February 04, 2005

U.S. To Train Palestinian Forces?

More smarts moves on the Palestinian front. When you take the lead in training an army, well, you get to influence it a whole lot more. We did the same thing with the 'train and equip' effort of Bosnian Federation forces back in the '90s. Recall that Clinton had instructed then Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith to tell Croatian President Franjo Tudjman that he had 'no instructions' with regard to whether Croatia should respect the (amoral) Bosnian arms embargo. Tudjman took this as tacit permission to let arms get into Bosnia. Croatia took her cut and the rest of the arms, many Iranian supplied, got into points Sarajevo. The Iranians, of course, were less interested in the plight of beleaguered Sarajevans than establishing a beach-head to export the Islamic revolution into Europe. Thus, post-Dayton, American moves to take control of the training and equipping effort were particularly apropos in terms of reining in radical tendencies in parts of Sarajevo, Zenica etc that were falling for the Iranians who had ostensibly stood by them during their darkest hours. Well, subsitute Hamas and Jihad Islami for Iran in the present equation and it's pretty much the same thing. If (and it's a big if) Palestinian security forces can come under one umbrella, if as Condeeleza Rice puts it there is "one authority, one gun"--well why not have the U.S. heavily involved in training them? And if such forces fall under the sway of radicals at a later date, well, the U.S. will better know what tricks they might have up their sleeves. That unlikely hypothetical aside, a major U.S. role in this training effort will prove a moderating influence and important component in creating a professional PA military apparatus that can effectively cooperate with their IDF counterparts in disengagement exercises, possible joint patrols, and other military-to-military cooperation. Note the Egyptians are also training PA forces these days.

Posted by Gregory at February 4, 2005 11:14 PM | TrackBack (11)
Comments

And if such forces fall under the sway of radicals at a later date, well, the U.S. will better know what tricks they might have up their sleeves.

Before that, the personal relationships built between traniers and students allow for communication and action that can forstall such forces falling under the sway of radicals.

Posted by: Mrs. Davis at February 5, 2005 01:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

...and it makes for easier ice-breakers at the US defense tables during the annual trade-shows (g).

See you at IDEX '05.

http://www.idex-uae.com/2005/

Posted by: Art Wellesley at February 5, 2005 05:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Did you see this? I don't know enough to say one way or the other:


Some administration officials have been wary about getting too closely involved in the retraining of Palestinian security forces because some believe Palestinians who received U.S. training and equipment during the Clinton administration took those skills and conducted attacks against Israelis. But the road map plan calls for the United States to take the lead coordinating role, and in London Rice said the "United States is prepared to play a major role" in the international effort to retrain Palestinian forces.

U.S. officials have discussed reestablishing the "trilateral mechanism," a coordinating group made up of the CIA and Israeli and Palestinian security services that began informally in the 1990s over dinners at the home of the CIA station chief in Israel.

Posted by: praktike at February 6, 2005 03:11 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

BD: "When you take the lead in training an army, well, you get to influence it a whole lot more."

Mrs. Davis: "... the personal relationships built between traniers and students allow for communication and action that can forstall such forces falling under the sway of radicals."

Maybe.

But maybe not. Australian involvement in the Indonesian military didn't work out well at all. When the East Timor crisis hit, all assumptions about the Indonesian armed forces capacity for redemption were mocked by events, and those wonderful contacts we were allegedly developing turned out to be worthless. We had no influence and no information, we were holding an empty bag.

Providing good training for people who want to become more effective killers doesn't make them virtuous unless they themselves also want to become virtuous.

Posted by: David Blue at February 7, 2005 07:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Bad idea.

Remeber Afghanistan. We trained the same people who are now Alkida.

What ever they are named Bin Laddens groupies.

We train people they now know are tactic and how to use them against us.

Remember old saying takes a crook to catch one. Same with a thief if they now how to beat security systems thay make good security anyalasts.

It is a no win either way.

pre paid cellular.

Posted by: tom at February 10, 2005 10:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think if we had been more diplomatic we could have had Un do all the policing and traing. Now they want to take are money and tell us you got into this fix it.

Un is a joke. We made a mess and now do not know how to get out. Will be years to get out maybe never.

Unlimited Long distance.

Posted by: Marry at February 10, 2005 10:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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