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Thread: Sudan Watch (to July 2012)

  1. #41
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default time to rethink the UN military sourcing

    I hate to say this but, the effectiveness of UN PK forces has been very suspect for a long time. I hate to say this becuase it is often seen as a slam against non-western militaries ability and professionalism. It is also seen as elitist. That said here goes, the idea of a stand alone UN military force is written into the UN Charter, the capacity fielding this force exists yet it is not politically viable. Too many questions on command and control, loyalty etc.

    Stand by for controversy:

    What the UN should do is higher Blackwater or another firm, combination of firms, to provide professional uniformed military forces. The quality would go up, the quantity could be a problem but that is a $ thing. But the money is there note--The amount of money spent to higher say Bangladeshi troops is huge, and then you have to pay extra to arm and equip them. By resorting to PMC's the UN could build effective first rate forces, that are governed by the UN (new international SOFA style and UCMJ style rules would have to be created) commanded by the UN and sanctioned by the UN. Note Blackwater ahs stated they could outfit a battalion fairly easily. This could at least provide a professional QRF. The existance of a quality QRF could stiffen the resolve of the other forces.

  2. #42
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    While it may make all the sense in the world to go with a PMC solution, the member states would never go for it...no matter how painful it would be to go without.

    That's one of the greatest failings of the utopian-esque drama that is called the UN. Country prestige is one of the foremost things on the mind of contributing states. Second most important is likely keeping their soldiers happy with a little extra pay (which US forces see none of when part of these lash-ups).

    Add to this the fact that Blackwater is a PMC that grew up within the belly of the great Satan, and the idea will go over like a fart in church. I'm talking about likely resistance from the Canadians and Norwegians too, who have their own peacekeeping academies.

    Blackwater will not be able to break free of the mercenary perception, no matter how hard it tries, so it will probably remain relegated to support services and smaller-level security details.

    Again, it doesn't matter that Blackwater can do it better. Half the answer has nothing to do with capability.

  3. #43
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    That's one of the greatest failings of the utopian-esque drama that is called the UN. Country prestige is one of the foremost things on the mind of contributing states. Second most important is likely keeping their soldiers happy with a little extra pay (which US forces see none of when part of these lash-ups).

    Again, it doesn't matter that Blackwater can do it better. Half the answer has nothing to do with capability.
    Very true. In the 90s, developing countries used UN peacekeeping deployments as means of getting free equipment and money from first world nations. The results speak for themselves: How effective was UNOSOM (sp?), the effort in Rwanda, or any number of other operations? Then there was the case of some African troops (forget which country) molesting and killing children during a peacekeeping operation.

    These operations only have any effect when backed by the muscle of a committed modern military power, and even then they are dicey (see UNOSOM).

    I think the whole concept of peacekeeping operations needs to be rethought - though not abandoned - and certainly the way they are conducted.

    A thought to keep in mind though: many in the US don't like the UN, and don't like us paying money and backing peacekeeping operations, but they're destined to fail almost automatically if we or other modern powers don't commit.

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  4. #44
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Very true. In the 90s, developing countries used UN peacekeeping deployments as means of getting free equipment and money from first world nations. The results speak for themselves: How effective was UNOSOM (sp?),
    I was thinking specifically of UNOSOM as I typed my first reply. I watched UNOSOM spiral into a morass after the US withdrew in March, 1994, and those observations frame my views on peacekeeping to this day. I'm trying to break that cycle, but it is very hard.

  5. #45
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default bear with me for second

    JCustis, give me a second, i'll put away the crack pipe . I fully realize and understand the reality vs the intent (or dream) of the UN. I've had ample opportunity to study UN Ops. Red tape, and heavy handed management, look just at the standard of 80% administrative fees for most operations to see the possibility for corruption and theft is great. I futher fully understand the general US disgruntlement with the UN, seeing it as nearly a parasite and place where the US gets dragged through the mud, called the devil by petty dictators etc. There is a lot to dislike about the UN.

    What I see here however is this. The President thas labled the activity in Darfur as a Genocide, the why of this could be debated, the President hass also called African relations a Vital National Interest, again debatable but he did it and therefor it is so. YET except for the slow, near plodding and confused stand up of USAFRICOM, some activity in the HOA and minor supports in other areas (Trans Sahara & Sahel Initiatives training militaries) we haven't done much. Truth be told we cannot spare troops for these areas even if we wanted to, not with current activity elsewhere. A new approach needs be set cause we risk looking foolish and ineffective once again.

    Further, the standard in the UN is that nothing in the General Assembly matters, it is all rhetoric. the GA has a part in establishing the budget and managing the overall efforts of the subcommitees and groups like UNICEF. Where we are concerned in Chapter VI and VII action only decisions in the Security Council truly matter. Decsions as we all know in the SC require unanimity due to the Veto power of the big 5 not an easy thing to get. Yet for Darfur, for various reasons each unique to each country the decision to support a deployment of troops ahs been passed. Money is now being rasied, troops are being organized (@90% light or motorized infantry). A 'robust' ROE (that too is debatable) is being established. In other words a lot of the UN and the Security Council permanent 5's reputation has been put on the line.

    What i said in my first post still stands, the pool of forces available to the UN is mainly infantry, little to no Log, Com, and other Staffing functions. The US will kick in strategic lift to get the infantry in country, but it will end there. Who provides the in country lift? The Canadians? Nope-they have a great deal for the UN they provide QRF for insert and extract ops, they do not provide helo squadrons for other UN forces.

    The US could give helicopters to the UN for use in country, we have a large fleet of old birds UH1, CH 46 etc that would fit the bill. But who do we give them to, who can we trust not to take them and sell them off? Who provides the pilots, the ground crews? Here is an opportunity for a PMC. There are a good number of retired, and other former military pilots who would buy into this as well the ground crews. It probably wouldnt be to hard to piece together two squadrons of helos for the operation from former military folks. And I made a mistake by mentioning the buzz word 'black water' group I should have just said PMC, becuase PMC's are growing, England, France both have them.

    The UN has outsourced security in the past, they already hire PMC's to provide security for their diplomats, it is not that far of a stretch. Remember in 1999 PSC were declared dead, the actions of Sandline/Executive Outcomes had apparently seen to that. But then the need for private security began to grow quietly and today 20k + work in Iraq. In 1980's US military the thought of a PMC providing support in warzone would have been seen as nuts.

    If someone can figure out a way to turn a profit from providing military/paramilitary support to the UN it will/could happen. Think of this. If you could sell the idea to a few influential US Senators and who control the $ flow to the UN. Then get the US and some NATO forces to donate old UH1's and CH46, CH47's. Then allow for open recruitment of retired/former military pilots and ground crews. Kick in a few purchases of a few Russian birds, maybe a chinese aircontrol radar and you could have a deal.

    I'll leave it at this, since wee have put our word out that the Genocide must be stopped then we need to ensure this effort works. Since we are commited elswhere and couldnt raise the support for US troops to go then US national prestige is on the line. PMC's could be the way to go. There is nothing utopian in this analysis.

  6. #46
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Troufion,

    Copy on all. There are a number of quiet professionals already working within the shadows, supporting peacekeeping/security cooperation on the continent.

    ICI of Oregon is just one company, and frankly, they have a ton more experience than Blackwater or probably any other PMC, within the African context. I see your point though, and yes, the generic brand of PMC is easier to swallow for outsiders that the specific one hanging its hat in Moyock.

    We're on the same sheet of music. I just think that support services are the biggest player. I do not feel that BW's battalion-level capability is tenable for the foreseeable future though.

    I agree that utilizing PMC support services could prove more efficient in the long run.
    Last edited by jcustis; 09-04-2007 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #47
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    In Darfur, From Genocide to Anarchy - Washington Post, 28 Aug.

    Imagine you are a U.S. Special Forces officer and you get a call: You are being posted to Darfur. Your job is to protect African villagers from marauding Arab horsemen and to show the Sudanese security chiefs that their bluff has been called -- at last, the international community is standing up to their evil schemes.

    What can you expect? According to news reports, a sort of slow-motion Rwanda in the desert. What will you find on arrival? A reality that's complicated and messy. A Darfur that has more in common with Chad, southern Sudan and -- dare we say it? -- Somalia.

    In Darfur today, knowing who is on which side is not straightforward. The savage counterinsurgency offensives, with their massacres and scorched earth, that Colin Powell called "genocide" in September 2004 had in fact largely concluded by the time Powell made that historic determination. This isn't a moral exculpation; it's simply a fact. It's also been a regular sequence in Sudan's recurrent wars over the past 25 years. Episodes of intense brutality and mass displacement are followed by longer periods of anarchic internecine fighting, ably exploited by the government.

    Because the vanguard of government offensives is tribal paramilitaries -- well known to prefer soft civilian targets to hardened rebels -- the result of each offensive is a fractured and demoralized society in which every group is armed and most leaders cut opportunistic alliances to preserve their power bases. The warlords who prosper in this environment deal only in the currency of power, switching alliances as their calculus shifts ...
    Sounds like ... Diyala?

  8. #48
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default AU peacekeepers killed by attacking rebels-CNN 30 Sept 07

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa....ap/index.html

    DURAIJ, Sudan (AP) -- A large force of rebels stormed an African Union peacekeeping base in Darfur, killing at least a dozen soldiers and wounding several others in the biggest attack on the mission so far, the AU said Sunday.

    More than 50 AU peacekeepers and support personnel are missing in action since the attack on the base in northern Darfur just after sunset on Saturday.

    "This is the heaviest loss of life and the biggest attack on the African Union mission," said AU spokesman Noureddine Mezni, who could not confirm the casualty figures because the fighting was ongoing.
    More at the link, but does anyone have an easily referenced info source for this snippet?
    The underfunded force has been unable to stem the fighting in the war torn western region and will soon be merged into a much more powerful hybrid U.N. force.

    The first units of the 26,000-strong force will be deployed in October and it is expected to assume responsibility for the area on December 31.

  9. #49
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default peacekeeping force weakness exploited

    From a survey of the open source reports it would appear 150 peacekeepers, basically mech-motorized infantry company, were attacked by about 1000 irregular troops who weilded mortars, and heavy machine guns. Apparently the peackeepers held out for several hours until their ammunition ran out. They had to rely on rescue by the Sudanese Army.

    Once again the UN/AU shows its weakness. no air support-no ready action QRF, unless you consider the sudanese army-the guys you are partially there to police. An airstrike or two would have most likely broken the attack. Oh well. Also note some of the African nations who promised troops are starting to back out. I can't blame them if they feel they are sending troops into hamrs way without the proper support.

  10. #50
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Also note some of the African nations who promised troops are starting to back out. I can't blame them if they feel they are sending troops into hamrs way without the proper support.
    Got any links? This whole UN-AU things smells, in my mind. cobbled together, not 100% ready to mobilize and deploy, etc. There are several spots on the CNN website that speak to a few of the issues, and I fear that these problems will be construed as an easy crutch for not doing anything.

  11. #51
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Jcustis,

    I believe they where NIBATT's involved. I know they did have two NIBATTs deployed several months ago on AMIL to AU mission. The statement of running out of ammo came from NIBATT soldier.

    As far as who was responsible.

    JEM can say all they want about they were not part of the attack, but G-19 militia has teamed with JEM in past. G-19 primarily operates in Northern part of SUDAN. At least that is my opinion.

    Sudan - Darfur: Humanitarian Profile - Sept 2007 Reported Incidents
    http://www.unsudanig.org/library/map...ber%202007.pdf

    Main Website
    http://www.unsudanig.org/index.php
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 10-01-2007 at 05:17 PM. Reason: additional info

  12. #52
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default couple articles on the attack

    Both Nigeria and Senegal are threatening to back out and or send less troops.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071001/...MFcK17EoEE1vAI

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071001...Ziswo8IlwE1vAI


  13. #53
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Divided They Fall: The Fragmentation of Darfur’s Rebel Groups

    Particular interest is page 48, Non-signatory SLA factions. Since 2003, smaller groups have broken off from SLA/JEM and are forming new ones. Mainly to have a seat in the upcoming peace talks.

    Divided They Fall: The Fragmentation of Darfur’s Rebel Groups


    The G-19, an SLA splinter group that emerged in March 2006, has become the main rebel group in Darfur since the DPA was signed. It was originally formed by 19 commanders from North Darfur who said they rejected both Minni’s authoritarianism and abuses and Abdel-Wahid’s weakness. Some came on board before the Haskanita conference, but most joined at the northern commanders’ meeting in Karo, Bir Mazza, in December 2005.
    In May 2006, the G-19 still had no more than 15 vehicles: by early October, five months later, it was estimated to possess around 100 vehicles, mostly taken from government forces and SLA-Minni. The fighting force is now thought to be about 5,000, almost all in North Darfur.98 The G-19 is said to recruit with ease among the Zaghawa refugee camps in eastern Chad, but it lacks the weapons to arm its new fighters.

    Making Sense of Darfur: Watch Kordofan

    In the coming year, Kordofan is at serious risk of large scale violence—and any such violence could have disastrous ramifications for the whole of Sudan. Here’s why.

    The central political issues in Sudan today are the 2009 general elections and the 2011 referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan. If either of these were to fail, the prospect of major hostilities looms. Kordofan is the location of several possible flashpoints for war, and should there be a new war for any reason, it is certain that it would engulf Kordofan and cause immense human suffering.

    There are five particular causes for concern........
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 10-02-2007 at 10:48 AM.

  14. #54
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    ICG, 26 Nov 07: Darfur's New Security Reality
    The Darfur conflict has not lent itself to quick solutions. It has evolved from a rebellion with relatively defined political aims to a conflict increasingly overshadowed by shifting alliances, defections, regional and international meddling and a growing, complex tribal dimension. This is particularly true since the signing of the DPA. The NCP is behind this transition and the continued tribalisation of the conflict; it has been deft at pulling strings to divide the rebels, empower Arab allies, generate mistrust, and minimise the space for Darfurians to unite around a common political vision and oppose the regime in upcoming elections. It has also expanded its control by institutionalising the demographic shifts and creating new localities.

    The rebel factions have been unable to maintain a unified focus and have instead descended into a spiral of infighting and splintering, exasperating outside attempts to bring them together. They, like the NCP, have refused to adhere to previous ceasefires. Some have even tried to widen the conflict into the Kordofans, encouraging local uprising and insurgency. Many Arab groups, previously engaged in the conflict solely as elements of the counter-insurgency, have also entered the fray, as they have grown more frustrated with the NCP or have wanted to secure their gains in Darfur. The DPA signatories, despite signing up to a peace deal, have been a generally destabilising presence on the ground as well. The consequences of all of this have been felt the hardest by the millions of Darfurians who continue to be displaced, as well as by the humanitarian agencies that are increasingly under siege.

    For some time, there was a lack of sustained international peacemaking engagement – beyond rhetoric – with most efforts focused on peacekeeping. Much energy was spent, commendably, to ensure that a hybrid operation would be able take over from the ailing AMIS but there is now the risk that the stronger UNAMID force will arrive in Darfur with no peace to keep. Nevertheless, this is not a reason to rush; for the AU/UN mediation effort to be successful, it must avoid the trap of thinking there are quick fixes. Peace talks are the first step in a long process but they require broader participation, including that of women, to be successful.

    International efforts at peacemaking and peacekeeping must take advantage of the delay in the Libya talks and adapt to the changes in the nature and dynamics of the conflict. They must also effectively pressure the NCP to cease its devastating policies of demographic manipulation. To date, little has been done to hold the NCP accountable. Failure to respond appropriately would leave the international community as an unwitting accomplice to the beginnings of Sudan’s next civil war.
    Complete 41 page paper at the link.

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    Default Sudanese Universities as Sites of Social Transformation

    USIP, 21 Feb 08: Sudanese Universities as Sites of Social Transformation
    Summary

    • Education is an important resource for any country, but it is especially valuable in spreading the values that transform a wartime society into one with a culture of peace.

    • Some of the structural inequities besetting the educational system in Sudan today stem from the colonial period and policies set during the early days of independence.

    • Efforts to unify the country through an Arabic national curriculum caused resentment and alienation in the non-Arab communities and exacerbated civil conflicts.

    • Sudanese universities have historically been the incubators of political change in Sudan, and student unions in particular have retained a tradition of vibrant—and sometimes violent—political activity.

    • The education revolution implemented by the current regime in the 1990s overextended Sudanese universities, resulting in an extreme teacher deficit and the degradation of university resources and degrees.

    • Various additional policies had the effect of intimidating university students and teachers, changing the atmosphere on campuses and leading to a nonreflective focus on exam results and to little intellectual exchange.

    • In the interim period between the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the general election, a new openness allowed universities to begin to revive their historical intellectual traditions. This openness will be vital for securing peace with the South and for eventually reconciling Darfur and the East.

    • A productive model has been illustrated by efforts to engage Sudanese universities with their local communities as sites for the development and sharing of public information, culture, and the acceptance of difference.

    • The international community should advocate creative collaboration, research, and teaching exchanges both to and from Sudan, encourage international conferences involving Sudanese students and faculty, and pay active attention to restoring Sudanese libraries and research facilities.

    • Sudanese education officials, university faculty, and civil-society organizations should work together to counter four key educational problems: the lack of exposure to critical thinking and research skills; the lack of vibrant extracurricular life; the alienation of universities from their local communities; and the recurring pattern of violent student activism.
    Complete 12 page paper at the link.

  16. #56
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    Default SITREP: Southern Sudan-Juba

    Many of the readers know of Sudan as primarily the ongoing crisis in Darfur.Between 1983 and January of 2005, Sudan experienced the longest continuous civil war in Africa.* The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed on January 9, 2005 between the then National Islamic Front (NIF)-now termed the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the political component of the Sudan People's Liberation Army/SPLA.* John Garang, the infamous bush fighter turned leader of the SPLA headed up essentially both the SPLA and the SPLM.* Garang was killed in a helicopter "accident" after returning with a meeting in Uganda with its president in July of 2005.

    I deployed under a DOD advisory contract in March of 2002 in support of cease fire agreement in Nuba Mountains-Nuba was a five mountain chain adjacent to the oil pipeline from Unity State..just south of Nuba Mts (South Kordafan).* Parties agreed to the following: The SPLA would cease cutting the oil pipeline, while the north (NIF) would allow humanitarian relief into Nuba Mts. which had been essentially cut of from all aid for many years.The cease fire in Nuba Mts was the first step in bring the parties together which culiminated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on January 9, 2005.

    The US along with Britain have been supporters of the SPLA in part due to the radical Islamic government headed by the current President Bashir in Khartoum.* You may recall UBL headquartered for a time in Sudan in the mid=1990's before being pushed out moving to the border areas of Afghanistan-Pakistan.OK, movin fast forward..in comes the UN and as part of the planning post was southern Sudan, the mission to "transform" the SPLA into a professional military organization.* The USG government contract was awarded to Dyncorp.* I joined the advisory mission to the SPLA in November of 2007.

    Lessons Learned:

    (1) Dyncorp was wholly un-prepared for the mission-

    (2) The Program Manager was former military who worked as liaison officer with State and essentially built the advisory program, and in doing so worked his way into the contract for $240,000 per year.* The result was a person totally unqualified to lead a mission of this importance in Sudan..and perhaps anyplace.

    (3) Relationships within the government continually give rise to intra-personal situations not for the purpose of the mission, but to "buy" a job post retirement from government service or the military.

    (4) Outsourcing critical training components of the US foreign policy to companies who really do not care about the mission, but rather are concerned about profits.

    (5) Visited several times by former US Army generals (retired) who meant well in their collective presence, but everyone knew they "sold" their connections for income opportunities-this fact seems so apparent.

    (6) The recruitment of "advisors" included several with severe health issues; one fellow on Prozac, while others were totally un-qualified for the positions.* At issue..the company just could not find as required in the USG Statement of Work (SOW) qualified people when considering the competition from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.So, you say..why did you stay...well, I didn't.*

    In short, the US is thin on fulfilling its worldwide mission.* We need to re-think our committments and provide the resources neccesary, otherwise, more harm than good will result as in the case of providing competent military advisors... called the Training & Advisory Team (TAT) mission to Southern Sudan in support of the Sudan People's LIberation Army/SPLA.
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 05-05-2008 at 06:21 PM. Reason: ease in reading

  17. #57
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Gordon's Ghost

    Many of the readers know of Sudan as primarily the ongoing crisis in Darfur.Between 1983 and January of 2005, Sudan experienced the longest continuous civil war in Africa.*
    And in doing so beat its own previous record of 14 years of civil war that ended in 1975 as I recall...

    John Garang, the infamous bush fighter turned leader of the SPLA headed up essentially both the SPLA and the SPLM.* Garang was killed in a helicopter "accident" after returning with a meeting in Uganda with its president in July of 2005.
    And was the college classmate of my 3rd ex-wife, whom I met while we were in Sudan. Garang is one of those figures who was hero to some and devil to others. He was also labeled both terrorist and freedom fighter.

    The US along with Britain have been supporters of the SPLA in part due to the radical Islamic government headed by the current President Bashir in Khartoum.*
    In this latest iteration, yes, In the earlier stages when I was there we were trying to walk the line and attempted to discourage the Khartoum government from declaring Shariah in 1983. When that failed we tried to convince Nmeri not to enforce it.That partially restarted the war--what really got it going was US oil exploration in the south and the exploitation of that by the Arab north, The southern rebels shut that down in 1984 when they attacked the camp at Malakal, killing several expatriate workers.

    I am not surprised thet Dyncorp couldn't do the job, nor am I surprised that they took the contract. Damn few folks know anything about the Sudan and most are happy to use ignorance as a carte blanche to do what they want according to various agendas.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 05-05-2008 at 06:39 PM.

  18. #58
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by negotiator6 View Post
    Lessons Learned:

    (1) Dyncorp was wholly un-prepared for the mission-

    (2) The Program Manager was former military who worked as liaison officer with State and essentially built the advisory program, and in doing so worked his way into the contract for $240,000 per year.* The result was a person totally unqualified to lead a mission of this importance in Sudan..and perhaps anyplace.

    (3) Relationships within the government continually give rise to intra-personal situations not for the purpose of the mission, but to "buy" a job post retirement from government service or the military.

    (4) Outsourcing critical training components of the US foreign policy to companies who really do not care about the mission, but rather are concerned about profits.
    A sad state of affairs, but not at all surprising that the responsible individuals at the US Embassy would not engage. Keep in mind the contracting officer(s) is/are nearly the most junior officer(s) with the least amount of experience, and already a full plate to deal with before he/she/they pull(s) plug at the 2-year mark.

    It takes but one individual to get the IG fired up (I've done it twice while on active duty... it works, albeit slowly).

    Quote Originally Posted by negotiator6 View Post
    (5) Visited several times by former US Army generals (retired) who meant well in their collective presence, but everyone knew they "sold" their connections for income opportunities-this fact seems so apparent.
    Hmmm, all our 'visitors' were either in 'government' or still on active duty !
    We used to call that "gettin' your passport stamped "Goma" in the event there would be awards or potential presidential candidates in near future"

    Quote Originally Posted by negotiator6 View Post
    (6) The recruitment of "advisors" included several with severe health issues; one fellow on Prozac, while others were totally un-qualified for the positions.* At issue..the company just could not find as required in the USG Statement of Work (SOW) qualified people when considering the competition from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.So, you say..why did you stay...well, I didn't.*
    Two California-based contractors with shady pasts employing Rwandan and Nigerian soldiers under the (ahem) watchful eye of the African Union? Better yet, a five-year open-ended State Department task order... Yep, sounds just about right.

    Hard to find qualified people to work for nothing in Africa these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by negotiator6 View Post
    In short, the US is thin on fulfilling its worldwide mission.* We need to re-think our committments and provide the resources neccesary, otherwise, more harm than good will result as in the case of providing competent military advisors... called the Training & Advisory Team (TAT) mission to Southern Sudan in support of the Sudan People's LIberation Army/SPLA.
    I concur with you ! Do you feel AFRICOM will come up with qualified active duty personnel to fulfill all our political commitments in Africa ? Having spent a decade in DRC (then Zaire), I can't imagine just how much it would take to turn things around. We had the qualified personnel and literally unlimited budgets, but the problem was far more difficult than D.C. could ever fathom.

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  19. #59
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default Heavy gunfire heard west of Sudan capital

    This is just being reported so not a lot of info right now. If anyone is on the ground there, would be interested in hearing more about this.

    http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnMCD049604.html

  20. #60
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Omdurman with the Karari training area is west of Khartoum. The Infantry, Armor, Artillery, and ADA centers are all out that way. Hard to say,,,

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