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The United Nations adopted the Jack Murtha method of peacekeeping deployment in Congo today, evacuating its troops after having several of them killed in a gunbattle with Ugandan rebels. The reason the UN gave for withdrawing the peacekeepers? They couldn't find the rebels, even though the rebels had found them easily enough:
The United Nations pulled its remaining peacekeepers out of the national park where eight Guatemalan peacekeepers were killed in an apparent gunbattle with Ugandan rebels, a U.N. spokesman said Tuesday.
Hans-Jakob Reichen, U.N. military spokesman for eastern Congo, said the peacekeepers were withdrawn because they had completed a two-week mission to clear Garamba National Park of rebel forces. "It was decided to pull peacekeepers out of the park since any suspected rebels had melted into the jungle," Reichen said. ...
The 105-strong special forces contingent of Guatemalan peacekeepers was added to the 16,000-strong U.N. mission in Congo because of the Guatemalans' extensive experience fighting in wet, equatorial forests and hilly terrain, the U.N. official said.
It would be difficult for the Guatemalans to find the rebels while busily retreating -- er, redeploying to a strategic event horizon. I'm sure the rebels understand that the UN's sudden absense means that they must not venture back into Garamba National Park, or the UN will certainly send them back ... unless someone actually fires a gun somewhere.
Bear this in mind when people talk about how we can still protect Iraq by allowing the UN to take over our mission. Turtle Bay did the exact same thing in 2003 when it skedaddled out of Baghdad after one bombing, and that at the hands of the ex-Baathists it insisted on hiring for security instead of accepting the American offer to provide security at their compound instead. When Brent Scowcroft and others insist that the UN is the only entity with the moral standing to enforce a cease-fire, we can now add Garamba National Park to the military actions that demonstrate their competency, along with Srebrenica, Rwanda, and a host of other routs as an answer.Sphere It View blog reactions
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