The United States Military Should Stay Out Of Sudan

Over at the WAPO, Susan E. Rice, Anthony Lake and Donald M. Payne argue that the United States should bomb Sudan into submission if need be in order to stop government sponsored massacres in that country:

“After swift diplomatic consultations, the United States should press for a U.N. resolution that issues Sudan an ultimatum: accept unconditional deployment of the U.N. force within one week or face military consequences. The resolution would authorize enforcement by U.N. member states, collectively or individually. International military pressure would continue until Sudan relented.

The United States, preferably with NATO involvement and African political support, would strike Sudanese airfields, aircraft and other military assets. It could blockade Port Sudan, through which Sudan’s oil exports flow. Then U.N. troops would deploy — by force, if necessary, with U.S. and NATO backing.

If the United States fails to gain U.N. support, we should act without it. Impossible? No, the United States acted without U.N. blessing in 1999 in Kosovo to confront a lesser humanitarian crisis (perhaps 10,000 killed) and a more formidable adversary. Under NATO auspices, it bombed Serbian targets until Slobodan Milosevic acquiesced. Not a single American died in combat. Many nations protested that the United States violated international law, but the United Nations subsequently deployed a mission to administer Kosovo and effectively blessed NATO military action retroactively.”

This is an ironic argument on a number of different levels.

First off, you have Democrats who are basically saying, “To hell with the UN and international opinion, bomb Sudan if that’s what it takes to get the job done.” But isn’t that exactly the same argument Republicans have been making about Iraq while Democrats have loudly protested? Indeed, it is.

Next up, we’ve told by the left, almost since day one that getting rid of Saddam and leaving a Democracy in our wake isn’t worth the life of our soldiers. Moreover, Bush extensively talked about Saddam’s brutality and the number of Iraqis he was murdering on a day in and day out basis. What was the reaction? Liberals poo-poo’d him. Well, OK, being consistent here, if they think that’s the case, why in the world would they want us to go into Sudan? We have no interests at stake. There’s nothing there worth the life of a single American soldier. If the liberal arguments apply to Iraq, they should apply to Sudan as well.

It’s also important to note that the left never shuts up about the importance of our allies. Any effort we make that doesn’t have the support of 60 or 70 nations, is supposed to be pointless. All right, so if our allies are so valuable, why do they need us to get involved? After all, we are kind of busy right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. If all it’s going to take is a few bombing runs and a blockade to bring Sudan to heel, what do they need us for? Don’t our allies have planes and ships? If our allies are such a big deal, why do they need us to deal with a nation as militarily insignificant as Sudan?

Those are questions for liberals, but if you’re wondering what I think, I don’t want the US to get involved militarily in Sudan for a variety of reasons, most of which I’ve already touched on. But, to break it down more clearly:

— Our national interests aren’t at stake.
— There’s nothing in Sudan worth losing a single American life over.
— Our military is already busy elsewhere.
— Our allies shouldn’t need our help to handle this situation.
— As we learned after our failed intervention in Somalia, it’s not worth it to get involved unless we’re willing to go all the way, because it encourages our enemies if we leave a job undone.

Would I support using US diplomacy to try to solve the situation? Sure — and by the way, we’re already doing that. Would I support sanctions against Sudan? Sure. Would it be appropriate for the US to play a support role for other nations that intervene in Sudan? Sure. But, our military? They don’t need to be bombing Sudan, blockading Sudan, or on the ground in Sudan. That’s a job for other nations to handle.

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