Thursday, December 18, 2008

No Peace to Keep in Somalia

US Somalia Peacekeeping Idea Bombs at UN

"No Peace to Keep," Warns Ban

Left: Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon

Fresh off their successful effort to get the United Nations to authorize ground raids by foreign militaries to combat piracy in Somalia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed a much more difficult proposition, calling for a UN “peacekeeping” force to be sent to Somalia quickly.

French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert called the proposal “not feasible” and “not desirable,” as the deteriorating situation in Somalia made a deployment dangerous. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added that “if there is no peace to keep, peacekeeping operations are not supposed to be there.”

Ban also pointed out that he has spent the past four months fruitlessly looking for a nation to lead such a mission, and only “one or two” nations even expressed willingness to commit troops. The US has offered funding for the mission, but they appear unwilling to supply troops either.

In addition to authorizing ground troops to attack pirates in Somalia, the US State Department says they believe the resolution will also authorize nations to launch air strikes into Somali territory.

Left: US Blackhawk helicopter in Mogadishu, Somalia. What began as a precision raid ended in near-disaster. The US sought to back particular warlords against others.

Have not so-called peace keeping missions and other such democracy exporting endeavors n Iraq and Afghanistan taught the United States to go light in the plight to be the world's policeman? Lest we forget the Clinton administration's debacle in Mogadishu.

The US withdrew from Somalia in March 1994, followed by full UN withdrawal in 1995 at a total cost of 147 fatalities. Have we not been there done that?

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