COULD THE U.S. MILITARY IN HAITI 2023 BE AMERICA’S NEXT CONFLICT?
By Buddy Blouin
The Haitian people are struggling. It’s an unfortunate situation in which gang violence and a lack of infrastructure continue to plague the third-largest nation in the Caribbean by land size. The U.S. military in Haiti 2023 could be a harsh reality for our military. As one of our allies, we have had good relations with the nation on economic, political, and military fronts. But our complicated past still lingers in the minds of some. Regardless of how things were, the UN is calling for more powerful nations to intervene and restore order to Ayiti-Toma.
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U.S. Military in Haiti 2023 May Be a Necessary InterventionViolence and instability plague Haiti as their ongoing crisis deepens, and each day, things are getting more and more complicated. Sexual violence, kidnappings, and general disorder are only some of the reasons the U.S. military in Haiti 2023 isn’t as unlikely as it once was. A combination of shortages, gang violence, and cholera have harmed a struggling nation still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gangs have taken over many essential trade routes, including roads to major ports, as the nation already deals with shortages. “November witnessed 280 intentional homicides, the highest on record...making every commute for the average Haitian an ordeal,” said Helen La Lime, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General of Haiti when speaking on skyrocketing murder and kidnappings. Sadly, kidnappings used to collect ransoms have seen a sharp rise in 2022. The total number is more than double what it was for 2021 and equates to more than 1,200. It’s believed that more than 200 gangs exist within the nation, with its capital, Port-au-Prince, being home to nearly half. Increasing the need for Haiti military intervention are attacks by gangs that involve sexual violence as a form of intimidation and dominance. Overall, more than a third of Haitian schools have closed, thousands are displaced, tens of thousands are experiencing famine-level food shortages, and around 15,000 cholera cases exist.
The United Nations Isn’t Just Calling on AmericaAs the UN calls for support from international forces for Haiti, it’s important to realize that this could be a multi-national initiative. While speaking to the United Nations Security Council on Haiti, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the following: “I urge every country with the capacity to do so to give urgent consideration to the Haitian Government’s request for an international specialized armed force to help restore security and alleviate the humanitarian crisis.” The plight showcases the need for forces working toward law and order within the nation. Numbers for the Haitian National Police personnel have dwindled to around 13,000, with fewer than 9,000 active-duty officers available. These requests are also coming at a time when the United States and Haiti are working to repair a bit of a blemish in recent relations. A U.S. embassy attack occurred in November 2022 within the nation, though the gunmen targeted a convoy rather than the establishment itself.
Bitter Feelings LingerThe attack on the U.S. embassy in Haiti isn’t the only thing hurting relations. In fact, much of it is working in the opposite direction. As dire as things are, there are many Haitians and voices elsewhere that believe a United States intervention could lead to similar problems gangs already provide. But elections haven’t taken place in Haiti since 2016. There are obviously major problems facing the nation. No matter who answers the call, it’s clear that something needs to be done.
U.S. Military in Haiti 2023 Could Just Be the BeginningFinding a solution for such geopolitical issues is never easy or simple. You have complexities, including the commitment by the United States to defend Haiti and provide support for security, but even our allies such as Canada understand that too much intervention could be a bad thing. “The solutions must be led by Haiti, not by Canada, not by the United States, not by anyone here, not by any country, not by the U.N.,” said Robert Rae, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations. With a failing election process, worsening economic conditions, and widespread violence, the U.S. military in Haiti 2023 could help the nation establish much more than law and order. Actions to help restore necessary processes for Haiti should come after much deliberation and consideration on this blossoming international issue.
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