Skip to comments.Next Steps in Sudan
Posted on 09/30/2004 8:23:38 PM PDT by XHogPilot
Remembering its shameful inaction in Rwanda a decade ago, the international community has warned of genocide in Darfur and threatened sanctions against Sudan. Unfortunately, these symbolic steps will not stop the violence in Sudan, and in fact they may exacerbate it. < snip >
The international community has repeatedly exacerbated ethnic conflict through what I call the "moral hazard of humanitarian intervention." By threatening to intervene against states that use excessive force, we increase the prospects of rebellion and armed secession -- and thereby encourage them.
< snip > In Bosnia 10 years ago, the head of U.N. peacekeepers complained that the Muslim-led government, which had armed and seceded from Yugoslavia, was breaking cease-fires because if it "attacked and lost, the resulting images of war and suffering guaranteed support in the West for the 'victim state.' " His predecessor likewise observed that the Muslims were "committed to coercing the international community into intervening militarily." This coercion eventually succeeded, but only after three years of war and 150,000 deaths. < snip >
A few years later the scenario played out in Kosovo. Rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacked Serbian targets, provoking retaliation against Albanian civilians that succeeded in attracting NATO intervention. A senior rebel later admitted to me: "We knew our attacks would not have any military value. Our goal was not to destroy the Serb military force [but to make it] become more vicious. . . . We thought it was essential to get international support to win the war." Another KLA leader confessed to the BBC: "We knew full well that any armed action we undertook would trigger a ruthless retaliation by Serbs against our people. . . . We knew we were endangering civilian lives, too, a great number of lives."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...