Friday June 27 2014

Foreign military interventions never produce stable countries

By Augustine Ruzindana

Foreign military interventions which install regimes as they depart at the end of their mission, never lead to stable and peaceful conditions.
These interventions, while fighting the deposed regime, end up siding with sections of society or political organisations which were opposed to the previous regime and which are not necessarily qualitatively better than the regime they replace.

In the case of Iraq, the whole army, civil service and all state institutions were disbanded and since Saddam’s regime was Sunni dominated, the Americans handed over the state to the Shia who had been oppressed by Saddam.
However, now that the shoe was on the other foot, the Sunni in turn suffered oppression similar to what Saddam had inflicted on the Shia. Thus the death rate in Iraq, from terrorists and the regime has been extremely high.
In the last few weeks, Iraq has been in serious danger of division into possibly three parts, one for the Shia Arab majority, another part for Sunni Arabs and a third part for the Kurds.
The American trained Iraq never assumed the defence and security responsibilities for the country until the Americans were leaving.

Thus, when this Iraq army came under attack by a determined Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant insurgents and other Sunni groups, this army just abandoned their weapons and run away. Thus the Americans are on their way back starting with a small training force and the Iranians are also doing the same. But unless the Iraq authorities and army find home grown solutions, these foreign interventions will also not lead to stability.
Lebanon has suffered from numerous foreign interventions and remains a divided country. In Libya, there is no stability after foreign led overthrow of Gaddafi installed an Islamic leaning government.
In South Vietnam, the situation was the same until the opposing forces captured Saigon (now Ho Chi Min City). East Timor, after Indonesian annexation and UN administration, has gone through turbulent times.

Even Afghanistan, now that the Americans are leaving, stability is likely to take a long time to be established.
Here in Uganda, the overthrow of Amin largely by Tanzanian forces, led to the Luweero insurgency and the second overthrow of Obote which paved way for the current regime that still governs the country on a war footing.
The regime in DRC installed by external forces almost 20 years ago has never established its rule over the whole country and it remains unstable virtually all the time.
Therefore, as we intervene in Somalia, South Sudan and elsewhere, we should bear in mind that our intervention may not bear the desired fruits. Prudence, therefore, advises that our intervention have limited achievable objectives so that it is as short as possible.

My last week’s piece on Black players, white spectators and the religious divide of Bosnia-Herzegovina provoked some comments but space limits me to a few comments only on the Black players. What is admirable about them is that most play in the big clubs of Europe.
For a Black player to be picked at that level, he must generally be better than his White colleagues and continue performing exceptionally well. Similarly, whenever you see a woman at the top, that woman usually is exceptional enough to be selected instead of a man.

Therefore, those who suffer discrimination must be way above average to be acceptable at the table with those who are in charge of the prevailing system that discriminates against their group but even then, they may still have to bear occasional insults from individual members of the dominant group.
The world order, whether economic, political, cultural or sports is still under White domination and mostly men.

Mr Ruzindana is a former IGG and former MP.