, Burundi") inaccurate document is surely an all time low.

    It looks to me like the author tried to apply to a country he barely knows, a concept AR2he thinks he knows.

    Sad, because, this looked to me as an interesting topic for an article.

  9. #69
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default MG Lewis MacKenzie on LTG Romeo Dallaire

    First a hat tip to Linda Melvern who sent me this article from Macleans.Ca!

    This is an interesting piece. My only criticism of General Dallaire was that he had never been on an operational UN mission before he took UNAMIR. That lack of experience seemed to me to limit his understanding of how UN missions really run.

    Thoughts from our Canadian brothers?

    Tom

    Dallaire's deadly error
    In his memoirs, former Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie offers a harsh critique of Roméo Dallaire's leadership during the genocide
    August 20, 2008 |

    Former Maj. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie speaks to Senior Writer Michael Friscolanti

    In the 1990s, after the Cold War ended and Canadian peacekeeping troops found themselves embroiled in increasingly dangerous conflicts, the nation's generals acquired a prominence not seen since the Korean War. The first to become a household name was Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, UN commander of Sector Sarajevo in 1992 during the Bosnian civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and now author of the forthcoming memoir Soldiers Made Me Look Good (Douglas & McIntyre, Sept. 20). He was followed by Maj.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire, force commander of UNAMIR, the ill-fated UN peacekeeping force during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The two men have come to symbolize opposing poles to Canadians urging a more forceful international intervention in the world's murderous ethnic conflicts.

  10. #70
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    MAJ GEN Dallaire has an entire chapter in the book, "Leading Up" by Michael Useem where he goes back and relooks how forceful he was at alerting his bosses about the impending massacres and what he could have done differently. Very insightful and probably the most interesting chapter in the book.

    Personally, to compare Sarajevo to Rwanda is comparing Apples to Sushi...there is no comparison. To completely different situations ranging from the level of international support to the freedom of maneuver granted to the commander on the ground. Dallaire actually had some of his troops kidnapped and executed, yet he was not able to conduct more aggressive actions according to his higher HQs. It really is a sad story overall. If Dallaire had said "F#*K It: We'll do it live" and disregarded his higher's orders, there is a chance that some of the massacre would have been prevented. There is also a very high probability that he and ever member of his command would have been killed as well.

    If you get a chance, "Leading Up" is worth the read.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

  11. #71
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullygoarmy View Post
    MAJ GEN Dallaire has an entire chapter in the book, "Leading Up" by Michael Useem where he goes back and relooks how forceful he was at alerting his bosses about the impending massacres and what he could have done differently. Very insightful and probably the most interesting chapter in the book.

    Personally, to compare Sarajevo to Rwanda is comparing Apples to Sushi...there is no comparison. To completely different situations ranging from the level of international support to the freedom of maneuver granted to the commander on the ground. Dallaire actually had some of his troops kidnapped and executed, yet he was not able to conduct more aggressive actions according to his higher HQs. It really is a sad story overall. If Dallaire had said "F#*K It: We'll do it live" and disregarded his higher's orders, there is a chance that some of the massacre would have been prevented. There is also a very high probability that he and ever member of his command would have been killed as well.

    If you get a chance, "Leading Up" is worth the read.
    Sully I understand Dallaire's take on how his HQs responded and I watched events from across the border. Dallaire in his own book describes the process in detail. I would compare UN operations in Sarajevo, Rwanda, Somailia, and Lebanon on the basis that they are UN operations. Key to that discussion is understanding what is possible in a UN operation--especially as a Force Commander--what is less possible, and what is impossible.

    Force Commanders do not command their contingents like a US division commander or a Canadian division commander commands their brigades. No US commander has to worry that his brigade commander will pick up the phone and call Washington asking for orders. Force Commanders do everyday. They cajole and coerce.

    That is exactly what happens in UN operations and MacKenzie described it in his discussion. I saw it happen as a UN observer in Lebanon working around UNIFIL and again as US Defense Attache working with UNAMIR2 and Dallaire's successor, MG Tousignant. Note that Tousignant in April 1995 ignored UNDPKO orders to pull his forces out of Kibeho (Aussie, Zambian, and UN Mil Observers) before the camp clearing operation went south. He was able to do that because his contingent commanders agreed to stay, not because he ordered them to.

    Note also that Dallaire was able to keep one good armed unit--the Ghanians --because Henry Anyidoho as his deputy and a Ghanian brigadier--ignored his own country's orders and stayed. Remember too that Dallaiire's number 3, the Belgian Colonel whose name escapes me right now was courtmartialed as a scape goat by the Belgian government for putting the Belgian soldiers at risk--when it was Brussels who set their ROE.

    I offer all of this because when you read Dallaire's book read it from the perspective of a commander who is used to having units follow his orders without question and who also assumes that his higher headquarters actually cares what the current situation is on the ground other than how it reflects on that same headquarters. Both of those assumptions are very large and equally flawed. Even had UNDPKO said ok to the preemptory raids that Dallaire wanted to execute, I personally doubt that Brussels would have agreed to them. Dhakka would not have cared but Dallaire would not have used the Bangladeshis. That would have left him with the Ghanians and his Military Observers (who are unarmed).

    The only way an intervention would have worked with UNAMIR would have been to renforce it with additional capable national contingents--like those that came in and pulled out all the whites. I don't fault General Dallaire for what he was able to achieve under very bad conditions; I question some of his assumptions about what he as a UN Force Commander could have done.

    The same sort of assumptions got rolled into the plan for Op Support Hope. Dallaire in his parting shots called for the resurrected and reinforced UNAMIR2 to be used as a means to draw all the Rwandan refugees home. The US planners picked up on that and I listened to then BG Jack Nix brief in Goma how the USJTF was going to use food and water to coax the refugees home. Of course, that plan ignored the fact that those refugees had just slaughtered almost one million of their neighbors back at home. They had fled under the direction of their extremist leaders who had told them they would get slaughtered if they went home. They stayed--for the next 2 years.

    In any case, we are getting a taste of this with NATO in Afghanistan. Good discussion.

    Best

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 09-12-2008 at 05:01 PM.

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    I'll weigh in on this one.

    I'll start by saying that I've never been a big Lewis Mackenzie fan--I've always thought him a bit of a showboat, and I don't think his "successes" in Sarajevo are quite what he, and the Canadian media, made them out to be. He does speak and write well, though.

    I've discussed Rwanda with Dallaire a few times, and in my opinion (and I'll defer to Tom as the expert) he overestimates what UNAMIR could have done to have ended the genocide, even with orders to do so—which he didn't have. He does seem to have been a bit naive about how to handle DPKO, the UN Secretariat, and the UNSC.

    I think it is armchair quarterbacking of the worst sort for Mackenzie to suggest that there was a great deal that UNAMIR could have done had Dallaire ignored/invented/reinterpreted orders. In Bosnia, UNPROFOR largely consisted of highly professional NATO contingents, all backed by relatively strong support for the mission in national capitals and countries. In Rwanda Dallaire had relatively few strong contingents, with the strongest one (the Belgians) operating under restrictive caveats and ultimately withdrawing. In fact, it is not at all clear that contingents would have obeyed "orders" from the UNAMIR force commander to get more heavily engaged in trying to prevent mass killings, nor is it clear that they would have been that successful given their deployment and very modest numbers, capability, and mobility.

    Finally, I've noticed a tendency of some in DND to disparage Dallaire as an engineering officer with inadequate peacekeeping experience. However, I don't remember anyone at DND recommending that Canada offer an immediate augment of combat forces to UNAMIR when the blood was flowing in the streets...

    An excellent book on why and how the UN machinery did what it did is Michael Barnett's Eyewitness to Genocide.
    Last edited by Rex Brynen; 09-12-2008 at 06:46 PM. Reason: qualified "in DND..." to read "of some in DND..."

  13. #73
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    I'll weigh in on this one.

    I'll start by saying that I've never been a big Lewis Mackenzie fan--I've always thought him a bit of a showboat, and I don't think his "successes" in Sarajevo are quite what he, and the Canadian media, made them out to be. He does speak and write well, though.

    I've discussed Rwanda with Dallaire a few times, and in my opinion (and I'll defer to Tom as the expert) he overestimates what UNAMIR could have done to have ended the genocide, even with orders to do so—which he didn't have. He does seem to have been a bit naive about how to handle DPKO, the UN Secretariat, and the UNSC.

    I think it is armchair quarterbacking of the worst sort for Mackenzie to suggest that there was a great deal that UNAMIR could have done had Dallaire ignored/invented/reinterpreted orders. In Bosnia, UNPROFOR largely consisted of highly professional NATO contingents, all backed by relatively strong support for the mission in national capitals and countries. In Rwanda Dallaire had relatively few strong contingents, with the strongest one (the Belgians) operating under restrictive caveats and ultimately withdrawing. In fact, it is not at all clear that contingents would have obeyed "orders" from the UNAMIR force commander to get more heavily engaged in trying to prevent mass killings, nor is it clear that they would have been that successful given their deployment and very modest numbers, capability, and mobility.

    Finally, I've noticed a tendency in DND to disparage Dallaire as an engineering officer with inadequate peacekeeping experience. However, I don't remember anyone at DND recommending that Canada offer an immediate augment of combat forces to UNAMIR when the blood was flowing in the streets...

    An excellent book on why and how the UN machinery did what it did is Michael Barnett's Eyewitness to Genocide.

    Thanks, Rex. I know nada about MacKenzie. Linda Melvern sent me that this AM because she is looking at the Mil Review article on AR2 and Rwanda

    Funny that DND would disparge the guy they picked for the job but then again look at the Pentagon in action. Agree completely with your concerns about abilities to actually intervene--at least as they apply to the forces under Dallaire at that time. The story inside the UN is indeed a sad one and the US was a key contributor to the mess. My key concern/insight is on the issue of understanding the nature of being a Force Commander.

    Best all,

    Gotta go sit out another friggin hurricane...

    Tom

  14. #74
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Dhakka would not have cared but Dallaire would not have used the Bangladeshis.
    Is that because they were incompetent?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Carl: Some countries contribute troops to UN missions just to earn hard currency. The troops committed are, not surprisingly, often quite indifferent, or worse.

    Sticking a toe into this whilst wearing hip-waders.

    Several years ago during Grad school, my adviser was scheduled to debate Gen. Dallaire on what UN forces should have done in Rwanda. He called me in to discuss the matter while he prepared for the debate; we agreed that whatever the risks, UN troops had to make the effort to stop or impede the unfolding genocide as best as possible, even going so far as to make a desperate stand in order to provoke a US or NATO-led rescue mission. In a comfortable office, and not having a fraction of the knowledge about the matter that I do now (which is still pitiable), it was easy to latch onto an alternative course of action. My adviser took this position to the debate with Gen. Dallaire. Years later, and rather better informed, I realize that if Gen. Dallaire was unable to handle the situation, it was not his fault. Now I rather regret the conclusions that we came to in my adviser's office years ago.

    Never met Gen. Dallaire, but met Gen. MacKenzie once, two or three months before he was sent to Sarajevo. A remarkable general, didn't talk down, at, or above you, and didn't put on an act. He introduced himself to us as being "from that other English-speaking Regiment", pointing to his PPCLI belt-buckle as he did so. It is interesting that Gen. MacKenzie is the hero of those in the Army who came to loathe the UN, while Gen. Dallaire has become the symbol of all the failed UN missions that Canadian troops have taken part in. Perhaps Gen. MacKenzie is right in what should have been done; but the reality was Gen. Dallaire probably could not have done it, but he did what he could. But MacKenzie himself is a man determined not to let the mistakes that occurred during the '90s happen again. I do not fault him for that.

    Rex: One of the Canadian officers with Dallaire in Kigali, Brent Beardsley, is instructing at McGill in recent years?

  16. #76
    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Tom,
    Great feedback and thanks for adding to my knowledge. I pulled out "Leading Up" again last night and reread Dallaire's chapter on his take on Rwanda plus with the added perspective from your comments. You have a lot more experience in this realm than I do. Even in Kosovo, we were part of a U.S. command with U.S. units. Dallaire's command consisted of a broad mix of different countries (24 was the total I think) and backgrounds. I agree totally with what you said regarding having units which follow your orders to the letter versus the strange world that is the U.N.

    I've got a PPCLI officer working a few cubes down from me in the HQs. I'll have to ask him if he knew either of these two Canadian Generals.

    Thanks all for the great discussion. Still a very relevant subject for all of our futures!


    Rex - we had Michael Barnett come and speak to our class last year at Fort Leavenworth. He discussed his take on the UN and used Rwanda as his case in point. Very disheartening to hear just how anemic the U.N.'s real power is when it comes to getting in between people trying to kill (or massacre) each other. He also gave a good pitch on his take on constructivism which was interesting in itself.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

  17. #77
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    Default Worse than that?

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Is that because they were incompetent?
    Carl,

    I recall - probably from Tom's book - that the Bangladeshi battallion "took the gap" and disintegrated, only to reform across the Ugandan border. A remarkable military achievement.

    Elsewhere you can find odd comments on the suitability of national contingents serving with the UN; diplomatically phrased in official UN reports on reforms needed in peacekeeping.

    Contrast the praise for the Jordanian infantry battallion in Eastern Slavonia (former Yugoslavia) and the almost complete absence of comment on the Egyptian battallion in Sarejevo, at the start of the Bosnian UN involvement (alongside French & Canadian units I recall).

    Yes, I accept very different situations.

    Meantime back to my armchair.

    davidbfpo

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    Default Rwandan AR2

    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cgi-bin/show...ename=2230.pdf

    In conjunction with the AR2 Article in MR, this is my monograph from SAMS last year.

    Major Powell

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    Default Response to Mr. Odom

    [QUOTE=Tom Odom;55861]I have not gone through the other articles but the one on Reconciliation in Rwanda is weak, poorly researched, and simplistic in its level of understanding. Considering I made available 2 US Ambassadors, and 2 Defense Attaches to support the project and none of us were contacted, I guess I should not be surprised."



    Mr. Odom,

    If you have the opportunity, please read my monograph which is hung at the bottom of this page.

    I think you will find that my research was in-depth, although it did not include an interview with you. I did review the slide show that you emailed to me (which you must not remember because of your assertion that we never had contact) and I did read your book and it was insightful and kindled my desire to read more about the genocide through academic means such as annotated literature and journal articles. I did read Ms. Melvern's book, and I thought it was magnificent. Overall, I read and researched 39 sources. At times, I felt like I slept with the UN Bluebook under my head. Unfortunately, I was only given 2750 words in MR and I failed to adequately communicate all of my knowledge for two reasons; 1) the article was written at the beginning of my research in August and September, 2) I did not want to come off as accusatory toward a NATO ally.

    I would like to refute something directly from the SWJ Board; The assertion below this posting that Habyarimana's plane was shot down in Dar es Salam is categorically incorrect. It was shot down on approach to Kigali.

    I would love to continue this discussion if anyone else would like to critique my monograph and the article.

    I feel that it is a solid piece of academic work.

    Major Jeff Powell
    Last edited by jhpowell2; 09-25-2008 at 03:25 AM.

  20. #80
    Council Member Michael F's Avatar
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    Default Article review

    Sir,

    Because there seems to be a misunderstanding in your post, I feel it is necessary to clarify a few points.

    Please read my previous post again… I refered to historical and geographical errors:

    Historic: You wrote “On his return flight, Hutu extremists in the Presidential Guard shot down his plane….” That’s a blunt, non academic statement. It’s an opinion. Academics as well as magistrates around the world are divided about this question. Stating it was done by the Presidential Guard is choosing one and only one of the multiple scenario (FPR, Mercenaries, French military,…). This is (and will probably remain) an enigma.

    Geographical: I never doubted the plane was shot on approach to Kigali. If you read back my post, I just make a quote out of your article....page 86 “During this effort, Rwanda’s President Habyari¬mana flew to Dar-es-Salaam, Burundi, to meet with other signatories of the accords.”
    Dar-es-Salaam is not in Burundi but in Tanzania……

    I did not mention other historic errors.

    One of the most surprising is about the 1996 RPA intervention in then Zaire “The RPA incursion also led to the Zaire government’s fall and a UN Mission that secured the Zaire-Rwandan border”. You surely refer to resolution 1080 which gives the UN green light to a Multinational operation (led by CAN General Barrill) in the great lakes BUT…..:

    •Its mandate was not to secure the border but to help and protect the refugees, allow them to return to Rwanda,
    •It only lasted a month.

    It did not have the mandate or the time to “secured the Zaire-Rwandan border” as you write.
    (Confer http://www.journal.dnd.ca/frgraph/vo...df/11-20_f.pdf)

    Sir, i do not doubt you did your best to write this article, i do know for a fact that any article is unperfect (because we are humans after all) and criticizing is easy, and i will be pleased to further discuss this with you on this forum or via mail.

    Michael F

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