A Peacekeeping Dream Team?

A Lebanese blogger suggests Brazil, Canada, and Japan make up the peacekeeping team in a future Hizballah-less Lebanon. To be honest, that’s not such a bad combination. The Brazilians are fairly neutral and have a decent-enough armed force. The Canadians have experience in peacekeeping in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and while Prime Minister Harper is a US ally, Canada is viewed as a much more neutral country than we are. Japan’s constitution currently forbids anything but defensive military operations, but Prime Minister Koizumi has indicated he’d like that to change, and Japanese public opinion generally supports a more muscular Japan. (Being in range of North Korea missiles does that to you…) This would give Japan an international mandate to provide peacekeeping forces, something the world sorely needs. Plus, the Japanese don’t have any baggage in that region.

As loathe as I am to praise the French, the French government has actually been supportive of a free Lebanon. The US and the French drafted UN Resolution 1559 together, and the French do have experience in Lebanon from colonial days. I’m not so sure that having at least some French troops in Lebanon wouldn’t be such a bad idea – especially if they’re French Foreign Legion troops (AKA, the ones who still know how to fight.) The French also have counterinsurgency experience from Algeria, although not all of it positive by any means.

Of course, all that hinges upon Israel’s ability to remove Hizballah from the equation first, something I hope they can do before the pressure for a cease-fire becomes too much to continue worthwhile military options. Then again, with Nasrallah starting to talk about a hudna, it’s clear that Israeli attacks are starting to have some effect on Hizballah. Only when Hizballah is prevented from exercising control over Lebanese politics can the situation in Lebanon truly be stabilized.

One thought on “A Peacekeeping Dream Team?

  1. I don’t think the French are appropriate. They are the former colonial master of the country and will be seen as too pro-Christian, especially Maronite. Also French peacekeepers have not done such a good job in the Ivory Coast. And I am not taking about the stereotype of the French running away. I am refering to the fact that they destroyed almost the entire Ivorian Air Force in response to some of their troops being killed in a mine. They inflamed tensions by being too pro-rebel in that conflict. Also keep in mind the French peacekeeping force in Djibouti which sided with the Afar population over the Issas, and supported some brutal pro-government campaigns. Put the French in some one else’s back yard (ie.. a former a colony), and they don’t run away, they get too brutal and partisan.

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