Sunday, April 03, 2005

More on Darfur

Adriana cuts through my "ifs and buts" and asks (a bit assertively) if we have a responsibility to stop the killings in Sudan. Yes, yes we do. We have a moral responsibility.

My objection to sending troops is that we haven't built a proper institution for meeting that moral responsibility. The US has always wanted to be the only power in the world. We complain about having to spend money to defend our allies, but we frankly like the situation, as it gives us vast influence over their affairs.

Problem is, on an individual level, young people sign up for the military and they agree to risk their lives to protect America. It would be rather easy to support sending United Nations troops to Sudan or even Nato troops, if those troops were made up of volunteers from all nations who knew what they were getting into. There should be a volunteer, international peace keeping force to handle these type of situations and no soldier should be "assigned" to this unit, they should sign up for it.

My worries about using our forces in this case are as follows: 1) We're occupying two countries right now. 2) There are at least three impending situations that might demand military action (Iran, North Korea, Syria) and 3) The lesson of Somalia, which was supposed to have been an easy, humanitarian mission.

But mostly, what keeps me wanting to keep our troops at home is that while "we" have a responsibility, it won't be me that performs the tasks demanded. We've asked an awful lot of our military over the last five years. I don't feel comfortable asking for more right now.


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