� WMD Error 404 | Main | 20MBPS on Copper �

July 03, 2003

Be Careful What You Wish For

According to the NYT:

The Pentagon has ordered military planners to prepare detailed options for American troops to join an international peacekeeping force to oversee a cease-fire in the war-battered West African nation of Liberia, two senior military officials said today.

This is a good thing. America has been largely ambivalent at best in its regard for the tribulaitons of African nations. Excuses made over the fate of soldiers in Somalia have been overblown. Still, one wonders whether or not this State Department is still a redheaded stepchild to the Pentagon and we are possibly on our way to doing more damage to our own reputation.

Posted by mbowen at July 3, 2003 07:40 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I'm curious - what national interest does it serve to intervene in Liberia? We do have the old bonds, as most of the citizens of Liberia are former American slaves, and that's a good enough reason to help, but what strategic purpose does putting American troops on the ground, in between warring factions?

Are they going in under a UN no-shoot mandate? I certainly hope not.

Posted by: Swerdloff at July 3, 2003 08:17 AM

I guess I'm just a globalist. Every man's death diminishes me. Furthermore, I have a very serious problem with the fact that we know the names of every settler whose house gets bulldozed in the West Bank, but if 500 Africans get shot in an afternoon we don't hear a word. I think our outrage needs a sense of proportion, and that's never going to happen unless and until we start risking American lives in places where governments topple and civil wars rage in a manner consistent with peacekeeping. If that means an American army base in every wreckless nation, sobeit.

I've wondered, if we went about the business of ridding the world of dictators, if Saddam would make the best candidate in the next world order. I'd say on the whole the jury is still out on that one. That shouldn't enjoin us from acting elsewhere. In short, I stand behind nation-building and I think it is our inevitable responsibility. (The reconstruction of Iraq will be GWBush's greatest ironical legacy.)

I believe there are many places in the world where 500 American troops and the attendant international press coverage will make a world of difference. It is precisely those remote places where warlords think they can get away with mass murder. Should our million man army stand still and only wait for Iraq-sized conflict, when thousands of lives can be saved and small nations saved from months of revenge killings?

If there were 500 nations on the planet I would be a lot more hesitant. Can we not rid ourselves of 3 dozen tyrants?

Posted by: Cobb at July 3, 2003 08:47 AM