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... superstrings: They look pretty in theory, but they don't seem to actually ever happen in the real world.

The example that supporters usually cite is Kosova, but it's not altogether clear that terror-bombing Beograd actually helped anything (and that's what happened - "air war" is a euphemism if there ever was one, particularly when the stuff you're bombing is hundreds of km away from the place where the shooting is).

In order to effectively police a population in a state where you cannot trust the government, you'll need to deploy a very large number of boots on the ground (the rule of thumb I heard somewhere is around 1-2 % of the population). Otherwise, you'll be spread too thin to be able to do much good. In the case of Sudan, that means something on the order of a hundred thousand soldiers, give or take a factor of two or three.

Any power that is politically and logistically capable of putting together an expeditionary force of ten divisions, shipping them to a foreign continent, supplying them while there and keeping them there for an open-ended peacemaking operation... is unlikely to be the kind of power that you want to be in charge of a peacemaking operation.

Because, logistically, that kind of operation looks like a colonial war. Maintaining the capability to fight colonial wars is not cheap. So it is not unreasonable to assume that you don't keep the machinery of colonial war at hand if you don't plan on using it in the not so far future.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 9th, 2009 at 05:55:52 AM EST
Who in their right mind would want to send its troops to police a country that is pretty much totally under arms already? I doubt that the military option is even on the table.

No. The more I think about it, the more I see the ICC move as being strictly legal and diplomatic instead of an escalation pointing towards an invasion sometime in the future. The ICC has a small, but fairly consistent history of relative success. If it doesn't overreach, I think it can keep that streak going.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Mar 9th, 2009 at 06:19:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We could stop the genocide in Darfur easily without going to war against Sudan. The only thing needed is Starvid's [Neocon Moment Alert] Plan.

There are four stages of escalation in it.

1. Have the French smuggle arms to the Darfur militias.

Pros: very cheap, ak47's, RPG's and technicals will do, and should have great effect. The Fur people might still lose the war and be wiped of the face of the earth, but then they will at least die like men, fighting, instead of being slaughtered like cattle. A great improvement, ceteris paribus.

Cons: they might become too succesful and start counter-genociding, but then, those janjaweed people really had it coming and no one will shed any tears for them. Also PC do-gooders might whine about arms smuggling, but the French always get away with anything.

If this isn't enough, escalate to the next step.

2. Send in Blackwater.

Pros: Blackwater advisors will lend great increases in the fighting power of the militias, considering that they are all bad asses and have lots of gear. Will still be relatively cheap, and can't be tracked to any state. Well, at least there is deniability. If anyone asks about how they're payed, they'll say they've gotten oil concessions to exploit when the war's won. It might even be true.

Cons: the PC do-gooders really don't like Blackwater and would rather see 100.000 Fur people be raped and chopped to pieces than see 1000 Rhodesians, South Africans, Brits, Russians and Americans go in there and kill people. For profit.

If more firepower is needed, see step three.

3. Have Blackwater call in CAS from the French Airforce. Well, the Blackwater Airforce crewed by a curious number of Francophone "volunteers".

Pros: Will annihilate anything the Sudanese sends forth.

Cons: Hugely increased political liability, but since we're talking about both the French and Central Africa, there's a good chance no one will really notice. The French have after all bombed the janjaweed during the laste few years, and you hadn't heard of that, have you?

If this still don't work, we launch a "police action". See step four.

4. The French (or someone else) level the Khartoum governmental district to the ground.

Pros: show's we're very pissed off, and strikes directly at the Sudanese elite.

Cons: impossible to do it under the media radar, even for the French.

:: ::

Of course, none of these rather simple things will be done because no one really cares about black people.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Mar 10th, 2009 at 12:33:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Neocon Moment Alert] I like your style.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2009 at 12:39:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, none of these rather simple things will be done because no one really cares about black people.

We could always do it as the token action to prove we don't just care about white people, and then quote it endlessly as proof for the next 50 years. but they probably have too much oil or other natural resources for that claim to seem realistic.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2009 at 01:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK, the main resources are dust and scorpions.

The oil might just be there, or not. And even if it is there, it might not be there in enough quantities for exploitation to make commercial sense. Or it might be to far away from a market to make sense. Or there might be lots of other problems.

But since when have journaslists cared about such nuance? If we say Blackwater is payed with oil concessions, they'll swallow it hook, line and sinker, because it just the kind of cliche which would fit perfectly into Journalist Worldview 1.0.

And further, the place is an utter Hellhole, no nice hotels at all, so no journalist would go there except Robert Fisk, whom no one listens to because he is an antisemite(tm).

Also, the security situation will be so bad no journalist can operate unless embedded with the troops, which Fisk refuses to be.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Mar 10th, 2009 at 01:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your title says it.  

The genocide in the Sudan is a resource war--a war for oil.  Who gets that oil?  Every country in the world has an interest here, and it is not an interest where the lives of the local people figure at all, except as excuses, dupes, obstacles, or tools.  

If humanitarian organizations can save a few of these people, that is all to the good.  Good luck!  They will need it.  

International macinations are just that--macinations. Perhaps the local people will get to select from a list who gets to genecide them.  

How sweet!  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Mar 25th, 2009 at 04:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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