Military Intervention: Agreeing to Agree

Sam Roggeveen ups the ante in our “furious agreement,” and points out that regardless of what conclusions ought to be drawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s clear from global defense expenditures that the consensus has formed around expanding expeditionary forces. In other words, expect more, rather than less, military intervention.

At the risk of escalating our agreement even more, I’d add that in addition to the amphibious vessels (that increasingly serve as logistical support centers for expeditionary forces) and the NATO/EU A400M airlift initiative that Roggeveen mentioned, I also heard whispers recently of an EU initiative to increase tactical and transport helicopter capacity, a force multiplier in particularly short supply these days. (Both NATO and the EU passed the hat recently for the Afghanistan and Chad missions, respectively, with Russia eventually bailing the EUFOR mission out.)

One thing worth pointing out about Roggeveen’s list of hardware-purchasing nations is that it’s pretty safe to assume that they’ll put their expanded expeditionary capacity to use in the kinds of multilateral peacekeeping and stabilization operations that he and I furiously agree on, as opposed to the kind of “activist” American interventions (ie. Iraq and Afghanistan) that I originally meant to single out. If we could see more of the former (in conjunction with multilateral preventive diplomacy) and less of the latter, I’d be satisfied.

The calendar is already filled with commemorations like AZNAC Day. Hopefully we can avoid adding any more.