Thursday, January 04, 2007

Misbehaving Peacekeepers

Wow! This is exactly the same complaint that the International Community had with Abu Ghraib. The United Nations seems to lack a good structure for punishing U.N. Peacekeepers gone bad.

I think the world of both the United States Military and the United Nations Peacekeeping forces. The problem is that when you have hundreds of thousands of young testosterone loaded soldiers in intense situations; You will have some problems. The disgrace of Abu Greib was not simply that out of control soldiers made Muslims put underwear on their head. The disgrace was that we had inadequate training on what the prison guards could and could not do. Above all, it was disgraceful that, during an invasion that was supposed to help the Iraqis re-establish the rule of law, we did not have a sufficient legal structure in place to try the inevitable crimes committed by the 300,000 armed forces in the area.

After Abu Greib, US politicians and conservative pundits fell into damage control mode. Political damage control only makes matters worse when the damage is caused by a fundamental flaw. The United States was able to able to fix the fundamental flaws that delayed bringing the perpetrators of prisoner abuse to justice. We have a strong military court system in place. Without a working ICC, the United Nations is in a much tougher situation.

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