Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
... 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

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