Saturday, January 16, 2010

Will Haiti Devolve Into A Mogadishu?

The Earthquake in Haiti is truly a catastrophe.

The number of dead may be innumerable. We will likely never really know the true number of causalities. In that kind of climate, the bodies must be disposed of quickly. There will not be time for careful counts.

The desperation of the survivors will soon be at a pitch. They are on the verge of losing what little ties they have to civilization. There are no police. There is no government. There are reports of armed gangs setting up road blocks to demand money and goods from relief trucks attempting to bring in emergency relief supplies. Armed shop keepers are attempting to protect their property from roving gangs of looters.

While there are some UN “Peace keepers” there in Haiti, individuals are left to fend for themselves against looters and thieves that would rob them of what they have left. Relief workers and even those driving truckloads of the dead off for disposal are being threatened and even killed while they attempt to do what little they can.

Sending US troops into this mix is problematic.

What will be their mission?

What will be their Rules Of Engagement(ROE)?

How can they bring law and order to that country without operating as an Army of Occupation? And most importantly to that question, do we have the will and courage as a nation to allow our troops to use the deadly force that will be necessary for them to use in order to bring Haiti back from the brink of anarchy.

Are we prepared for that first day that an American soldier has to kill a Haitian? What if he kills several, or if several troops get trapped and have to kill and wound a whole lot of them? Can we allow US troops to put down the Riots and Unrest that are likely to result in the days and weeks to come?

This is a very dangerous situation for us to be in.

It will get worse before it gets better.

Obama will have to be very careful if he is to avoid having Haiti become his Mogadishu.

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