The kind of military operation with the best track record of actually delivering humanitarian results is traditional, more-or-less consensual blue helmet U.N. peacekeeping operations where the presence of a third-party force can help parties who want to make peace overcome problems of distrust and so forth. Naturally, this kind of work is perpetually slighted by the kind of folks who are only interested in helping foreigners through the mechanism of killing foreigners. Naturally, President Bush decided to underfund these missions because, hey, why help people when you could spend the money on tax cuts for hedge fund managers and an endless war in Iraq instead?
But at the time, the White House line was that the funds would be requested in a future emergency supplemental. Except the supplemental request came out yesterday and the money’s not there. Justin Rood explains the whole thing but to make a long story short, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Cote D’Ivoire are all screwed. But a humanitarian policy fiasco that isn’t also an opportunity to sing hosannas to unilateral militarism or to try to convince people that if only it weren’t for that damn international law we wouldn’t have any problems won’t get covered at all in the punditocracy.
Photo by Flickr user ctsnow used under a Creative Commons license