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Old 12-23-2013   #21
davidbfpo
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There is a new backgrounder on the situation, the author is familiar with Africa and has worked on AU peacekeeping before. Within the conclusion is this salutary reminder:
Quote:
More than a dozen peace support operations have been deployed since 1996 and none has made any substantive progress in addressing the root causes of the CAR’s chronic lack of governance and security.
Link:http://oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/pu...al_african_rep

There is a SWJBlog item on the USA saving CAR from being another Rwanda, with to date three comments: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/the...another-rwanda
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Old 01-10-2014   #22
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Default The Few. The Proud. The Insufficient.

At least, that's Deutsche Welle's analysis, French troops fail to stop the violence in CAR:

Quote:
France launched Operation Sangaris one month ago in a bid to stop the catastrophe unfolding in the Central African Republic. But the violence has only escalated, and the number of displaced has risen to one million.
...
One reason for the failure of the mission was that there were not enough soldiers, said Jean-Claude Allard, director of research at the French Institute for International and Strategic Relations. "With 1,600 soldiers, how can you even police Bangui, which has almost one million inhabitants?" Even the planned increase of MISCA troops to 6,000 would not be enough to restore security, according to Allard.

French troops are powerless

What is even more problematic than insufficient troop strength is that "there is no political solution to the conflict in sight," Allard said. For them to still achieve their goals, the international community and France would have to stay in Central Africa for a long time, Allard said. A "brief" deployment – the French government had spoken of about six months – is out of the question.
....
Stan's comments to the SWJ article on CAR (cited by David in the prior post) are well founded in reality (something not understood by avid interveners and state builders) - here's some Stan:

Quote:
100M or even the 700M that I had at my disposal in the 80s and 90s would not fix Rwanda then and not CAR now. We lack engagement because the cold war is over and a tiny land-locked country with little to offer is not enticing enough for the American people nor USG. No surprises there !

You can’t prevent something you know little about. We suck at Africa and we have no investment other than appeasing our European partners with airlift. Rwanda then, CAR now.

Do you seriously think an MSG is going to change things ? Why ? Modern comms ? How about old fashion real intel work on the ground with the locals ? If the embassy does an evac, it’s because the insurance costs for all those souls is far more costly than a slight black eye. Done it 4 times and it doesn’t get better. All the gear in the world won’t save your alpha when you are not authorized to return fire. DUH !

What difference does it make if the embassy and DAO are fully manned ? Underfunded ? We do that all the time. Under strength ? We do that to this day. What’s the point ?

Investing in preventing something we know nothing about is anything but cheap. We do not need an engagement with boots and equipment in a country that will go Tango Uniform with the next dictator. Providing resources so they can do what ? Kill their own civilians ? Done that too bro ! ...
And so it seems to go on ... and on.

Regards

Mike

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Old 01-18-2014   #23
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Default Of Cannibals and Kings

You may or may not buy Marvin Harris; but, let's start with kings - actually, the lack thereof.

NY Times, Last-Ditch Effort Emerges to Restore Order in Central African Republic (by ADAM NOSSITER, JAN. 17, 2014):

Quote:
BANGUI, Central African Republic — By midafternoon, a hot breeze blows down empty corridors of the mostly vacant national assembly building here. Hundreds of grim soldiers, their uniforms looted or hidden away, mass in civilian clothes after going AWOL for months. Around abandoned university buildings, idle students loiter, their classes long canceled.

The state no longer exists in the Central African Republic. Civil servants do not go to their offices, taxes are not collected and all the schools are closed. There is no budget, no army, no police force, no president, no Parliament, no judges or jails, and at least a fifth of the population has fled. After nine months of violence and well over a thousand dead since early December alone, Christians and Muslims fear and attack one another. Neighbor has turned against neighbor, and every night there are killings.

Now, an unlikely experiment in instant nation-building is underway: a vote for president. Inspired equally by desperation and pressure from abroad, a “national transition council” of 135 rebels, rivals, politicians and everyone in between is making a last-ditch lunge for order, hoping to choose a new leader for this fractured country within days. ...
Samantha Power can photo-op as much as she wants,



but the US is not about to solve this problem - even if we engage Cass Sunstein.

Cuz, here we have la piece de resistance, which takes us back to the NYT article:

Quote:
Last week, dozens here witnessed the depths of the sectarian tensions as a young Muslim man was pulled from a minibus, stabbed and beaten to death, then burned and cut up by a mob of 15 young Christian men.

Quote:
“I killed him, then I sucked his blood,” said Magloire Wounthnga, a 15-year-old dropout and orphan, with a sharp machete stuffed into his trousers, a dagger at his side and a thick tangle of beads and crucifixes hanging from his neck. “I burned him, then I ate him, with bread and manioc paste.”
Mr. Wounthnga said he was merely taking revenge because the Seleka had killed his pregnant sister. Next to him, His friend Stany Noakpe, 21, also said he had acted in a spirit of revenge. Their neutral tones spoke to the entrenched antagonism between Christians and the minority Muslim population here — and to the difficult task that confronts the transition council members in alleviating it.
Mr Wounthnga's recipe seems more substantial than the good doctor's side dish of fava beans - although one might want to include a nice chianti (Youtube).

Regards

Mike

PS: "Lead Photo: U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power meets with peacekeepers from Burundi in the Central African Republic." [link] From Burundi ! You can't get much better (Rwanda, Congo) - these troopers seem a civilized 21st century lot, but are they ?

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Old 01-20-2014   #24
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Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
PS: "Lead Photo: U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power meets with peacekeepers from Burundi in the Central African Republic." [link] From Burundi ! You can't get much better (Rwanda, Congo) - these troopers seem a civilized 21st century lot, but are they ?
Hey Mike !

Water bottles, dark shades and clean uniforms with spit-shined boots and then this....

Quote:
A top U.S. diplomat known for her expertise in genocide arrived in the violence-wracked Central African Republic on Thursday to gauge the growing sectarian unrest there between Christians and Muslims.
Not civilized, but prepared for Western diplomats and donations

Regards, Stan

PS. I bet she was itching to be out of there fast !
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Old 01-21-2014   #25
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The Feel Good Pointless Gesture of 2014 -

Quote:
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will send up to 1,000 soldiers to help stabilise Central African Republic, deploying its first major army operation in six years, EU foreign ministers decided on Monday.

The EU has been spurred into action by communal bloodshed in Central African Republic that led a senior U.N. official to warn last week of a risk of genocide there without a more decisive international response.
Quote:
It is not yet clear which EU countries will contribute troops. Estonia has promised soldiers, and Lithuania, Slovenia, Finland, Belgium, Poland and Sweden are among countries considering sending troops, diplomats say.

Large EU countries such as Britain, Germany and Italy have said they will not send ground troops.
http://news.yahoo.com/eu-send-milita...153247800.html
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Old 01-25-2014   #26
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There has been some reporting on the situation in CAR, mainly in the capital where it is clear control remains elusive. Thomas Fessy, the BBC World Service (French service), tweets most days and is worth following @bbcfessy

As for other EU nations supplying forces "that'll be the day". I did spot a French agency report that the Franco-German brigade was an option; it appears FRG declined that. For several years now NATO / EU have maintained 'standby' brigades for such operations, so sending a thousand soldiers - as cited - looks like a piecemeal response.

HRW have issued a new report, which on a quick read is a good backgrounder:http://www.hrw.org/node/121434/section/1

A glimpse into the operational, logistic realities:http://www.stripes.com/news/for-us-f...reminder=later
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Old 01-25-2014   #27
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Default Now Rwanda

From my last post:

Quote:
You can't get much better (Rwanda, Congo) ...
which was me being a bit of a snark - based on past genocidal histories. So, USA, why not troopies from Rwanda and Congo ?

And, Presto:



Quote:
Rwandan soldiers form up after a C-17 Globemaster III based out of McChord Air Force Base, Wash., dropped them off in the Central African Republic on Jan. 19, 2014. [from David's Stars & Stripes link]
To be fair, and based on past professional comments by others at SWC about Rwandan troops, they might be the best African troops to send.

The choice of language in the HRW report is interesting - because it mixes "peacekeeping" with Chapter VII; from David's link:

Quote:
To the United Nations Security Council

• Authorize the deployment of a multi-dimensional UN peacekeeping mission under Chapter VII of the UN Charter with a robust mandate and the means to protect civilians, promote human rights, and create an environment conducive to the delivery of humanitarian aid.
...
To France, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, and Other Concerned Governments

• Support the creation of a UN peacekeeping mission under Chapter VII of the UN Charter with a robust mandate and the means to protect civilians, promote human rights, and create an environment conducive to the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Traditionally, peacekeeping has been under Chapter VI of the Charter; whereas peace enforcement has been under Chapter VII of the Charter. Chapter VI puts the blue hats under peacetime rules of engagement; Chapter VII puts them under wartime rules of engagement.

"Humanitarian interventionists" (to include HRW and Samantha Power) have a tendency to sugarcoat their interventions; so as to distinguish them from operations by those bad "military interventionists".

Regards

Mike

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Old 01-25-2014   #28
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Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post

The choice of language in the HRW report is interesting - because it mixes "peacekeeping" with Chapter VII; from David's link:



Traditionally, peacekeeping has been under Chapter VI of the Charter; whereas peace enforcement has been under Chapter VII of the Charter. Chapter VI puts the blue hats under peacetime rules of engagement; Chapter VII puts them under wartime rules of engagement.
UN peacekeeping has evolved considerably over the last 15 years or so. Since UNAMSIL in 1999, almost all new PKOs have been authorized under Chapter VII to use force to uphold all or part of their mandates (which isn't to say they do so consistently).

Of the nearly 98,000 troops and police currently deployed to PKOs, 97% are serving under Chapter VII mandates.

The ROE for Chapter VII PKOs are certainly stronger than Chapter VI, but aren't quite 'wartime' - there are still some significant limitations for offensive ops. That said, a lot of depends on how the civilian mission leadership and military commanders on the ground choose to interpret them.

It's worth noting though that ONUC went to war against Tshombe's Katangan separatists in the 1960s under a mandate that didn't specify either chapter of the UN Charter. It just said 'go do it.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post

"Humanitarian interventionists" (to include HRW and Samantha Power) have a tendency to sugarcoat their interventions; so as to distinguish them from operations by those bad "military interventionists".

Regards

Mike
I think that's painting with too broad a brush. No question there are some that don't understand military ops whatsoever, but there are others who do (Marc Garlasco, for example).
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Old 01-25-2014   #29
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Reading that Stars & Stripes story about the C-17s flying in central Africa made me smile. New pilots always react like that 'Wow, there's no radar.' 'Wow, those people on the ground are walking right next to the runway.' 'Wow, those controllers can be hard to understand.' I was the same way. After a while it is 'Ok there is a family of six walking across the runway about halfway down. Hmm, they should be out of the way by the time I get there. Drive on.'

What those crews didn't say is what hardships they face are more than made up for by getting to live in Entebbe. Boy what a nice place that is.
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Old 01-26-2014   #30
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Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post

"Humanitarian interventionists" (to include HRW and Samantha Power) have a tendency to sugarcoat their interventions; so as to distinguish them from operations by those bad "military interventionists".

Regards

Mike
Mike,
Great pics as always !

A few of my own herein for your viewing pleasure.

2 of 5 C5s that descended on Ndjili airport under the guise of humanitarian roles to send hawk missile batteries to Chad along the Libyan border. Once in Zaire, the cargo would have to be transferred to AN124 aircraft that were freshly painted white with blue UN painted onto the fuselages. The nearly sober Ukrainian flight crew would supposedly then deliver the batteries. In the end, with the AN crew in town and trashed, our camouflaged birds ended up delivering the cargo anyway.

Didn’t take long for a political party to arrive in one of many versions of Air Force 1. Gotta get that passport stamped before returning home !

Having no place to sleep, we set up in an airport bathroom with embassy-provided furnishings. Yes, that’s me after 72 hours… at least the toilets were close by !

Regards, Stan
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File Type: jpg C5s at Ndjili.jpg (84.7 KB, 236 views)
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Old 01-26-2014   #31
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Originally Posted by carl View Post
Reading that Stars & Stripes story about the C-17s flying in central Africa made me smile. New pilots always react like that 'Wow, there's no radar.' 'Wow, those people on the ground are walking right next to the runway.' 'Wow, those controllers can be hard to understand.' I was the same way. After a while it is 'Ok there is a family of six walking across the runway about halfway down. Hmm, they should be out of the way by the time I get there. Drive on.'

What those crews didn't say is what hardships they face are more than made up for by getting to live in Entebbe. Boy what a nice place that is.
Hey Carl !

Recalling my HF conversation in 94 with a 141 crew still brings me to tears

"Cedar Radio, MAC 1234 on one eleven upper" (11176).
MAC 1234, Cedar Radio has you loud and clear, over.
"Cedar Radio, the Goma tower is not responding and we are on final approach to land 18."
MAC 1234, negative, land on 36 and I will contact the tower... maybe at lunch.
"Cedar Radio, Charlie Charlie. But there are goats and people on approach 36?"
MAC 1234, I'll get the military to sweep 36, stand by.
"Cedar, there is a huge mountain. Is that the end of the runway ?"
MAC 1234, that's the overrun and is covered in solidified lava.

After minutes of silence she landed !

TIS... This is Africa !
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Old 01-27-2014   #32
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Default Max: Chapter VI-1/2 - Part 1

Quote:
UN peacekeeping has evolved considerably over the last 15 years or so.
Agreed; from mid-1993, doing a cursory look through folders and files on part of my HD - e.g.:

Quote:
Peace Enforcement (folder); USIP Peace Enforcement Course (folder); and (files, as named on HD) 1993 Implications for UN Peacekeepiing; 1993 The Peace-Enforcement Dilemma; 1996 Airpower and Peace Enforcement; 1997 From Peace Enforcement to Conflict Termination Operations in Africa; 1997 Allen - Lessons From Somalia, The Dilemma Of Peace Enforcement; 1998 Peace Enforcement - The Real Peace Support Challenge in Africa; 2003 Between Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement; 2006 Peace Enforcement Operations in the DRC 2003-2005; 2007 CRS Peacekeeping and Related Stability Operations RL33557; 2009 UN Charter Basis for Astan PEO.
The online full title of the 2009 file is: Case Study on “Afghanistan”, in Blanca Antonini & al, Security Council Resolutions Under Chapter VII, Madrid: FRIDE, 2009 (by Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh)

Since today is my 40th wedding anniversary and I'm used to listening , it's only appropriate that I yield the floor (momentarily) to a strong, assertive woman.

Quote:
Case Study on “Afghanistan”
pp. 56-57

2. What does Chapter VII really mean?

Of the three streams of resolutions for Afghanistan, ISAF and the sanctions regime were designed under the Chapter VII umbrella, while UNAMA, in virtue of being a political mission in support of the government, was not technically a Chapter VII intervention. The UN did not have police, military components or security installations, even though it did have military advisers. ISAF, however, was not accountable to the UN, despite its being authorised by the Security Council under Chapter VII.

According to an internal memo at the DPKO viewed by this project team, there is a lack of clarity about the legal basis for peacekeeping operations and the operational implication of the Security Council invocation of Chapter VII. Historically, Chapter VI was the reference for traditional peacekeeping operations and Chapter VII for enforcement-oriented operations. In recent years, the Council has adopted the practice of explicitly invoking Chapter VII (Chapter VI has never been invoked) or mandating peacekeeping forces to perform specific tasks without specifying the chapter, but drawing on the language in Chapter VII. Invocation of Chapter VII denotes the legal basis for action and signals firm political resolves as well as reminding the parties and the wider UN membership of their obligation to give effects to its decisions. Yet, as the memo noted, in reality the Council does not need to refer to a specific chapter of the Charter when adopting or extending resolutions for UN peacekeeping operations. The missions should be guided not by references to the chapters involved but by the tasks specified in their mandate, by the accompanying rules of engagement and by other directions pertaining to the use of force and international humanitarian law.

In cases like Afghanistan’s, where the UN delegated its responsibilities to a regional organisation, however, the defeating factor was that even when Chapter VII was invoked, the UN had no authority. In cases when UN authorisations happen after the use of force, as was the case in Afghanistan, where OEF operations had already started before ISAF was created, the invocation of Chapter VII may in fact mean little. The real alliance-building and decision to act happened outside of the Council’s negotiations. In this sense, invocation of Chapter VII becomes associated with forceful action. The result is the overstretching of peacekeeping in situations where there is no peace to keep — Afghanistan squarely applies in this category.

The use of Chapter VII in a resolution is supposed to invoke legitimacy and consensus from national actors. Yet, as national actors are hardly consulted in the preparation of mandates, and, as is often the case, national actors, especially in situations of regime change, may not be sufficiently accountable, the question is raised about the issues of sovereignty and national consensus. From the point of view of the national government, reference to Chapter VII does matter. Haiti, for example, had asked for the removal of references to Chapter VII in the Security Council resolutions in order to maintain investor confidence. In the case of Afghanistan, as the government, created through the UN-led Bonn process, gained capacity, legitimacy and sovereignty, it increasingly became critical of the use of force in its territory, especially in discord and in the absence of coordination with its own national forces.
Italics are where I believe we agree; bold are what I think are important points (possible discussion points) made by ST in her Case Study on “Afghanistan”.

At SWC, I've dealt with some Chapter VI, peacekeeping, and Chapter VII, peace enforcement, issues;

Quote:
chapter vii charter - 13 posts
peacekeeping - 26 posts
peace enforcement - 56 posts
but more often on rules of engagement;

Quote:
rules engagement - 80 posts
ROE - 74 posts
ROEs - 100 posts
SROE - 13 posts
SROEs - 18 posts
and, of couse, Hague-Geneva "stuff"; Gitmo habeas cases, etc.

Now, moving to some individual points on which we have basic agreement (I think), but where the political facts of life in the UNSC dictate the "terms of engagement".

Quote:
Max:

It's worth noting though that ONUC went to war against Tshombe's Katangan separatists in the 1960s under a mandate that didn't specify either chapter of the UN Charter. It just said 'go do it.'
Quote:
Case Study on “Afghanistan”

Historically, Chapter VI was the reference for traditional peacekeeping operations and Chapter VII for enforcement-oriented operations.
...
Yet, as the memo noted, in reality the Council does not need to refer to a specific chapter of the Charter when adopting or extending resolutions for UN peacekeeping operations
My only objection to the UN not citing its source of authority is same as I have to "shorthand pleading" in criminal indictments and civil complaints. That is ambiguity and an absence of command guidance. Of course, the UNSC is ruled by political expediency and the need to be vague in order to pass resolutions.

We hope that deficiency is rectified "by the tasks specified in their mandate, by the accompanying rules of engagement and by other directions pertaining to the use of force and international humanitarian law," as ST suggests above. But, is it in your opinion?

A suggestion is, where you cite somewhat exotic "stuff", you hyperlink the source if online or the full title if it's not online - e.g., "... war against Tshombe's Katangan separatists in the 1960s under a mandate ...'go do it.'"; and "... 97% are serving under Chapter VII mandates ..." Nuff said.

Quote:
Max:

Since UNAMSIL in 1999, almost all new PKOs have been authorized under Chapter VII to use force to uphold all or part of their mandates (which isn't to say they do so consistently).

Of the nearly 98,000 troops and police currently deployed to PKOs, 97% are serving under Chapter VII mandates
Quote:
Case Study on “Afghanistan”

In recent years, the Council has adopted the practice of explicitly invoking Chapter VII (Chapter VI has never been invoked) ...
Again, basic agreement (100% or 97% - de minimis non curat lex).

In conclusion to this Part 1, the UN Charter may need an amendment Chapter VI-1/2 (and a 1/4 and a 3/4); but we are unlikely to see a charter amendment to that effect. Hence, we have to go to "peace enforcement" with what we have.

- to be cont -

Regards

Mike

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Old 01-27-2014   #33
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Default Max: Chapter VI-1/2 - Part 2

Quote:
JMM
"Humanitarian interventionists" (to include HRW and Samantha Power) have a tendency to sugarcoat their interventions; so as to distinguish them from operations by those bad "military interventionists".

Max:
I think that's painting with too broad a brush. No question there are some that don't understand military ops whatsoever, but there are others who do (Marc Garlasco, for example).
This may be an instance of miscommunication (my "bad", your "bad, both "bad").

Let me start with the "bad military interventionists" ("bad" there is me being sarcastic); of which, on SWC, examples are JMM (I supported removal of Saddam et al in Iraq, but not "state building"; I supported killing UBL et al in Astan-Pstan, but not "state building"); and my friend JMA (He advocated removal of Qaddafi in Libya & Assad in Syria; I was and am negative to US intervention, military or humanitarian, in either country directly or by proxy).

Whether we cite it explicitly or not, the methodologies and historical context are summed in Stephen T. Hosmer, Operations Against Enemy Leaders (2001):

Quote:
Operations targeted against senior enemy leaders have long been viewed as a potential means of shaping the policy and behavior of enemy states. As a result, the United States has launched a variety of overt and covert operations in efforts to attack enemy leaders directly, facilitate their overthrow by coup or rebellion, or secure their ouster through external invasion. This book examines a number of leadership attacks from World War II to the present to offer insights into the comparative efficacy of various forms of leadership attacks, their potential coercive and deterrent value, and the possible unintended consequences of their ill-considered use. The book concludes that direct attacks, coups, and rebellions have met with only limited success and, even when successful, have sometimes yielded counterproductive results. Moreover, neither direct attacks nor coups have been of significant coercive or deterrent value, although rebellions have at times provided useful negotiating leverage. By contrast, external invasions have proved to be more efficacious both in shaping the targeted countries’ policy and behavior and in exerting coercive effects. The book concludes by outlining the likely conditions under which future leadership attacks are likely to be sanctioned and by delineating the prerequisites of effective use of air power in such contexts.
Worth the read for anyone here who hasn't read it.

Here is an example of a limited military intervention: Special Plan Green - Mexico, which I posted 4+ years ago (link).

I'll just copy my post here.

Quote:
STP, Iraq turned out much better ... than I expected at the end of 2003. So, you and others here can take credit for that.

My questions were more addressed to the political side of "best practices COIN" in general. I see some disconnects in the concept as laid out in FMI 3-24.3. For that matter, I see the same disconnects in the 1980s Summers-Krepinevich debate, and the current Gentile-Nagl debate - all very interesting from a military standpoint (the military effort); but without any real consideration by any of them as to the political effort required.

Most particularly, what do you do with an incompetent (corrupt, etc.) HN government ?

---------------------------------
I'd quibble about what "expeditions" and "expeditionary forces" do. Of course they can invade with the purpose of occupying the country - we seem to be fixated on that, as opposed to a punitive raid no matter how gigantic it might be. FM 27-10 (par. 352 explains the distinction).

Coincidentally, I was just re-reading parts of Brian Linn's The Echo of Battle. At p.91, he deals with War Plan Green (a war with Mexico). We've had war plans for Mexico since the 1800s, but by 1922 the Mexican army was so weak that War Plan Green was changed to Special Plan Green, an occupation plan not unlike what we intended for Iraq: the army would establish a government, reform the education and legal systems, employ honest police and civil servants, with the clear and expressed US intention to create "peace and good order."

Now, it came to pass in 1924 that Special Plan Green was war gamed; and, surprise, the most probable COA for the Mexicans was not to resist the main invasion columns, but to wait a while and then engage in guerrilla warfare, etc. The majority staff conclusion was that the occupation would morph into a long, slow and frustrating unconventional war.

So, in 1927, Special Plan Green was amended to provide for a rapidly moving direct attack with the purpose of deposing the Mexican government, and then immediately withdrawing. The plan required that it be made clear that it did not intend a military occupation, was not an operation against the Mexican nation, but was an operation against the Mexican government.

OK, in Linn's terminology, I'm just a dinosaur "Guardian" of the "Never Again but" school, who apparently sees disconnects where others don't.
The "humanitarian interventionists" (which may very well include you ) rely primarily on Responsibility to Protect (SWC thread)(searching R2P; 75 posts on SWC, including the thread cited); although, as Syria illustrates, multiple legal theories may be asserted.

My point (an opinion) was simply that "humanitarian interventionists" tend to sugarcoat their interventions as something that they are not (e.g., "peacekeeping", "save the children", etc.). I didn't say anything about the military operational expertise of "humanitarian interventionists", because that is not material to my point which addresses their agitprop.

As to Marc Garlasco (interesting Wiki; he's a bit controversial), his military operational expertise can be evaluated by professional militrary SWC members if they wish. It's not material to my point about "sugarcoating". His controversies are also not material to my point.

-----------------------------------------------------------

To sample Max Kelly's writings, readers of this post may want to read a chapter in Eduarda P. Hamann and Robert Muggah (eds.), IMPLEMENTING THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: NEW DIRECTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY? (2013), see chap. 7. Fighting for Their Lives: R2P, RwP and the Utility of Force to Protect Civilians, Max Kelly (shown in living color).

See also,

Kelly (with Giffen), Military Planning to Protect: Proposed Guidance for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (2011; Washington, DC: Stimson Center);

Kelly, Protecting Civilians: Principles for Military Operations (2010);

Holt & Taylor (with Kelly), Protecting Civilians in the Context of UN Peacekeeping Operations: Successes, Setbacks and Major Challenges (2009).

Regards

Mike

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Old 02-20-2014   #34
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A lengthy newspaper article by a HRW observer:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-Republic.html

It is very clear that the AU & French intervention is making little difference, with reports this week of more French troops en route and nights filled with gunfire. Put simply the two communities that have lived together - outside of the northern Muslim area - are splitting apart.

Bear in mind the AU & French are mainly, if not exclusively in the capital Bangui, so what is happening elsewhere is unclear.
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Old 02-26-2014   #35
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Default French knowledge of CAR is NOT an excuse

A critique of the French claim to not understand the situation in CAR, it starts with:
Quote:
Speaking at a United Nations event marking 20 years since the Rwandan genocide, France’s ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, said his government had seriously underestimated the level of hatred between Christian and Muslim communities in the Central African Republic. He said on 15th January that African Union and French forces deployed in the CAR were facing a “nearly impossible” situation. The crux of the problem was that they were dealing with “two communities who want to kill each other”. He emphasised that “they desperately want to kill each other…We knew that there was some inter-sectarian violence, but we didn’t forecast such deep ingrained hatred.”

Forgive me if I seem cynical about this, but the French have been involved in CAR for over 120 years – carving out a territory that bore no relation to ethnic, linguistic or other indigenous factors and did not take into account existing boundaries of communities. Before colonial occupation, the region was no different from any other – experiencing trade, inter-marriage and, at times, raiding and conflict between different communities. It wasn’t some peaceful Eden, but nor was it riven by endemic warfare or hatred between its peoples.
Link:http://africanarguments.org/2014/01/...th-somerville/
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Old 02-26-2014   #36
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davidbfpo,

I've always insisted that one of Africa's major problems is the proliferation of artificial states & artificial systems imposed on by Europeans with absolutely zero appreciation of local conditions.

US was never a serious colonial power, so is naive about the true genesis of Africa's predicament, too uninterested to get involved & too trusting of former colonial powers (especially France).

But water must eventually find its level. Just like Sykes-Picot is unraveling in the Middle East, the "Berlin Conference" must unravel in Africa.

As an aside - consider Cameroon, the presence of Boko Haram in neighbouring Nigeria, a succession crisis when Paul Biya finally kicks the bucket (he's 81) and Central African Republic next door - make it the next likely candidate for destabilization.
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Old 02-27-2014   #37
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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
davidbfpo,

I've always insisted that one of Africa's major problems is the proliferation of artificial states & artificial systems imposed on by Europeans with absolutely zero appreciation of local conditions.
Remind my again of what was there before the Europeans arrived?
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Old 02-28-2014   #38
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Default Natural States and Natural Systems, Of Course ...

Created by Local Conditions - such as by Shaka in your own Natal, Mark.

Or, I suppose one could, as another example, begin with Rhodesia's Tribal Trust Lands (and all the different tribes occupying them);



and then go back in time to before CJR and look at the "natural state" of things in the mid-1800s; and also look to the time before Shaka, since his "natural" activities in the south seem to have added to the tribal mix to the north.

The question really isn't what caused "modern-day" sub-Saharan Africa. The question is what plan do the Africans (not a bunch of "mindele", here at SWC or elsewhere) have to correct the obvious problems.

Perhaps, the Africans might go back to the "natural states and natural systems" of the era before the "mindele" colonialists came (take a time machine to between 1500 and the later 1800s depending on area). Perhaps, they could organize the (literally) thousands of sub-Saharan ethnicities ("tribes") into some coherent framework of "natural", "national" governments. Perhaps, we might see something like this:



In any event, it would be nice for an African to present a tangible plan for the creation of African states based on the "natural state" of the African ethnicities who live there.

For example, what would the "natural" (and presumably "better") Central African Republics (plural) look like ? I won't hold my breath waiting for the map.

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 02-28-2014 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 02-28-2014   #39
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Mike:

The way I always heard it pronounced was mundele, as in mun (rhymes with bun) de (as in de in de Bears) lay.
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Old 02-28-2014   #40
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jmm99,

The first stage is for Africans to discuss the internal political architecture of their nations. This happened in the Republic of Benin - and that nation has been stable ever since.

In nations like CAR, a combination of French meddling, hasty formation & a history of mutual distrust makes this process difficult - but it must proceed.

Nations like US prioritise outward signs of stability and elections over the less sexy & more important & difficult work of national cohesion & nation building.

Africa's problems are for Africans to solve. My point is that after the seemingly endless cycle of violence and external intervention - at a certain point, some unstable states will either fall apart permanently or work out an indigenous solution to their teething problems.

CAR for example, has bifurcated - it a essentially a "Christian" enclave in the South and a much smaller "Muslim" enclave in the North. No amount of elections will change that essential reality. And international community is wasting time by impeding the process of formation of two independent separate states in that part of the World.

In my native Nigeria, we are preparing for a National Dialogue, a three month discussion on what different ethnic nationalities want from the Nigerian state. This goes beyond mere elections, Africa's artificial states have flawed foundations and the best way forward is for locals to proactively discuss these challenges and build a state that caters to their needs (not a mere ex-colonial administrative unit).
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