Third Party Intervention in Civil Conflict
Struggles involving civil wars and violence far outnumber those dealing with external aggression and conflict, especially in today’s society. These internal conflicts over identity, territory, and government are more difficult to resolve through peaceful negotiation, creating an augmented sense of collective responsibility to acknowledge. If handled incorrectly, the situation may worsen, causing tension and (possibly) execution. The use of third parties (military intervention) in civil conflict often creates national distress, reeking havoc and tremendous costs upon assisting nations.
One cost of military intervention is a rise in anti-American sentiment, freshly evident in Somalia. When United States Marines made their landing in Mogadishu eight years ago, the Somalis greeted them with acclaim. One year later, eighteen Americans died at the hands of the Somalis. Hatred of the United States was apparent, particularly in the published photo of content Somalis dragging an American corpse through the streets (Kressel 187). The gruesome scene triggered the U.S. to withdraw troops. Despite the apparent goodwill at the beginning of the assignment, American engagement was widely resented once they became part of the war. The intervention had created a threat to U.S. interests where there had previously been none.
Comparable ill will greeted United States soldiers when they attempted to land in Haiti in 1994. Based on preceding attempts to influence Haiti's domestic affairs, such as withholding of financial aid in crude attempts to influence Haiti's domestic affairs, the U.S. should have expected Haitian resistance (Kressel 122). Faced with violent opposition to the American presence, the Clinton Administration proscribed the ships to turn around and dismiss the original plan-landing the ships so that third party "peacekeeping" could take place. This fear of confrontation by the most powerful country in the world, the United States, did significant damage to American credibility (Kressel 123).
Interventionism also jeopardizes U.S. vital interests in other ways. The most obvious hazard is to the lives of American soldiers sent into the conflict. Once troops have been deployed, it becomes a critical interest to ensure their security. If they are in danger or if troops have been taken hostage, the United States has a responsibility to protect them. It was for that reason that President Clinton declared March 31, 1994, as the date for withdrawal from Somalia and, at the same time, took what appeared to be the contradictory action of sending thousands of additional troops to Mogadishu (Snyder 24). To guarantee the security of the troops already there, auxiliary forces had to be deployed. Again, the intervention threatened the interests of the United States.
Pointless interventions also waste the public’s espousal for military operations. Failed missions produce tremendous cynicism about future...