I’d like to pull out and discuss one line in Mark Malan’s latest entry: “The Secretary-General adds that the majority of the parties should state their agreement to the deployment of an integrated United Nations peacekeeping operation…” Majority consent. Isn’t that what the UN had the last time it went into Somalia? As in, minus the major fighting faction? To me, the conditions and objectives specified in the report that Mark cites are essentially identical to those in spring 1993 when the UN last got badly burned in Somalia, except that the occupying force there this time–the Ethiopian army–is not nearly so careful or impartial in its use force or its political sentiments as was US-led UNITAF in winter 1992-93. The outside world keeps trying to build a modern state in this place that’s never really had one. That absence didn’t matter much until the West began worrying about “ungoverned spaces” as potential havens for terrorists. Well, news flash: it’s a lot easier to raid an ungoverned space when you have intel on a terror cell there than it is to build and fund a whole state apparatus just to keep out the guys who want to build that cell.
As to Somalia being UNPK’s final straw/bridge too far/barrel over the falls: too late, done that, gone there: Darfur.