Monday, May 08, 2006

Army genocide prevention unit?

Darfur and more stupidity again. The surprising thing is the source this time. Michael O'Hanlon writes in the Washington Times op ed column Army genocide prevention unit? :
We should create a genocide prevention division in the U.S. Army -- a Peace Corps with guns
A what?
Soldiers in the new genocide prevention division would not need to execute complex operations akin to those carried out during the invasion of Iraq or current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They would largely monitor villages and refugee camps, inspect individuals to make sure they did not have illicit weapons, and call for help if they ever came under concerted attack. Their jobs could be somewhat dangerous, and would require discipline and reasonable knowledge of some basic infantry skills -- but they would not be extremely complex.
The METL is limited to monitor, inspect and call for help. Thats certainly in line with time tested standard UN practice in Lebanon, Croatia, Bosnia and Rwanda. Apparently, coming under unconcerted attack (like IEDs or occasional ambushes) is simple. So no great skill is required to wait for air support while pinned down in an ambush deep in the African bush at night? Apparently having American flags will immediately make up for total lack of fighting capability, and thereby deter the Janjaweed from disrespecting them. Of course, on the rest of planet earth outside the UN office building, it is sincerely believed that any such force, being neither equipped, trained or prepared for combat, would be abused by anybody with the slightest interest in doing so. Little children will point, laugh and throw stones, as they always have at the impotent UN peacekeepers.

From there it gets worse :
They would begin their service with roughly 12 weeks of boot camp and 12 weeks of specialized training -- and then go to Darfur next winter.
Mhmmm. 6 months of training. None of that expensive and time consuming unit collective training seems in order. As observed, the units being US, they are apparently assumed priori not to need actual combat training. That would be OK of course if the tasks are only simple as outlined earlier, but :
....such American main combat forces would probably not have to be larger than company-size formations -- 200 to 300 troops each. Assuming several such companies would be deployed, perhaps 1,000 American soldiers and Marines from existing units would be needed countrywide, to back up the 5,000 to 10,000 new enlistees in the dedicated genocide prevention force.
Aside from "company formations of 200-300" (and thats three contradictory elements in one phrase) being "main combat forces", even if the magic US flag somehow allows them to avoid combat/prevail in combat, how would those 5000 quickly trained meat shields genocide preventers prevent genocide across all Darfur where the 10000 African Union peacekeepers failed miserably? Is it the US flags again? Plainly ridiculous.

Who is this guy? How the hell can this Michael O'Hanlon make a career in defence analysis and get published in the Washington Post when he doesn't have a clue?

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