Showing posts tagged as "military intervention"

Showing posts tagged military intervention

9 Sep
You Got a Better Idea? |  James Traub
I would like to believe — or maybe I would just like to pretend for a moment that I believe — that the many congressmen and foreign-policy sages who flat-out oppose President Barack Obama’s plan to bomb Syria in response to the regime’s use of poison gas have an alternative in mind. Surely they don’t think, “Let those crazy Muslims kill each other,” or “It’s none of our business.” That would be callous. It would be un-American.
FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)
Photo: Devin Smith/Flickr

You Got a Better Idea? |  James Traub

I would like to believe — or maybe I would just like to pretend for a moment that I believe — that the many congressmen and foreign-policy sages who flat-out oppose President Barack Obama’s plan to bomb Syria in response to the regime’s use of poison gas have an alternative in mind. Surely they don’t think, “Let those crazy Muslims kill each other,” or “It’s none of our business.” That would be callous. It would be un-American.

FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)

Photo: Devin Smith/Flickr

11 Apr
Mali: Security, Dialogue and Meaningful Reform
Dakar/Brussels | 11 Apr 2013
Mali and its international partners need to seize the moment for national dialogue to forestall renewed political and security crises.
Mali: Security, Dialogue and Meaningful Reform, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the situation in Mali after France’s military intervention to restore the north of the country to government control and as the UN Security Council considers the deployment and mandate of a stabilisation mission. Sporadic fighting in the north continues and formidable threats to security remain. The presidential election, currently scheduled for July, poses particularly acute challenges. An inclusive political process, involving national dialogue and reconciliation between Mali’s various communities, are critical to preventing a resurgence of violence. Over time, only improved governance can ensure sustained peace and stability.
The report’s major findings and recommendations are:
Mali’s political leaders need to make public and well-publicised commitments to peace and reconciliation, or risk an election campaign that reinforces divisions, inflaming tensions after the vote, and jeopardising badly-needed reforms.
Mass communication, especially through the radio and television stations listened to across the country, is crucial to encourage political participation and reduce tension. By the same token, a new mechanism for monitoring the media should check inflammatory or divisive language.
Mali’s regional and international partners should help persuade the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) that its interests are best served by renouncing its armed struggle and participating in a political process. For their part, leaders in Bamako should avoid imposing conditions on armed groups that close the door to dialogue, however discreet. Such dialogue will be vital to give all northern Malians the opportunity to participate in the elections, without which the far north could again become a base for armed rebellion.
A clear distinction should be maintained between, on the one hand, the planned UN stabilisation mission, with its large civilian component, and, on the other, a “parallel force” responsible for counter-terror operations, whose legal basis and geographic mandate should be clarified.
“Elections must be held soon but not at any cost”, says Gilles Yabi, Crisis Group’s West Africa Project Director. “Reconciliation must begin now, as should the provision of basic social and economic services to the north. The radicalisation of public opinion is a major risk and Mali’s leaders and institutions must take firm action to prevent people, especially those in the south, lumping together rebels, terrorists and drug traffickers with all Tuaregs and Arabs”.
“Focusing on terrorism alone risks distracting from the main problems”, says Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. “Corruption and poor governance are more important causes of the crisis than the terrorist threat, the Tuareg issue, or even the north-south divide. The challenges for the region and the UN are to align their positions on the political process, and to insist that Malians, especially their elites, assume responsibility for reversing bad governance and preventing another crisis”.
FULL REPORT

Mali: Security, Dialogue and Meaningful Reform

Dakar/Brussels | 11 Apr 2013

Mali and its international partners need to seize the moment for national dialogue to forestall renewed political and security crises.

Mali: Security, Dialogue and Meaningful Reform, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the situation in Mali after France’s military intervention to restore the north of the country to government control and as the UN Security Council considers the deployment and mandate of a stabilisation mission. Sporadic fighting in the north continues and formidable threats to security remain. The presidential election, currently scheduled for July, poses particularly acute challenges. An inclusive political process, involving national dialogue and reconciliation between Mali’s various communities, are critical to preventing a resurgence of violence. Over time, only improved governance can ensure sustained peace and stability.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • Mali’s political leaders need to make public and well-publicised commitments to peace and reconciliation, or risk an election campaign that reinforces divisions, inflaming tensions after the vote, and jeopardising badly-needed reforms.
  • Mass communication, especially through the radio and television stations listened to across the country, is crucial to encourage political participation and reduce tension. By the same token, a new mechanism for monitoring the media should check inflammatory or divisive language.
  • Mali’s regional and international partners should help persuade the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) that its interests are best served by renouncing its armed struggle and participating in a political process. For their part, leaders in Bamako should avoid imposing conditions on armed groups that close the door to dialogue, however discreet. Such dialogue will be vital to give all northern Malians the opportunity to participate in the elections, without which the far north could again become a base for armed rebellion.
  • A clear distinction should be maintained between, on the one hand, the planned UN stabilisation mission, with its large civilian component, and, on the other, a “parallel force” responsible for counter-terror operations, whose legal basis and geographic mandate should be clarified.

“Elections must be held soon but not at any cost”, says Gilles Yabi, Crisis Group’s West Africa Project Director. “Reconciliation must begin now, as should the provision of basic social and economic services to the north. The radicalisation of public opinion is a major risk and Mali’s leaders and institutions must take firm action to prevent people, especially those in the south, lumping together rebels, terrorists and drug traffickers with all Tuaregs and Arabs”.

“Focusing on terrorism alone risks distracting from the main problems”, says Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. “Corruption and poor governance are more important causes of the crisis than the terrorist threat, the Tuareg issue, or even the north-south divide. The challenges for the region and the UN are to align their positions on the political process, and to insist that Malians, especially their elites, assume responsibility for reversing bad governance and preventing another crisis”.

FULL REPORT

14 Jan
French-Led Strikes on Mali Islamists Threaten Revenge Attacks | Bloomberg
By Franz Wild & Pauline Bax
French and West African military intervention in Mali runs the risk of provoking revenge attacks by Islamic militants, spreading instability in a region rich in gold, uranium and cocoa, said analysts from Dakar to London.
“When you send troops to the north of Mali there is the possibility of reprisals in terms of terrorist attacks,” Gilles Yabi, the West Africa program director of Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said today in an interview from the Senegalese capital, Dakar. “These countries don’t have the level of security and protection that western countries have. France itself is taking a risk, in terms of the hostages and in terms of terrorist attacks.”
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: Magharebia/Flickr 

French-Led Strikes on Mali Islamists Threaten Revenge Attacks | Bloomberg

By Franz Wild & Pauline Bax

French and West African military intervention in Mali runs the risk of provoking revenge attacks by Islamic militants, spreading instability in a region rich in gold, uranium and cocoa, said analysts from Dakar to London.

“When you send troops to the north of Mali there is the possibility of reprisals in terms of terrorist attacks,” Gilles Yabi, the West Africa program director of Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said today in an interview from the Senegalese capital, Dakar. “These countries don’t have the level of security and protection that western countries have. France itself is taking a risk, in terms of the hostages and in terms of terrorist attacks.”

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: Magharebia/Flickr 

20 Oct
Lustig’s Letter 
By Robin Lustig 
Is Nigeria about to invade Mali? Sorry, let me rephrase that: is a UN-backed regional intervention force about to restore order in Mali?
In fact, the two questions amount to the same thing, following a resolution passed by the UN security council last week that could well pave the way for military intervention in a country that’s rapidly becoming one of the world’s most troubling security hot-spots.
FULL POST (Lustig’s Letter)
Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Flickr

Lustig’s Letter 

By Robin Lustig 

Is Nigeria about to invade Mali? Sorry, let me rephrase that: is a UN-backed regional intervention force about to restore order in Mali?

In fact, the two questions amount to the same thing, following a resolution passed by the UN security council last week that could well pave the way for military intervention in a country that’s rapidly becoming one of the world’s most troubling security hot-spots.

FULL POST (Lustig’s Letter)

Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Flickr

16 Oct
West Africa: Mali - No Shortcuts to Security | allAfrica
With thousands of nationalist demonstrators in Bamako calling for military intervention to regain control of the north of Mali from Islamic extremists, and a unanimous Security Council resolution, initiated by France, approving in principle action by an ECOWAS force with support from the African Union, United Nations, and France, one might think that such an intervention is imminent.
Those appearances are almost certainly deceptive. Significant skeptical voices, including UN officials, U.S. diplomats and military officials, Mali’s northern neighbor Algeria, and expert civil society analysts say an “ill-prepared” intervention could be catastrophic.
FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)
Photo: USAFRICOM/Flickr

West Africa: Mali - No Shortcuts to Security | allAfrica

With thousands of nationalist demonstrators in Bamako calling for military intervention to regain control of the north of Mali from Islamic extremists, and a unanimous Security Council resolution, initiated by France, approving in principle action by an ECOWAS force with support from the African Union, United Nations, and France, one might think that such an intervention is imminent.

Those appearances are almost certainly deceptive. Significant skeptical voices, including UN officials, U.S. diplomats and military officials, Mali’s northern neighbor Algeria, and expert civil society analysts say an “ill-prepared” intervention could be catastrophic.

FULL ARTICLE (allAfrica)

Photo: USAFRICOM/Flickr

7 Jun
What’s Going on in Syria? | The Huffington Post
By: Eline Gordts
Fifteen months after the start of protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad, Syria is in a dire situation. Trapped in a bloody stalemate, it remains unclear where the country is headed.
More than 12,000 people have lost their lives since March 2011, hundreds of Syrians are imprisoned in degrading conditions, and tens of thousands have fled to neighboring countries such as Lebanonand Jordan.
Yet even as the violence intensifies — punctuated last Friday by a brutal massacre of women and children in Houla, Homs province — the international community has been unable to develop a unified response to the bloodshed. A UN-brokered peace plan and the presence of UN monitors in the country have done little to ease tensions. The Assad regime has failed to budge under international diplomatic and economic sanctions, and Syria’s opposition appears to be deeply divided. As the violence slips toward full-blown civil war, the situation in Syria becomes increasingly volatile, threatening to destabilize the entire region.
FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)
Photo: Bilal Hussein / AP 

What’s Going on in Syria? | The Huffington Post

By: Eline Gordts

Fifteen months after the start of protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad, Syria is in a dire situation. Trapped in a bloody stalemate, it remains unclear where the country is headed.

More than 12,000 people have lost their lives since March 2011, hundreds of Syrians are imprisoned in degrading conditions, and tens of thousands have fled to neighboring countries such as Lebanonand Jordan.

Yet even as the violence intensifies — punctuated last Friday by a brutal massacre of women and children in Houla, Homs province — the international community has been unable to develop a unified response to the bloodshed. A UN-brokered peace plan and the presence of UN monitors in the country have done little to ease tensions. The Assad regime has failed to budge under international diplomatic and economic sanctions, and Syria’s opposition appears to be deeply divided. As the violence slips toward full-blown civil war, the situation in Syria becomes increasingly volatile, threatening to destabilize the entire region.

FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)

Photo: Bilal Hussein / AP 

4 Jun

Syria: Alternate Endings | PRI’s The World

By Chris Woolf

As atrocities continue, the international community is debating military intervention in Syria again.

Others are pushing for a “Yemen Option,” giving Syria’s president safe haven abroad in exchange for relinquishing power, as happened to Yemen’s dictator earlier this year.

Anchor Marco Werman explores the options with Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group, which is a non-profit committed to resolving conflict.

FULL TRANSCRIPT (The World)

9 Mar
PBS Newshour

Activist: Amid Executions and Torture, Syrians OK With Risks of No-Fly Zone

RAY SUAREZ: In the meantime, with the world debating the way forward in Syria, people there are using testimonial Web videos to get their stories out.

One of the best known, Danny Abdul Dayem, has documented the daily horrors of life in Homs for months. 

And Danny Abdul Dayem joins us now. He slipped out of Homs and is currently travelling in the U.S., raising awareness about the situation in Syria. He joins us from Houston, where he’s meeting with a group of Syrian-Americans later tonight. And Robert Malley’s with me in Washington. He worked in the National Security Council in the Clinton administration and is now program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.

Danny Abdul Dayem, let me start with you. You have been in Syria quite recently. The army moved on Homs, especially neighborhood of Baba Amr, which you’re very familiar with. What’s the latest that you’re hearing from your hometown?

DANNY ABDUL DAYEM, Syrian activist: The latest I’m hearing is the Free Syrian Army left Baba Amr because they were bombarding the whole area randomly.

So, the Syrian army, the Assad regime’s army has entered in Baba Amr and they’re executing any guy they find. They have already executed more than 30 guys there. They have taken over all the kids. Anyone over 14 years old has been imprisoned and tortured. They’re stealing all the houses, stealing all the shops and burning down everything they find in that area.

RAY SUAREZ: Well, there’s a hot debate in the United States and in the rest of the world about what happens next. What would you like to see and what would the people of Homs like to see happen next? What kind of aid from the rest of the world?

DANNY ABDUL DAYEM: Well, what we would like to see is an intervention, an army intervention, a strike on Assad’s regime and a no-fly zone. We don’t need aid and humanitarian.

People are being killed there. We need support for the Free Syrian Army. This is what we have been asking for, for a long time. But what I am 100 percent sure is, no one’s going to do anything about this, and the Assad regime will hit us harder and harder with its air force.

What we are asking for is either say you’re going to help us or you’re not. Stop leaving us in the middle, dying like this. That’s not what our path is. That is not what’s going to happen to us.

RAY SUAREZ: Robert Malley, you’re watching the same situation that Danny is. Is what he’s suggesting going to work?

ROBERT MALLEY, International Crisis Group: Well, he’s watching it. He watches it much — up closer than I have and that I ever will.

And obviously what we’re hearing is very moving. I think he put the question very well. Is there going to be real intervention, in other words, the kind of intervention that Sen. McCain spoke about and others spoke about, or not? Because the half-measures, arming the opposition, having a safe quarter or safe haven, those are really not going to change anything.

And so the real question is, are we at a position now where we could intervene massively, taking out the air defenses to create a no-fly zone? According to military experts, that’s weeks and weeks and weeks of constant sorties, with all the repercussions you could imagine in a country like Syria with civilian casualties because one of the way in which their air defenses, one of the most robust air defenses in the region, are intermingled with civilians, and what it would mean in terms of how Syria might react with the neighbors it has in Jordan and Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

That’s why the president said what he said. This is an extraordinarily difficult enterprise.

And we couldn’t do it…

WATCH VIDEO(PBS Newshour) 

READ TRANSCRIPT(PBS Newshour)

Photo: FreedomHouse/Flickr

200 plays
Album Art
15 Feb

The Kenyan Military Intervention In Somalia

Nairobi/Brussels, 15 February 2012

The decision in October 2011 to deploy thousands of troops in Somalia’s Juba Valley to wage war on Al-Shabaab is the biggest security gamble Kenya has taken since independence, a radical departure for a country that has never sent its soldiers abroad to fight. OperationLinda Nchi (Protect the Country) was given the go-ahead with what has shown itself to be inadequate political, diplomatic and military preparation; the potential for getting bogged down is high; the risks of an Al-Shabaab retaliatory terror campaign are real; and the prospects for a viable, extremist-free and stable polity emerging in the Juba Valley are slim. The government is unlikely to heed any calls for a troop pullout: it has invested too much, and pride is at stake. Financial and logistical pressures will ease once its force becomes part of the African Union (AU) mission in Somalia (AMISOM). But it should avoid prolonged “occupation” of southern Somalia, lest it turn local Somali opinion against the intervention and galvanise an armed resistance that could be co-opted by Al-Shabaab, much as happened to Ethiopia during its 2006-2009 intervention.

The intervention was hastily approved, after a string of cross-border kidnappings, by a small group without sufficient consideration of the consequences, at home as well as in Somalia. Military leaders were apparently convinced it would be a quick campaign, but the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) promptly ran into difficulties on the unfamiliar terrain. Somali allies failed to deliver and began squabbling, while Al-Shabaab, rather than confront Kenyan tanks and armoured personnel carriers head-on, predictably reverted to guerrilla warfare – something the KDF was poorly trained and equipped to fight. Irrespective of whether its troops are “rehatted” into AMISOM, there is a real prospect Kenya will find itself with undependable allies, enmeshed in a protracted counter-insurgency campaign against a resilient and experienced enemy.

Full Report (International Crisis Group)