Tuesday, March 25, 2008

3 Days Ammunition

Thats how little force it would take from a US led attack to disable the military forces of the Sudanese government, predicts Mark Helprin, a conservative commentator, in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. But that would be a worst case scenario, where we park a couple aircraft carriers off the coast of Sudan in the Red Sea, and the Sudanese government actually refuses to meet international demands to lay down its arms, cease its support of the janjaweed militias, and allow UN peacekeeping forces into areas controlled by government military forces where dire humanitarian conditions persist. The most likely scenario is that just the threat of complete military annihilation and subsequent replacement of leadership with democratically elected officials would be enough to convince the Sudanese that complying with peacekeeping forces is in their best interest.

I am not a pacifist, but the use of military force for anything less than the most dire of circumstances has always struck me as irresponsible, such as the current US occupation of Iraq. But the conflict in Darfur is serious enough, so many innocent peoples lives have been lost and are still in jeopardy, that to stand idly by and do nothing is morally reprehensible.
If the current leadership in The United States is unable to measure the gravity of the situation in Darfur and react appropriately, they need either immediate attitude adjustment or replacement - no different than their counterparts in the Sudan.


md galaxy said...

1 vote for replacement.

David Lamm said...

Um that sounds very similar to what they said about Iraq, and they called our bluff. Remember 98% of casualties in Iraq have come after we declared "major combat over".

It might take three days of ammunition to destroy their traditional military, but how long will it take for their forces to switch to guerrilla tactics? Surely they have stashes of ammunition that can easily be turned into ieds. How long will it take to secure and rebuild the infrastructure/government? How many boots are needed to maintain security during that time period? How many translators do we even have available?

Is total military destruction a good way to achieve these goals? I personally don't think so. It is just a way to make people feel like they are doing something to solve the problem.

I have to believe that there are more effective solutions through diplomacy and limited military intervention.

Chris P said...

Dave, we werent bluffing with Iraq, and we should not be bluffing with the Sudan. This is a threat that can be backed up. Its to disable specific military capabilites they have which are preventing the peacekeeping forces from entering certain areas.

I think if you had relatives living in these regions, and you saw what the conditions there were like, you would be much more willing to condone military action.

Of course it would be more complicated than 3 days and out. Of course. But my point is that the use of force against the Sudan IS justified, unlike the current war in Iraq.