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Unformatted text preview: Carnegie Council Case Study Series on Ethics and International Affairs: #18 The Problems of Doing Good: Somalia as a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention Alberto R. Coll Copyright @1997; Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. Further copies of this case and information about the project and other case studies in the series may be obtained from Matthew Mattern, Program Officer, Education and Studies, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, 170 East 64th Street, New York NY 1002}. Telephone: (212) 838—4120; fax: (212) 752—2432; e-mail: [email protected] Carnegie Council Case Study Series on Ethics and International Affairs This case study is one ofa series commissioned and produced by the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. Underwritten in part by grants from the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Dillon Fund, these cases highlight the dilemmas ofmoral choice that are an inevitable part ofdecision making in international affairs. The purpose of this series is to clarify the ethical dimensions ofthe conduct and content offoreign policy. Each case puts forward a set offacts within the framework of making explicit the relevant, and often competing, moral claims. The “Teaching Notes” section located in the back offers a number ofsuggestions for organizing discussion. This project is part ofthe Council’s ongoing Education and Studies programs, dedicated to generating scholarship in the field ofethics and international affairs and making it available for educators, policy practitioners, and community leaders. All of these cases encourage interdisciplinary, jargon-free analysis: elements of history, politics, and philosophy all come into play. They illustrate that ethics and international affairs need not and should not be left to “specialists.” Neither professional philosophers, nor anthropologists, nor political theorists have any special purchase on the field. It is the hope of the Council that these cases will clarify the role ofmoral reasoning in the decision making process, and strengthen the common human values that hold together the international system and make international relations possible. To the extent that they make citizens and statesmen more aware of this dimension as well as more articulate and discriminate as moral thinkers, these cases should be useful to all students of international affairs. he concept ofhumanitarian intervention has an ancient and noble lineage in the history of international relations. It refers to the forceful intervention in the domestic affairs of a state by another state or group of states for the purpose of stopping outrageous human rights abuses and alleviating human suffering. Medieval legal theorists such as St. Thomas Aquinas, and later international law thinkers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centu— ries such as Vitoria and Grotius, agreed that a prince’s right to rule undisturbed over his people could be superseded in cases where he committed egregious injustices or was incapable ofmaintaining basic justice, order, and human well—being as a result of natural calamities or his own moral or intellectual turpitude. In those cases, foreign princes had an obligation to intervene, by force if necessary, to uphold the basic rights of those being abused and to alleviate human suffering. This obligation was based on the idea of the common humanity ofall peoples in which the entire world was a single human community ruled by basic standards of natural law and justice. The n0tion of humanitarian intervention fell in disfavor in the eighteenth century as international law became progressively dominated by the notion of state sovereignty. In the conception ofinternational law that first became prevalent in the eighteenth century and has continued down to our own time, states are seen as autonomous units with the right to exercise complete sovereignty over the people within their boundaries. Under this system, states were no longer obligated to intervene in another state to protect basic human rights. The only kind of The Problems of Doing Good: Somalia As a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention Alberto R. Coll humanitarian intervention recognized by this view of international law was in situations in which the state intervening was doing so to protect the lives and safety of its own citizens living in another state. Throughout the nineteenth century a number of European powers carried out a few of these interven- tions, invariably against less technologically advanced states outside European society, such as the Ottoman empire and China. As late as the 19705, while the governments of Uganda and Cambodia engaged in wholesale slaugh— ter and genocide that cost several million lives, the international community refused to sanction a hu— manitarian intervention on behalf of the peoples of either country. The suggestions by critics such as Senator George McGovern that the United Nations mount an effort to stop the atrocities of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia met with little enthusiasm either in the United States or anywhere else. Third World countries were particularly suspicious of the idea, which they saw as a Trojan horse for new forms of Western imperialism and paternalism in the develv oping world. Eventually, Tanzania invaded Uganda and Vietnam intervened in Cambodia, thereby oust— ing ldi Amin and Pol Pot respectively and putting an end to the mass killings. But in spite ofeach coun- try’s claims that it had staged a humanitarian inter— vention—~and in spite of the worldwide relief that at last someone had done something—the international community refused to sanction the incidents, seeing them instead as self-interested actions by Tanzania and Vietnam rather than as humanitarian interven— tions benevolently aimed at protecting human rights and ending widespread suffering. Case Studies in lit/airs and International Aflirs In early 1991, with the end of the Cold War, the growth of fresh hopes for a rebirth in the United Nations’ fortunes, and the successful conclusion of the Persian GulfWar, the classical notion ofhuman— itarian intervention underwent a dramatic revival. The first major case came in the aftermath of the GulfWar, when the United States, Great Britain, and France, with the authorization of the United Nations, carried out a humanitarian intervention in Northern Iraq on behalf of the Kurds. The large Kurdish minority in Iraq has long sought its own independent state, or at least a substantial degree of autonomy, neither of which the Iraqi government has ever accepted. When Saddam Hussein’s armies were defeated by the allied coalition in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, the Kurds grasped at what seemed an ideal opportunity to rise up in arms and achieve their dream ofstatehood. They were to be bitterly disappointed. Saddam had salvaged enough of his military forces from the wreckage of Desert Storm to mount a savage counter—attack against the Kurdish rebels. As the Iraqi offensive intensified in its ferocity, the Western powers, however belatedly. finally stepped in and established a prorected zone from which all Iraqi military forces were barred, and within which the United Nations was able to carry out extensive emergency reliefactivities to assist the beleaguered Kurdish population. Since Hussein had used chemical weapons against the Kurds during a similar rebellion in the 19805, killing tens of thou— sands, it is not difficult to estimate that the al— lied/UN intervention of I991 saved tens of thou— sands oflives at very low cost to the participants. The Kurdish intervention was hailed as a harbin— ger of future humanitarian interventions. Interest— ingly, a survey of the major international law and foreign policy journals throughout the 19705 and 805 reveals little discussion on the subject ofhumani- tarian intervention, and whenever the subject was addressed, it was usually treated by academics and policymakers with the greatest skepticism as to its morality or practical relevance in a system ofsover— eign states. Beginning in 1991, however, a massive sea change took place. Scholars and practitioners alike began to admit that the end of the Cold War had created opportunities for international action of a much wider scope and of greater intrusiveness across increasingly permeable national boundaries. National sovereignty was no longer considered as rigid an obstacle, or as great a moral value, as before. Today the international consensus-«which is not shared by a number of non—Western states such as China—seems to be that humanitarian intervention is legitimate as long as it meets several criteria. First, it must be sanctioned by the United Nations. Second, the purpose must be truly humanitarian: there must be a large number oflives at risk, or the human rights abuses in question need to be truly egregious. (Both ofthese are issues obviously subject to conflicting interpretations in specific cases.) Third, the intervention should be no more intrusive and last no longer than necessary for the interna— tional community to accomplish its humanitarian objeCtives. Somalia and the Bush Administration On December 4, 1992, President George Bush, recently defeated in his reelection bid by Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, announced his decision to send over 20,000 U.S. troops to Somalia. The purpose of this military force was to insure that the large amounts of food being donated to the Somali people by the international community would reach their intended beneficiaries. There was widespread fear among international relieforganizations and the United Nations that large numbers ofSomalis were on the verge ofstarving to death. The country was wracked by civil war, and the various rival groups struggling for power were keeping much of the international aid from reaching its final destination points. Unless military force was used to reopen seaports, roads, and the main airport at Mogadishu, and to convoy the food supplies throughout the country, the famine would take a devastating toll. #18: The Problems ofDoing Good: Somalia A5 a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention The American contingent, assisted by much smaller forces from other countries, would be under the command ofa senior US. military officer and would operate in support of ongoing relief efforts by the United Nations and a number of nongovernmental international humanitarian organizations (NGOs). The president’s decision to use American military force for such a seemingly worthwhile objective was widely applauded around the world and within the United States. Thus began Operation Restore Hope. The president’s decision to send American troops to Somalia was surprising to those who in the previous two years had urged the administration, in vain as it turned out, to intervene in places ofgreater national interest to the United States than Somalia. In the spring of 1991, for example, Saddam Hussein, then staggering from the destruction of most ofhis army in Operation Desert Storm, had begun to massacre thousands of rebellious Shi’is and Kurds. In spite of repeated pleas for help, the United States did not move against Saddam for several weeks. When it finally did so, it limited its intervention to the imposition ofa ban on Iraqi military aircraft in Southern Iraq and the establishment ofa protCCted zone in the northwestern Kurdish region of Iraq. A few months later, war in the former Yugoslavia broke out, and the United States refused to inter— vene. By late spring of 1992, with all of Europe concerned about the Serbian military onslaught againsr Croatia and the Muslim regions of Bosnia— Herzegovina, and despite such disringuished critics as Margaret Thatcher and former secretary of state George Schultz urging vigorous American political and military efforts to end the conflict before it further damaged the fabric of European stability, the Bush administration took the position that this was a crisis beyond the capacity of American power to resolve at a reasonable cost, and that it was up to the Europeans to take the lead in resolving it. In the summer and fall ofthat year, Democratic presiden— tial nominee Bill Clinton highlighted George Bush's inaction as illustrative of the president’s alleged passivity and moral insensitivity. Why, then, did President Bush decide to intervene in Somalia? In the days of the Cold War, Somalia had been of some importance to the United States because ofits geographical position astride the Horn ofAfrica. As the Soviets consolidated their hold over Ethiopia in the late 19705, their relationship with Somali dictator Siad Barre deteriorated. In 1977, much to the United States’ elation, Barre expelled all Soviet advisers, and in 1980 he offered the US. Navy use of the port of Berbera in exchange for American arms and financial aid, Washington received another indirect benefit. Barre continued to support the Eritrean secessionist guerrillas in Ethio— pia, which were creating serious difficulties for the Soviet—supported Ethiopian regime. Barre was overthrown in January of 1991 at the same time the Cold War ended. For a short time, Somalia seemed to disappear from the map ofAmer— ica’s strategic interests. The country became en— gulfed in a bloody civil war as different factions struggled to gain control. By late 1991, the civil war had begun to seriously disrupt the country’s food production. Over a million Somalis became dis— placed from their homes and famine began to spread. By early 1992 conditions had become so serious that the United Nations, along with a hosr of international nongovernmental organizations, was carrying out a massive famine relief effort. In the United States, newspapers and the Cable News Network (CNN) were carrying daily stories showing dramatic photographs of Starving children with bloated bellies and emaciated bodies. By the sum— met, the dead count had passed the 200,000 mark and was still rising.l On August 15, shortly before the Republican National Convention, President Bush, then trailing Bill Clinton in the polls by a wide margin, decided to step up American support for the famine relief efforts of the United Nations and various other international charitable organizations. The United Case Studies in Ethics and International Aflni'rs States would increase the amount of food it was donating and would provide different kinds of technical and logistical support to insure the food was widely distributed once it reached Somalia. The new American measures, however, turned out to be insufficient to stop the famine. The key problem was Somalia’s political and military chaos. Central governmental authority had ceased to exist. The country had broken up into a series of fiefdoms controlled by rival warlords. Getting food shipments to various parts of the country required massive bribes to secure the permis— sion of the roving militias and armed groups in control of those territories through which the food had to pass. In many cases the warlords outright obstructed the food shipments, trying to seize the food for their army's use or for sale in the black market, or simply to deny it to their enemies. In addition, the civil war had taken a severe toll on the country’s roads and bridges. The ports and the major airport in the capital ofMogadishu were often shut down as a result ofmilitaty violence. By late fall of 1992 it was obvious that the famine was continuing. Even though the volume of food entering the country had risen from 20,000 to 37,000 metric tons per month between September and November, the amount of donated food reach— ing those in need had declined from 60 to 20 per— cent.2 The United Nations warned that unless more drastic measures were taken, many Somalis would die within the next six months. In Washington, a number of officials began to think an American military intervention might be the best step to take, given the scale of the problem. At the same time, President Bush began to turn his full attention to Somalia after a disappointing defeat to Bill Clinton in the November election. He wanted to end his presidency on a high note. Foreign policy had always been George Bush’s strength, and indeed the president intended before leaving office to complete a major arms control ac— cord with Russia that would remind the world and future historians ofhis key contribution, as he saw it, to ending the Cold War between the superpowers. UN Secretary—General Boutros Boutros—Ghali had made it clear to the president that he wanted to see the United Nations mount a major effort, with substantial American military support, to break the logjam offood distribution in Somalia. During the second week of November, the president instructed his senior advisers to prepare a set of policy options for dealing with the Somalia crisis, indicating that he wanted to put an end to the famine. Certainly it should be possible to bring American power to bear to save innocent lives at a reasonable cost to the United States. At the Pentagon, word arrived in mid—November that the president was serious about an American military intervention in Somalia, and the main question became what form it should take. On this issue there was a difference of opinion between the military and the civilian staffin the Defense Depart— ment. The military staffers were led by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Colin Powell. Born in Brooklyn ofWest Indies immigrant parents, Powell had risen by dint ofhard work and unparal— leled political skills to become the first African— American to occupy the highest post in the US. military. As with many other Vietnam veterans, his service in that disastrous war had been the key formative experience shaping his professional out— look. The chief lesson Powell had carried from Vietnam was the need to avoid entangling the Amer- ican military in wars that lacked popular support, and the requirement that, if the military was sent to war, it should be sent with all the massive strength necessary to win decisively and quickly. ln the year following the 1991 war against lraq. Powell had capitalized on the success of the Ameri- can military to institutionalize his views through what became known in the Pentagon as the Powell Doctrine. A restatement of the earlier Weinberger Doctrine (1984), which Powell had helped to draft in his capacity as secretary of defense Weinberger‘s #18: 7776 Proalz'ms of Doing Good: Somalia A: a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention military assistant, the Powell Doctrine stated that the United States should employ combat troops only (1) ifvital American interests were at stake, (2) it could achieve a clear-cut victory, and (3) military power was employed with “overwhelming force." While the war against Iraq was an example of this use, a “humanitarian intervention" in the murky political complexities of Somalia was not. For months, Powell and his senior staff had been quietly lobbying against a US. military intervention in Somalia. On the civilian side, the outlook was somewhat different. The principal policy adviser to Defense Secretary Cheney was Paul Wolfowitz, a thoughtful official who, after receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1967, had taught at Yale and subsequently en- tered public service as a young intern, quickly gaining the attention of Paul Nitze, and rose through successive Democratic and Republican administrations to become the third—highest ranking civilian in the Pentagon. Out ofintellectual convic— tion, \Volfowitz kept his focus on what he consid— ered the key strategic problems facing the United States in late 1992: strengthening NATO at a difficult time of uncertainty over the alliance’s future and the increasing disagreements over Bosnia, encouraging Russia and Ukraine to reduce their nuclear arsenals while maintaining tight control over them, and keeping a set ofdangerous regional rogue states such as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea in check. In Under—Secretary Wolfowitz’s set of priorities there was little room for Somalia. When word arrived that the White House ex— pected imminent serious action on Somalia, Wolf- owitz passed the tasking to two offices in his staff: the deputy assistant secretary of defense for interna— tional security affairs, Africa (ISA-Africa) and the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and lowdntensity conflict (SOLIC). In the large bureaucratic battles oflate 1991 and early 1992 over future US. military strategy and force structure, these two offices had been largely on the sidelines. Now their hour had come. While SOLIC had been repeatedly a strong advocate of using American special operations forces in various parts of the world in missions of broad military support to US diplomacy, the position it took regarding Somalia was surprisingly conservative. Somalia was not important to US. interests. Thus, any commitment of US. resources should be lim— ited. IfAmerican troops had to be used in a human- itarian intervention, they should be used in support of a broader UN operation in which the United Nations, not the United States, should bear the risks and pay any political costs that might accrue. A high—profile US. military intervention with the United States in the lead was inappropriate given Somalia’s low ranking in America’s strategic priori— ties. Ironically, it was General Powell who did the most to sink SOLIC’s proposed policy option and ensure that the American intervention in Somalia would be a solo effort, with the United States taking the lead and most of the potential risks. Ifthe US. military was to be involved in Somalia—and the politically sensitive general knew that George Bush had decided as much—it would come as close as possible to the “overwhelming force" model favored by Powell. The notion ofplacing American combat forces under UN command was distasteful to Powell, who had little confidence in the United Nations’ ability to perform military operations competently, much less to safeguard American lives in the same way a U.S.—led and U.S.-commanded force would. For Powell. unlike for the civilians at SOLIC, Somalia was an all-or-nothing affair. Either the United States should not intervene (the general’s preferred alternative), or if it did it should do so on a large scale so as to accomplish its putative mission as bloodlessly and as quickly as possible and then get out. Powells \‘iC\\' was shared by the theater commander. General Joseph Hoar, commander in chief of the central command, who would have overall responsibility for direCting the military intervention. g Within the Pentagon, Powell's standing was so Case Studies in Ethics and International Aflfzirs high, and his political prestige and capital so im— mense, that his victory in the bureaucratic battle over the shape ofthe Somalia military intervention came as no surprise to anyone. Certainly, the general enjoyed the well-earned confidence of both the secretary of defense and the president, the latter having become particularly fond of his counsel. The die was cast. As the massive force began to land in Somalia on December 9 under the incongruous glare of the lights of television cameraan who had gathered on the beaches to film the historic event, the Bush administration went out of its way to indicate that this was a limited humanitarian intervention. The American forces were there to make sure that the food reached the hungry. Once they accomplished this objective, the troops would be withdrawn and the mission would be turned over to the United Nations. In comments to journalists, National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft hinted that he expected some ofthe U.S. troops involved would be returning home by January 21, the date of Presi— dent-elect Clinton’s inauguration, or shortly thereaf- ter, and though Secretary Cheney and General Powell distanced themselves from any such optimis— tic assessments, they insisted that this would be a mission limited in both its scope and duration. International and domestic support for Bush’s decision was overwhelming and included the Strong endorsement of President—elect Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus. Yet, there were a few dissenting voices, though at the time no one paid much attention to them. On December 1, several days before the intervention began, Smith Hemp— stone, U.S. ambassador to Kenya and a seasoned observer ofAfrican affairs, sent to Washington along cable opposing the intervention. Hempstone was pessimistic about the prospects for success of a humanitarian intervention in Somalia. He believed that the efforts to end the famine would be no better than a temporary palliative. The rival factions would return to all-out civil war as soon as the international forces withdrew from the country. As for the inter— vention being a catalyst for producing long—lasting economic and political reforms in Somalia, Hemp— stone had little hope of that happening. Somalia was simply too backward, and too dominated by semi— feudal social traditions in which the highest alle- giances were to oneself, to one’s family, and to one's clan, in that order of priority, with the nation-state occupying a rather distant place in the average Somali’s affections and loyalties. Once the United States stepped into the morass of the Somali civil war, Hempstone warned, it would find it difficult to extricate itself. In somewhat injudicious language that had the unfortunate effect of lessening the power of his arguments, Hempstone wrote that Somalia would prove to be “a tar baby” that the United States would be unable to hand over to someone else. Elsewhere, one of America’s most celebrated diplomats and scholars of foreign affairs, George F. Kennan, had written in his diary on December 9 that the Somalia operation would turn out to be ua dreadfiil error ofAmerican policy.” With cool logic, he reasoned that: The situation we are trying to correct has its roots in the fact that the people of Somalia are wholly unable to govern themselves and that the entire territory is simply without a government...this dreadful situation cannot possibly be put to right other than by the establishment of a governing power for the entire territory, and a very ruthless, deter— mined one at that. It could not be a demo— cratic one, because the very prerequisites for . . . ~ \ a democratic political system do not CXISt.‘ In his diary reflections, Kennan raised another important set of ethical issues: given the United States’ massive budget deficits—~which would have to be paid for by future generations of Ameri- cans—and its inability to address adequately its #18: The Problem; of Doing Good: Somalia A5 a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention domestic human and social needs—.particularly in America's decaying cities—was it morally appropri— ate to pour several billion dollars into faraway Somalia? These questions certainly had to be part of the moral calculus by which the United States needed to assess whether or not it should intervene in Somalia. Yet, as Kennan noted, no one was asking these questions, certainly not in the White House, Congress, or the news media, all of which seemed to be caught up in a fever ofhumanitarian enthusiasm. Had Kennan published his gloomy reflections instead of keeping them to himself, he would have seemed like a modern—day Scrooge to the American people and the first family, all of whom received much cheer that Christmas from the images ofyoung American soldiers diligently alleviating the hunger pangs ofmillions of Somalis. The Clinton Administration When Bill Clinton took the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol on January 21, 1993, the hu— manitarian mission was not over, and the process of bringing the troops home had nor yet begun. indeed, American troop Strength reached its peak of 25,000 that month. The process of clearing the political and physical obstacles to the relief effort and distributing the food supplies was taking longer than anticipated. Yet, success, as measured by the num— ber of Somalis being fed and the quickly receding prospects for mass famine, was at hand. By late February it was clear that the mission, as narrowly defined initially, was about to end. It was at this point that policy discussions in Washington became complicated. The Clinton administration was divided on what to do next. On the one hand, the senior military leadership, including General Powell, believed that the United States should withdraw as quickly as possible and hand over the reins to the United Nations force then being assembled for the purpose of restoring some political stability to Somalia, UNOSOM ll. According to this viewpoint, any American troops remaining in Somalia after the hand—over to the United Nations should be few in number and should play a supporting rather than a leading role. On the opposite side of the debate was a growing number of political appointees in the State and Defense Departments, supported by the career Africa region experts at the State Department and large segments of the press, who believed that now that the U.S. military was in Somalia, it should go beyond the narrow task of providing emergency relief and engage in a substantial degree of “na- tion—building"#—the process of reconstructing Soma— lia’s shattered political and economic infrastructure. It would be a great pity, they argued, if not an outright tragedy, if the United States, having already spent large amounts of money and political energy alleviating the famine, were to leave Somalia without addressing some of the root causes ofthe instability and violence that had brought about the famine in the first place. Only after Somalia was on a course toward political reconciliation and economic stability would the United Nations be capable of taking over the task of reconstruction from the United States. It is important to point out that even though the advocates ofimmediate withdrawal seemed to carry the day—the United States handed over its mission to UNOSOM II on May 4-the underlying senti— ment that favored a more thoroughgoing American involvement in Somalia’s internal political and economic affairs than the Bush adminisrration had considered remained an immensely powerful force in shaping subsequent American policy. Indeed, this sentiment was to guide efforts by the Clinton admin— istration as it worked to support UNOSOM II from March 1993 on. After taking over from the Americans. UNOSOM ll began to run into problems for a number of reasons. First, its political objectives were borh highly ambitious and ill-defined. In late March, the UN Security Council, with the full support of the Clinton administration, had passed Resolution 814 Case Studies in Ethics and International AflZIirs setting forth UNOSOM II’s mandate. Its goals were no less than: The economic rehabilitation of Somalia...to help the people of Somalia to promote and advance political reconciliation, through broad participation by all sectors of Somali society, and the re-establishment of national and regional institutions and civil administra— tion in the entire country...the restoration and maintenance of peace, stability, and law and order...[and the creation] of conditions under which Somali civil society may have a role, at every level, in the process of political reconciliation and in the formulation and realization of rehabilitation and reconstruc— tion programs.4 Given the giant scale of Somalia’s political and economic troubles, and the almost feudal condition of its institutions, not even the most ardent advo— cates of“nation—building” would be able to agree on the precise point at which UNOSOM I] could consider that it had achieved success. Promoting Somalia’s transition toward political reconciliation was a case in point. Did this objective, hazily defined as it was, encompass merely the end of hostilities between warring factions in the country? Or did it also embrace reviving the old system of clan assemblies, in the hope that it would produce a national leadership acceptable to most Somalis? How far should UNOSOM II interfere in these processes? How should UNOSOM ll relate to the warlords, most ofwhom saw themselves as represent— ing large clans within the country and therefore as entitled to a large share of power if not the preemi— nent position of political power in the country? Should UNOSOM II simply prevent any renewed outbreaks of large-scale violence, or should it go further and disarm the warlords, by force if neces- sary? Although similar quandaries confronted UNOSOM II in the field ofeconomic policy, it was in the political and military arena that UNOSOM ll was most vulnerable to incoherence. Not only did the Clinton administration not attempt to clarify UNOSOM Il’s objectives, but in its own internal debates and in its policymakers’ guidelines for supporting UNOSOM II, the administration, dominated by those who wanted to see Somalia reconstructed, showed an equal degree ofconceptual confusion. In addition to objectives that were at best unclear and at worst overly ambitious, UNOSOM II faced a classic “Lippmann gap” between its goals and the military and economic resources available to imple— ment them. The sums of money pledged by United Nations’ members to UNOSOM H’s work, large as they were, were insufficient for the enormous task at hand. Militarily, the UNOSOM 11 force was far weaker than the American contingent had been, and was hobbled by the typical problems facing UN military operations: an awkward command struc— ture, a multiplicity ofnational subvcommands below the UNOSOM ll command level, and sharp dis— agreements among UNOSOM 11 members about the operations military objectives and strategy. To these were added substantial shortfalls in mobility and heavy firepower. All of these problems were particularly worrisome given UNOSOM lI's ambi— tious agenda and the likelihood that in order to implement it, UNOSOM ll might haVC to take on some of the warlords, a number of whom were heavily armed, had years ofmilitary experience, and knew the country’s terrain well. During the five months of their preliminary mission, the Americans had avoided conflict with the warlords by combining their superior and unques— tionable military strength with a policy of talking and negotiating with the warlords whenever any difficulties arose. The American commander on the ground, Marine General Robert Johnston, was a veteran of the ill-fated 1983 Beirut “peacekeeping” mission. 50 was his political counterpart, Ambassa- dor Robert Oakley, the US. Special Envoy to #18: 7796 Problems of Doing Good: Somalia Ar a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention Somalia. They were determined not to get the United States entangled in Somalia’s civil war, and to avoid any appearance that they were favoring one faction over another. Given that their objective was simply to feed the starving, the Americans’ policy made sen5e and was a replay of the old Teddy Roosevelt adage, “speak softly and carry a big stick." Perhaps inadvertently, and certainly unavoidably, given its limited resources and broad agenda, UNO— SOM II began to move in the opposite direction shortly after it began operations, uttering rather ambitious rhetoric but carrying an inadequate stick to back it up. By then, General Johnston and Robert Oakley had left Somalia, and their places had been taken byJonathan Howe and Robert Gosende, neither ofwhom had the same degree ofsensitivity to the pitfalls ofintervening in Civil war situations. UNOSOM lI’s presence and its agenda soon were perceived as a threat by some ofthe warlords, espe— cially those who were strong enough to hope that, were UNOSOIM II out of the way, they would gain power. Notable among these was lVIohamed Farah Aideed, a shrewd, charismatic Somali politician and clan leader. Married four times and the father of fourteen children, Aideed had grown rich from extortionist activities he had carried out in connec- tion with the famine and the international relief effort. Aideed had been a political prisoner for several years. During Siad Barre’s 21-year dictatorship, Barre later pardoned him and sent him to India as ambassador, hoping to co—opt him or at least keep him at a safe distance. In 1990, as the dictatorship began to crumble, Aideed took up arms against Barre, and of all the warlords was the most effective militarily in helping to push the dictator out ofthe country and keep him from returning. Aideed considered himselfentitled to lead the country, and he had amassed substantial military forces both inside and outside of Mogadishu. Aideed calculated, with good reason, that the further UNOSOM II succeeded in implementing its “nation—building" agenda, the less likely he would be 9 to gain control of the country and the greater the risk that one ofhis rivals would. In May of 1993, he launched a virulent nationalist political campaign designed to persuade Somalis that UNOSOM II was bent on returning Somalia to colonial status and that it was time for the UN forces, including its small contingent ofAmericans, to depart from the counr try. His suspicions toward the United Nations were inseparable from the deep ill will he harbored toward its secretary’general, Boutros Bouttos-Ghali, who as Egypt’s foreign minisrer a few years earlier had been, in Aideed’s View, excessively supportive of the corrupt and tyrannical Siad Barre. In response to the inflammatory rhetoric emanat- ing from Aideed’s radio station, Radio Mogadishu, UNOSOM II decided to shut it down. Before doing so, it notified Aideed that it was sending teams of peacekeepers to inspect several of his weapons storage sites. On june 5, 1993,21 team ofPakistanis, after inspeCting the storage site located at the radio station, was attacked by Aideed’s militia, the SNA. The violence soon spread into a city—wide rampage that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead and scores in— jured. There was now a direct military conflict underway between UNOSOM II and the country’s mOSt powerful warlord. It was at this point that a prominent retired US. navy admiral, serving as special representative of the UN secretary—general to Somalia in his capacity as a private citizen, began to play a role that was to enmesh the United States further into UNOSOM II’s growing difficulties. Admiral Jonathan Howe had served his country with distinction as a naval officer for three decades. Before joining UNOSOM II, Howe had served as deputy national security adviser to President Bush and had been closely involved in the Bush administration's decision to intervene in Somalia. Widely known as a “hard charger" who got things done when no one else could, Howe was extremely well connected in Washington throughout both the civilian and military bureaucracies. Shortly after taking the Case Studies in Ethics and International Aflkirs UNOSOM 11 job in the spring of l993——Wltl’l the full blessing of the Clinton administration—he began to use his extensive connections and his intricate knowledge ofAmerica’s military capabili— ties to lobby for a more vigorous American involve- ment in Somalia in support ofthe troubled UNO— SOM ll operation. Senior officials at the highest levels in the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Pentagon received frequent calls from Howe at all hours of the day and night requesting more American resources for UNOSOM ll. By late June, with the Pakistani soldiers dead, Aideed in full open defiance, and his supporters roaming through the streets of Mogadishu, it was clear to Howe that UNOSOM II was in danger of collapsing unless the United States acted energeti— cally to prop it up. Howe also worried that the contingent ofArnerican forces remaining in Somalia was becoming increasingly vulnerable to the spread- ing violence and might suffer an attack from Aideed similar to the one that ended in the loss of Pakistanis lives. On June 17, after a bloody melee between Aideed’s SNA and UNOSOM II forces, Howe forsook whatever possibilities might have remained for negotiations with Aideed by issuing a warrant for his arrest and offering a $25,000 bounty for his capture. He also began to ask persistently that the United States send the famed Delta Force to Somalia to help UNOSOM II capture Aideed. (Delta is a highly classified, superbly trained US. special counter—terrorist unit.) In the Pentagon, Howe’s request met with consid— erable ambivalence. While the senior special forces commanders were eager to see the Delta Force sent into action, General Powell and much of the Joint Chiefs were leery of the considerable political and military risks involved. On the civilian side, the SOLIC office once again counseled restraint, re— minding senior decision makers that Delta was a powerful and lethal military instrument inappropri— ate for this case, given the political uncertainties of Somalia and the limited nature ofAmerican interests at stake there. The new under—secretary for policy (and successor to Paul Wolfowitz), Ambassador Frank Wisner, agreed for the time being with SOLIC's assessment that Delta should not be sent, even though he had been pushing for months for a more activist U.S. effort in Somalia. A brilliant foreign service officer who had served as ambassador to Egypt and later as under-secretary of state, Wisner had moved over to the Pentagon in late january of 1993 with an activist agenda. He was a strong believer in US engage— ment in the Third World and the value of the Uni— ted Nations to American interests in the post—Cold War world. As a young foreign service officer, Wisner served in Vietnam alongside Anthony Lake, who was now President Clinton’s national security adviser. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he gained in Vietnam a good deal of respect for the American military, particularly the special forces. Wisner was one of the senior W’ashington officials whom Howe contacted regularly from his Mo- gadishu post. While Wisner was reticent to back the use of the Delta Force to hunt down Aideed, he did agree with Howe on the need for more active Ameri— can political and military support for UNOSOM 11. As early as April, he had been mulling over the use of U.S. special operations forces to help disarm the warlords and destroy some of their large weapons stockpiles. By late June, he was warning the some— what indecisive secretary ofdefense. Les Aspin. that the failure of the United Nations in Somalia would deal a severe blow to America's national interest. The UN’s future porential as a useful peacekeeping organization was at stake. Failure in Somalia would spell an end to U.S. efforts to use the United Na— tions in crises which, though not significant enough to merit direct American involvement. were never— theless sufficiently important to require active resolution. The month ofjuly saw unremitting escalation of the military conflict between UNOSOM II and #18: 7776 Problems ofDaing Goad: Somalia A5 a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention Aideed, with the United States using its small but powerful remaining contingent in Somalia—the Quick Reaction Force—«in increasingly heavier strikes against Aideed as part of the Clinton adminis~ tration's strategy to bolster UNOSOM ll. A major threshold was crossed on July 12 when the Quick Reaction Force, without any warning, carried out a devastating raid against Aideed’s command post. The military operation had been approved all the way up the chain ofcommand to the White House and UN headquarters in New York. The helicopter gunships fired sixteen missiles into the compound, killing a number of prominent Aideed supporters and SNA leaders. The International Committee of the Red Cross put the Somali casualty figures at 54 killed and 161 wounded.5 In the wake of the raid, a top aide to Aideed warned that “there was no more United Nations, only Americans. lfyou could kill Americans, it would start problems in America directly.”7 Following a number of SNA attacks in early August that killed several American soldiers, Presi— dent Clinton on Augusr 22 secretly ordered the Delta Force to Somalia, augmented by the equally legendary Army Rangers. Once more, another Rubicon was crossed: the United States had again decided to stake its international reputation and the credibility of its elite military forces in a direct challenge to a minor Third World warlord. There was high confidence in Washington that Aideed would be the loser in this gambit. As in Vietnam, the United States was unable to translate its overwhelming technological superiority over ragtag forces into either a military or a political victory. With impressive skill and dating, the Special forces searched for Aideed constantly, but he always managed to stay just a step ahead of them. His numerous sympathizers kept him well-informed of the special forces’ whereabouts and movements. He avoided radio communication to prevent intercepv tion ofhis messages. They never captured him. An intelligent man who, unlike Saddam Hussein, knew the United States well as a result of having spent considerable time living there, Aideed figured that the United States might tire of the whole enterprise ifhe could raise the political costs to them just a bit. After all, precisely because Somalia was not impor« tant to the United States, a few well—placed blows might induce the Americans to give up. By now, the U.S. Congress, including many Democrats, had become restless with the inconclu— sive and escalating Somalia operation. Besides, the president, still only eight months in office, seemed uninterested in foreign policy and uncomfortable with its details, thereby providing a tempting target for his Republican adversaries. As congressional opposition began to mount, a number of thoughtful critics in and outside Capitol Hill began to ask whether the administration had any exit strategy for Somalia, any notion ofwhen and under what condi— tions it was prepared to bring to an end the U.S. intervention. The administration’s responses to these queries were less than reassuring. In various fora, the presi- dent and his secretary of defense argued that the situation was improving, that America could not be seen as retreating, and that the United States would be able to fulfill its mission and bring its forces home in the near future. Revealing how little he under— stood what the American forces were doing. or perhaps in a deliberate effort to tap into the Ameri— can people’s humanitarian impulse even at the cost of misleading the public, the president kept insisting that the central purpose of the U.S. forces was to feed the starving, even though by then the famine had been over for several months. By late September, the U.S. special envoy to Somalia, Robert Gosende, had begun to reconsider the wisdom of the policy of waging war against Aideed, and submitted to the State Department a recommendation that the policy be changed to one ofdialogue and negoriations. Unfortunately. how— ever, the wheels of the State Department and Na— tional Security Council bureaucracies moved too Case Studies in [ft/air: and International/119911}; slowly. On October 3, tragedy struck. A US. special forces team swooped down by helicopter on a Mogadishu building to arrest several prominent Aideed lieutenants who were in hiding. Within a few minutes, the special forces had rounded up the suspects and were ready to carry them away, the operation an apparent success. But by then, word of the raid had spread and hundreds of armed Aideed sympathizers, mixed with large numbers of women and children, began to gather around the building. They fired their weapons at the Americans, shooting down the helicopters that were hovering above the building preparing to take away the Americans and their prisoners, and trapped the U.S. force in a small area with the intention of killing them. In the ensuing battle that lasted several hours, the handful of American troops killed over 300 of Aideed‘s militia and wounded some 1,000, including a large number ofwomen and children who were part of the crowd. The besieged American team was eventually rescued, but not before losing eighteen soldiers. Like the Tet offensive of 1968, the battle was a military victory for the United States but a political defeat. Pandemonium broke out in \X’ashington. A beleaguered and exhausted secretary of defense was called to testify immediately before a congressional committee and set offa firestorm of outrage when, in an uncharacteristic outburst ofgenuine humility, he asked the congressmen their opinion of what American policy toward Somalia should be. To make matters worse, some Pentagon sources leaked the story that several weeks earlier the US. field commander in Somalia, General Montgomery, had requested heavy armored vehicles to protect the American forces but Aspin had turned down the request because of concerns that sending the heavy equipment might alarm Congress unduly by feeding suspicions about further escalation. In fairness to Aspin, none ofhis military advisers at the Pentagon, including General Powell, had been particularly adamant about the need for the vehicles. The secre— tary’s military advisers had not given him an accurate 12 idea of the serious risk to which the American forces were exposed in Mogadishu, and thus it was under— standable that he had decided the matter as he did. But now that a debacle was in the making, not one of Les Aspin’s advisers—«or for that matter not even his superior, the president—stepped in to his rescue. He was allowed to twist slowly under withering congressional and media fire, the clear scapegoat for a disaster to which many others had contributed. To his credit, Aspin took most of the blame on himself, unfair as that may have been. With his credibility and reputation in tatters, he was to resign a few months later from the job to which he had aspired all his life, and in which he had lasted less than eleven months. He would die a broken man less than two years later. A few days after the October 3 debacle, President Clinton, eager to cut his mounting political losses, announced that the United States would withdraw its military forces from Somalia within a few months. There were no preconditions attached. Two weeks later, UNOSOM II opened negotiations with Aideed. By the spring of 1994, the United States had withdrawn most of its remaining forces from Somalia and the other states participating in UNO— SOM II had begun to pull out their troops. Sur— rounded by cheering throngs of supporters, Aideed entered Mogadishu triumphantly on May 20. The last UN forces left the country under protection of the US. military in March of 1995. Aideed, how— ever, proved unable to consolidate his power, and the In August of 1996, in the course ofa military skirmish with one ofhis rivals. civil war continued. he was mortally wounded and died a few days later. While there was no famine in the country, peace seemed as elusive as ever. The Moral Debate From the United States’ perspective, after spending $2 billion on military operations alone, exclusive of the nonmilitary aid donated to Somalia, and with a total of 30 Americans dead and another 175 wound— #18: The Problems of Doing Good: Somalia A: a Care Study in Humanitarian Intervention ed, was it worth it? The answer to this question runs across a wide spectrum ofopinion. On one end are those best described as interest-driven realists who argue that, no matter how powerful the United States is, and no matter how broad and global its interests are, its economic and political resources are still limited, and therefore it needs to choose care, fully where and to what extent it becomes involved in the numerous crises dotting today’s world. For example, the significant sums of money that the Defense Department spent on Somalia came out of some other account in the Department’s budget; some important program had to be downgraded or sacrificed altogether, some significant investment neglected or postponed, in order to pay for the Somali intervention. Similarly, the political resources of the United States government are limited, as are the reservoirs of The enormous amounts of time, energy, intellectual public support for foreign commitments. focus, and political capital that the president and his top diplomatic and military advisers spent on Soma- lia came at the expense of other critical issues, some of them of possibly greater relevance to the well— being and security of the American people than Somalia. In a world of limited U.S. resources and multiple demands on these resources, the United States has to be selective and tough—minded as it chooses among competing priorities. The interest—driven realists argue that, in the con— text of the size and multiplicity of major interna— tional problems confronting the United States in the last decade ofthe twentieth century, Somalia should have been ranked low in American priorities. It is true that in the age of instant communication and CNN the American people were shocked and disturbed by the spreading famine, but not so much as to demand that the government intervene to stop it. Even though the president received wide popular support when he decided to intervene, there is no evidence that a failure to intervene would have led to strong public disapproval outside the Beltway. 13 Furthermore, even if some form of intervention had been agreed upon, its scope, duration, and the size of the forces involved needed to be measured in the context ofthe limited U.S. interests at stake and the potential costs and risks involved. This was not an unopposed humanitarian intervention, as was the 1991 Operation Blue Angel in which the U.S. military, with the full support of the Bangladesh government, had extended humanitarian assistance to that country in the aftermath of a devastating cyclone. In Somalia there was a full-blown civil war among heavily armed factions, and the intervention ran the risk of becoming opposed by some ofthose factions, especially the more deeply it engaged in “nation—building” missions. Among interest-driven realists, especially those outside the isolationist or neo—isolationist camp, there are many that have what we might call an interest—driven “domino theory” of international precedent and consequences. They appreciate that isolated events and actions can have strategic conse— quences far beyond their original narrow context. This is why, in foreign policy and defense, realists tend to favor the exercise of American Strength and resolve, as long as the interests at stake are significant. A tough stance on behalf of American interesrs in one country will affect perceptions ofU.S. credibility and strength in another. A show ofweakness in one place will embolden U.S. adversaries elsewhere. On the whole, interest—driven realists are skeptical of humanitarian interventions, especially those involving high costs and risks in places ofmarginal strategic importance to the United States. Lest we see these realists as bereft ofa moral compass, they point out that selectivity in choosing whether to intervene, the weighing of costs and risks, and an appreciation of the nation’s limited resources in a world ofmultiple dangers are all morally worthwhile concerns. Moreover, they warn, costly interventions in places oflimited value to the United States wind up leaving the American public with a sour taste for international commitments, thereby imperiling Case Studies in [ft/airs and International Aflairs future public support for action in places that really matter, be they Kuwait, Korea, or Europe. As their final trump card, the realists like to point to the apparently inexhaustible reservoir of humani— tarian crises around the world and the seemingly arbitrary choice of Somalia. Why not Sudan, where more people were dying from hunger.> Why Haiti and not Cuba? Is it morally appropriate to allow CNN to dictate America’s strategic priorities? These are legitimate questions in a world of seemingly limitless human suffering and limited resources. At the other end of the spectrum in the debate over Somalia are those we might call value—driven gig/masts. Most ofthem consider themselves to be as aware of the realities of power politics and as concerned about promoting U.S. national interests as the interest—driven realists. The key differences are, first, their broader conception of the national interest in the light of contemporary global economic and political interdependence, and second, a value—driven udomino theory" of precedent and consequences. The globalists’ viewpoint has been expressed forcefully by the veteran American diplomat Chester Crocker, himself no starry—eyed idealist: President Bush was right—~politically, strategically, and ethically-40 launch Operation Restore Hope, and President Clinton was right to support his decision. The judgment that U.S. forces could and should stop humanitarian disaster in Somalia was a proper assertion ofglobal leadership... As the end of the century nears, it is surely wise that we and others broaden our understanding of national interest to include consideration of interests related to global order (sanctity of borders, extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) and global standards genocide, humanitarian catastrophe). 8 mass (avoiding l4 Value—driven globalists focus on the degree to which the well-being and security of the United States is tied to a certain kind of benign international order. They would agree with the rcalists that this order needs American military power at its foundation, but it also depends for its health and vibrancy on global institutions of cooperation, including the United Nations, and the strengthening of shared international legal and moral norms that The spread ofcivil war and mass famine, even in a small provide some restraints on state behavior. country such as Somalia, could not be written offas a tragic but ultimately inconsequential event. To allow it to continue would have had repercussions beyond the purely humanitarian aspects. It would have contributed further to the overall deterioration of Africa. intervened, a U.S. refusal to support the operation would have led to UN failure and thereby would Moreover, once the United Nations have undermined that organizations credibility. In keeping with their value—driven domino theory ofprecedent and consequences, globalists argue that allowing extreme suffering and degradation in a place like Somalia has its costs, imperceptible as these might seem to the realists. International passivity in the face of gross human suffering and violations of human rights in one particular place contributes to a generalized loss of respect for life and human dignity in the world as a whole. International society, morality, and basic decency form one whole fabric. A tear somewhere affects the fabrics quality and strength everywhere else, and though obviously not all tears are of the same kind, one should fix them whenever feasible. It is interesting to note that the just war tradition has recognized these global communitarian links to which the globalists pay so much attention. In his sixteenth—century treatise 7776’ India, for example, Francisco de Vitoria argued that human rights violations in one country affected everyone else as a consequence of all persons being part of the same larger human society spanning the whole world. #18: T/Jt’ Prob/ems ofDoing Good: Somalia A5 a Care Study in Humanitarian Interventian Globalists argue that, given the United States’ enormous resources, aid to Somalia and support for the UN intervention was a reasonable, feasible courSe ofaction. The fact that the intervention eventually became resented by many Somalis and perceived by most Americans as a fiasco does not erase several fundamental realities. First, thanks to American leadership, the famine ended and many Somali lives were saved, though a serious study has shown that by the time the Marines landed in December the famine had peaked and the total number of lives saved by the intervention may have been as low as 10,0007 Second, in spite of the affairs ambiguous denouement, Somalia did not revert to the same degree ofchaos as before. Although the civil war has continued, its level of Violence is lower and the country is out of the worst throes of internal strife that almost destroyed it. Economically, Somalia also has a long way to go, but its agricultural production is considerably above 1991—92 levels. On balance, a modicum oforder and well—being was restored to a corner ofAfrica. All of these achievements justify the entire operation in the globalists’ eyes, in spite of the tragic loss ofAmerican lives, the financial cost to the Defense Department, the mistakes made along the way by all parties, and the incomplete and anticlimactic ending. To the degree that Somalia and the corner it occupies in Africa is a slightly more orderly place today, and the international system has one ewer points ofchaos, the benefits to the United States ofthe Somalia intervention were indirect but not insubstantial. Finally, the globalists have an answer for the realists’ question ofwhy Somalia was chosen. There may have been even more serious crises elsewhere, but there were practical opportunities to acr in Somalia, and so it was appropriate and useful to step in even if it meant giving less attention to other humanitarian emergencies. We face similar dilem— mas in our personal lives and in domestic policy. The fact that we are unable to assist all the deserving 15 poor to the fullest extent of their needs does not prevent us from engaging in some forms of charity. Our choice of those charities is shaped by circumstances that are largely accidental if not arbitrary, yet no one would argue that it would be best not to give to any Charity at all rather than give to some on the basis of less than fully systematic reasons. Conclusion The substantive debate between the interest-driven realists and the value-driven globalists, and among the various points in the spectrum between these two poles of opinion, will not be settled soon. In the Somalia intervention, good intentions were mixed with miscalculations in roughly equal proportions to produce an outcome that was as full of ambiguities and failures as it was of undeniable achievements. The United States started out its mission with high confidence that it could do some good at low cost, and without becoming entangled in Somalia’s conflict. As the humanitarian effort proceeded successfully, American officials and their UN counterparts fell to the temptation ofexpanding the mission in order to address Somalia’s wider political and economic problems. This was the fateful step. For in expanding the mission to include the country’s wholesale political and ‘ economic reconstruction, they put themselves on a collision course with powerful Somali forces that had a different vision ofwhere the country should go. The error of expanding the mission was compounded when, after encountering resistance from such forces, notably Aideed, they proceeded to underestimate him and to forsake compromise in favor of all-out war. Although grossly outmatched technologically. Aideed fought this war skillfully, mindful that given Somalia's relative unimportance to the United States, if he could evade capture and continue killing American soldiers it would not be long before the Americans gave up. In the end, the United States did do some good, but not without incurring Case Studies in Ethics and International Afiirt significant economic, political, and human costs. What started out as an effort to demonstrate American global leadership wound up leaving the United States Clausewitz’s old—fashioned warning that “in war embarrassed and humiliated. even the seemingly most simple things turn out not to be so simple" is as applicable to the use ofmilitary force in humanitarian interventions as it is to the larger conflicts with which we usually associate his somber words, Teaching Notes Humanitarian interventions, such as the one carried out by the United States and the United Nations in Somalia in 1992—94, raise a number of complex ethical questions that should be examined on a case by case basis: * Is the intervention truly humanitarian? is it being carried out mainly to promote the national interests of, and to yield tangible strategic benefits to, the States carrying out the intervention, or is it mostly intended to reduce human rights violations and suffering in the country affected.> *Were the human rights abuses, or the degree of suffering, sufficiently egregious to justify violating the principle of national sovereignty? * Does a country have a moral obligation to help a foreign people in distress? Ifso, what is the ground of this obligation? Is it divine law, natural law, or some other principle? * If there is such an obligation, what are its limits? How much is it reasonable to expect a state, or a group of states acting through an international organization, to contribute in terms of financial resources and the lives ofsoldiers they will risk? ‘ Once the intervention has accomplished the al— leviation of human suffering for which it was initiated, is it morally appropriate to take advantage of the international consensus and resources that have been mobilized in order to expand the initial mission and engage in a higher level of economic 16 and political assistance to the country affected, especially when it is a matter ofaddressing the root causes that brought about the famine or civil war in the first place so as to avoid a future tragic recurrence? What are the moral pros and mm, as well as the practical risks, ofsticking to the original mission, no matter how narrow, versus expanding it so as to encompass broader purposes and perhaps achieve more lasting results? " Ifthe humanitarian intervention is opposed by some groups within the country that is being assisted, how should the intervenors respond to such opposition? is the use of military force against such opposition ever justified, and if so, under what circumstances? (These were particularly troubling questions in Somalia, where the political movement headed by Mohamed Farah Aideed welcomed the intervention as long as it was focused on providing famine reliefand not used as a means for the United Nations to engage in large—scale political or economic reforms.) " Did the objective of assisting the Somali people justify any means used on its behalf? Did it justify the use of force (including deadly force against Somalis like Aideed and his supporters who were opposed to the wholesale political and social reconstruction of their country)? " Are good intentions enough to produce moral outcomes in international affairs? Ifgood intentions are not enough, what other personal qualities or virtues do statesmen need to cultivate within themselves and the advisers whom they choose? " In democratic societies it is morally appropriate that the architects ofthe nation’s foreign and defense policies be accountable to the people. To what extent should policymakers be swayed by public emotions toward human rights outrages or suffering abroad, especially when those emotions may be fanned by selective news media coverage? ‘ Do policymakers have a moral responsibility to remind the public ofthe costs ofintervention and of inevitable trade-offs in the choice ofwhere to invest #18: The Problems of Doing Good: Somalia As a Case Study in Hurnanz'tarian Intervention scarce foreign policy resources? " In a world ofincessant calamities and suffering, do the news media have a moral responsibility with regard to which particular humanitarian crises they choose as the principal focus oftheir attention? Questions for flirt/oer discussion: " If the conclusions of a study prepared by the Refugee Policy Group are correct, and the U.S. intervention in Somalia saved only 10,000 lives, were the high costs ofdead and wounded among U.S. and UN forces and the $2 billion of Defense Department money worth the results? Was George Kennan right that the money would have been better spent at home on deficit reduction or improving the conditions ofsome ofAmerica’s cities? * How should the United States determine wheth— er to intervene in any of the numerous humanitarian crises around the world? Are there criteria or standards of selectivity that should be used to determine not only whether to intervene but also the level of human and economic resources that will be spent on the intervention? " Throughout 1994, in the aftermath of the controversial conclusion to the Somali intervention, a fierce civil war raged in Rwanda in which the majority Hutus carried out a systematic campaign of genocide against the minority Tutsis that cost one million lives and displaced 4.5 million people. Except for a limited emergency humanitarian airlift to refugee camps in Zaire and the rebuilding of Rwanda’s main airport at Kigali, the United States did not step in. Neither the Clinton administration nor the American public had much interest in getting involved in what was perceived as potentially another Somalia, even though arguably this was a much more urgent situation in which American action would have saved many more lives than in Somalia. Should the United States, together with other nations. have intervened in Rwanda to stop the slaughter? ' In the summer and fall of 1996, the United 17 States found itself involved in another highly complex peacekeeping/humanitarian operation, this time in Bosnia as part ofa larger NATO force, and with over 40,000 heavily armed U.S. troops. One of the tasks of this force was to apprehend individuals accused of committing war crimes in the course of the five—year war. Most ofthem were Bosnian Serbs, including their two most prominent leaders. Keeping in mind the painful experience of Somalia, how far should U.S./NATO forces go in looking for and arresting those individuals? \Vere there risks that these activities would cause the United States and NATO to be perceived as taking sides in the long and bitter dispute between the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Serbs and thereby turn the U.S./NATO role from that of impartial arbiter of the peace into a combatant against one of the factions, as happened in Somalia? Notes ’ Refugee Policy Group, Litres Lost, Lives Saved: Eves; [Mortality and the lmpaet ofHea/tlv Interventions in t/Je Somalia Emergency (Washington: Center for Policy Analysis and Research on Refugee Issues, 1994). 16—17. 21, 24. 2 Andrew Natsios, uFood Through Force: Humanitarian Intervention and U.S. Policy,” “Vas/Jingron Quarterly (\Vinter 1994). l35. 3 George F. Kennan. “Somalia. Through a Glass Darkly." 77):" New York Times, September 30, 1993. A25. ‘ 77]? United Nations and Somalia. 1992—1996 (New York: United Nations Department of Public information. 1996). 261—263. i' John L. Hirsch and Robert B. Oakley, Somalia and Op- eration Restore Hope: Reflections on l’earemal'mg ana' l’eaa'l'aring (\Vashington: United States institute of Peace, 1995), ill—22. (' Keith B. Richburg. “in War on Aideed. UN Battled itself." Washington Post, December 6. 1993. cited by Hirsch and Oakley, Somalia and Operation Restore Hope. 121~22. Hirsch and Oakley add: "There is no doubt that the militia leaders had studied not only Operation Desert Storm but Vietnam and Case Studies in Et/az'rs and International Afinmr Lebanon to understand the domestic political impact of American casualties." 7 Chester Crockcr. "The Lessons ofSomaJia", Foragn Aflfiir: (May/June 1995). 7. " Liz/(5 Lon, 1.11m; Sal/(d, 32‘ ' ’ 18 ...
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