Thursday, December 04, 2003

The Wind's Blowin' Again - A-bout, Face or Preparation?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With guerrilla attacks overshadowing reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the Pentagon is considering formation of a specialized force to help shepherd war-torn countries from the end of major combat to the start of civilian nation-building, government officials say.
In an about-face for the Bush administration, defense officials are quietly examining proposals including a small joint-services unit of a few thousand troops that could be assembled in as little as a year to perform policing, civil affairs, engineering, medical and other duties in hot spots such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hots spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran ...

Meanwhile, Pentagon authorities are also pursuing creation of a U.S.-led international peacekeeping force consisting largely of troops from developing countries, the former Eastern bloc and Latin American nations such as Brazil and Argentina, defense sources say.

Creation of specialized forces devoted to peacekeeping and stability operations would represent a policy reversal for the Bush administration, which has viewed nation-building as a task better left to America's allies.
Not truly a reversal. We'd merely lead, being unable to convince our usual suspects allies, The Administration will just expand its 'open-tent', 'large-coalition-building' strategies to this new group.
Defense experts in Washington say proposals for a standing U.S. stabilization force has gained currency mainly among civilians at the Pentagon.

Already, opposition has surfaced among U.S. military officers, including some army officers with experience in U.S. peacekeeping operations.

The Army has long viewed peacekeeping as a threat to combat readiness and is suspicious of any plan to maintain a standing in-house unit devoted to post-conflict duties. "No one in the Army is seriously considering establishment of a constabulary unit," said one U.S. expert on peacekeeping.
Don't these folks ever talk to one another?


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