Would You Support Armed Intervention in Sudan?

First, I want to define that we’re assuming intervention here is going to be by the Western world, not by proxy, African Union forces or suchlike. Second, I want to put aside stretching troops too thin or not having enough due to Iraq and Britian. While valid topics, that is not what I wish to discuss. Also, I have no desire whatsoever to turn this into a thread about Iraq – i.e. “If you support intervention in Sudan, why not Iraq”, or vice versa. Lord knows we’ve got enough threads on that god forsaken topic at the moment.

The more I read about the situation in Sudan, with the ruthless tactics of the militias that by all accounts seem to not just be tolerated by the government, but actively encouraged by it, the more I’m beginning to wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to intervene militarily, and try to start stopping things by force, given that the government seems to lack any real will or even ability to stop what is going on its own. Even if it is able and willing, the process will be slow, and as it goes by we shall see the body count inflate tremendously. This seems like a situation where use of force would be entirely justifiable.

I also note that there are, however, political concerns. First, there’s the idea that Sudan has no bearing one way or the other on our national interests, and because of such, we shouldn’t use force. Secondly, there seems to be the idea this will be seen as an attack on a Muslim country, one moreover that has petroleum, which makes our motives even more suspect. This could lead the other African countries to side with one of their own, i.e., the current Sudanese government.

Thus, I am curious as to the opinion of SDMBers on this issue, as it isn’t a topic I’ve seen discussed too much. Thoughts?

From the little I have read , the sudanese govt seems to be launching airstrikes in support of the militias, which makes it a bit unfair. Enforcing a no fly zone , and having multi african troops deal with it , seems to be the most viable option.

Aside from the air power disparity , it appears to be a low intensity war. Technically speaking , you dont require nato forces to deal with it. Chinese or Indian troops would do just as well , or better.


I support the use of armed intervention only if all other reasonable options have been exhausted. In this case, any reasonable option would have to be something that could be done very, very quickly.

Absolutely, right now.

Even 1% of the troops and materiel in Iraq would suffice for defining and defending safe havens.

It is a time sensitive humanitarian crisis. Right now.

Yes - preferably with a Security Council mandate, but failing that, without. And provided it is done in a transparent fashion - eg for clearly stated, evidence-based reasons without any Halliburton style pork-barrelling or laying a finger on any natural resources. EG - not out of naked self-interest, which is why I cynically suggest it won’t happen.

(And, in case I am accused of Johnny-com-latelyhood, I did actually say this back in March.)

Yes I do. If done right. I.e. not limited to defending a status-quo in those part of Sudan where the government has pursued a policy of ethnic and religious cleansing – the goal must be the overthrow of the Sudanese government and/or partitioning the country into bits better reflecting the ethnic/religious/tribal facts (as in Ethiopia/Eritrea and as should have been done in Iraq). If troops were send merely with a mandate to try and protect the inhabitants of the trouble ridden areas and no option for attacking the problem at it’s roots such a move would quickly degenerate into a no-end struggle against terrorists moving in from the rest of Sudan.

And oh yeah. Screw the UN and the Security Council.

I agree with the yes, but do you honestly think the millions of displaced, starving refugees give a fuck about the UN approving help?!? And where the hell did Halliburton enter this? Obviously that comment and looking for Security Council approval shows you’re anti-Bush.

Way to work your hatred into this scenario.

Grow up for christ’s sake - you’d have to be a 25W bulb not to insist on things being done for the right reason after what we’ve seen.

Yes I would, and the hell with what the UN has to say about it.

And while we’re at it I think we should go ahead and take out Kim Jong-Il, too.

Do you think the reason something is done is more important than what is actually done? If somebody’s naked self-interest work to accomplish your (completely altruistic of course) goals, why would you oppose them? And why would you think self-interest cannot go hand in hand with good deeds?

Hey, Sparky, explain how helping those refugees would not be the reason. Reread my reply and take note how I … Oh screw it. You’re too young to understand. (At least I hope age is the reason)

As was shown in Samalia, the right reasons don’t count for a hill of beans. Our presence will be used by any two bit dictator to rally the rabble to his side. As much as I believe help is needed, I am afraid we would be used to make things worse. Perhaps, if we hadn’t blown any Arabic good will shown to Americans in Iraq it might be possible.

What is needed is an African force, or even better, an Arabic force to deal with this. I am not sure how fast we can arm such a force, and we have generaly sucked on picking allies for this kind of thing.

Sudan has got oil. The mere possible presence of oil reserves is enough to send some people screaming Halliburton. An intervention in Sudan will invariable see a repeat of the No-War-For-Oil crowd. The same crowd to take to the streets over Afghanistan and Kosovo (no oil there but other natural reserves the west wanted to steal of course)

There is an immediate need for military intervention.

(minor political rant coming… brace for it…) Despite the rhetoric of the Bush Administration, the United Nations did not fail with respect to Iraq. The process worked well: the UN refused to be bullied into a war that is increasingly, and rightly, seen as unnecessary. However, in the case of Sudan, the UN is failing miserably. Many Americans – though far too few – learned something from the carnage of Rwanda. It is clear that the UN Security Council did not.

Shame on China and the other UNSC members who oppose humanitarian intervention, fie on the UN Human Rights Commission for failing to criticize Sudan earlier this year when strong words still had a chance at obviating the need for military force.

As much as I think it must be done, I think Americans are the wrong ones to send in on the ground. Precisely because of Iraq, sending in the Marines to an oil-rich country controlled by Muslims that once granted UBL safe haven is frought with dangers. I see a damn good chance that, as thoroughly justified as our motives are, American intervention there will be spun in the Muslim world to be another example of the US hating Islam. God knows things could turn even worse if Al Qaeda chose to make Sudan another battleground against the imperialist invaders.

But yes, absolutely, something must be done. Now.

Jesus H Christ, how did I miss the oil argument?!? :confused: Now the reference makes sense. Thanks for setting me straight, Rune. :slight_smile:

I’m just too concentrated on trying to help those poor people survive to even think about if my gas goes up or down a dime. This shit puts it in perpective. I wonder what they’re paying in Darfur (sp?) for a gallon?

This not being the Pit I won’t take this any further. You make consider your posts arguments - they are not. They are just your usual myopic rantings, sans reason, sans facts. And I am absolutely certain I have forgotten more politics and history than you’ve ever known. Kindly ignore my posts in future as your contributions are worthless.

Quite - precisely the point I was making, as anyone who isn’t witless would realise. Don’t muddy the waters by taking the chance to throw handouts to your cronies or hands on strategic resources.

Given that one side is ethnicly Arab, don’t you think this would be precisely the wrong thing to insist on? I’m not saying that we should rule out Arab participation, but asking for an Arab-only force would likely backfire. If we had an Arab nation that was truly democratic, with a long history of impartiality, then maybe… but I can’t think of such a nation.

Well, um, wow. You really know how to hit below the belt tagos! All I can hope for is to have someone come along and give me a hug so I can feel better.

Oh, before that happens, I’m wondering if you can back up your quote from my reply. I mean, being as you can come up with such witty insults yelled on the playground.

Your words:

"Grow up for christ’s sake - you’d have to be a 25W bulb not to insist on things being done for the right reason after what we’ve seen."

Now take a moment to re-read your own post a few more times and try to follow along. What you said here was actually what I was saying.

Notice how you said I’d have to be a dim bulb for not insisting on doing it for the right reason? You’re showing incredible assholed-ness for not thinking the suffering is a right reason for calling for action.

Why the fuck even bother with you? I’m sure someone will be along shortly to put it more eloquently than I. Plus, I need a beer.