SUDAN WATCH: Sudan: Could military intervention enforce peace in Darfur?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sudan: Could military intervention enforce peace in Darfur?

It seems only American academics and 20-30 somethings sitting in cushy armchairs in the U.S. who have never done a day's service in the military, have no compunction suggesting military intervention (an act of war) in Darfur would help "save" more lives. None of them say whether this would be done with a UN Resolution (China and Russia would block it) which countries should (or would be willing to) invade Sudan without a UN Resolution, how long they would occupy, who would pay and what the objective would be. Overthrow the regime in Khartoum? And replace it with what? Meanwhile, what would become of the people most in need of aid if humanitarian relief workers were evactuated or dismissed from the country? They would probably perish.

As said here many times before, I think military intervention in the Sudan would make Iraq look like a picnic. It would set the tinder box of Africa alight. Jihadists would leap out of the woodwork from all four corners. It would create a bloodbath. And defeat the current objective of providing unimpeded access for aid and helping those most in need while steering the Sudanese to ceasefires and peace agreements using diplomatic processes, carrots and sticks. People who think courageous Arab warriors (who are highly skilled horsemen and camel riders, can read the sand like the back of their hand and subsist on next to nothing in searing heat and blinding dust) wielding throat cutting sabers are not a mighty force to be reckoned with, are living on cloud cuckoo land.

A study by Dr Matthew Krain [an American I guess] is published in the September 2005 issue of International Studies Quarterly. The study shows some types of military interventions can slow or stop genocide. According to an article at EurekAlert! today, the study is the first to examine the effectiveness of military action on the severity of ongoing instances of genocide and polititcide*. Excerpt:
Krain's study examines factors affecting all ongoing instances of state-sponsored mass murder from 1955 to 1997 and simulates the effects of interventions on two cases, including the current case of mass murder in Darfur, Sudan. His results also confirm that attempts to intervene as impartial parties seem ineffective.

"By finding that increasing the number of interventions against perpetrators of genocide or politicide reduces severity this study confirms that international interventions against perpetrators do save lives," Krain concludes."
Dr Krain is associate professor of Political Science and chair of the International Relations Program at the College of Wooster. He specializes in the study of contentious politics and large-scale political violence and has written scholarly books and articles on repression, human rights violations, revolutions, civil wars, and genocide and politicide.
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*Definition of Genocide, Politicide, Mass Murder, Democide:

Genocide: among other things, the killing of people by a government because of their indelible group membership (race, ethnicity, religion, language).

Politicide: the murder of any person or people by a government because of their politics or for political purposes.

Mass Murder: the indiscriminate killing of any person or people by a government.

Democide: The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.

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