Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Peacekeeping Kept

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Peacekeeping Kept

It makes sense that, out of a budget of $81 billion for the Defense Department, that $1 million be put aside for learning about peacemaking.

Peacekeeping, which includes military patrols of dangerous potential combat areas, is likely going to become more important. The notion that war is between nations and when a government falls or surrenders the war is over is fast becoming outdated. Combat is increasingly going to be with an enemy that may have an ideology yet may not have a border. The enemy may not have an established government structure. The enemy increasingly may be one who fights back with terrorist attacks and guerilla warfare. Further, the enemy may not be a traditional enemy, but an enemy intent on committing genocide against each other. In that case, it would be our role along with other nations to prevent mass destruction. Our peacekeeping role already is being tested in 49 places such as the Balkans and Liberia and will continue to be challenged.

It is good that the pressure to retain the Army Peacekeeping Institute has been successful and that the Defense Department has reversed an earlier plan to shut this office. This institute exists here in Pennsylvania in Carlisle. It is the only military research unit on how the Army should conduct peacekeeping operations and how countries whose government and social structure are crumbling can be stabilized, such as we face now in Iraq and in Afghanistan. This cutting edge research is vital in guiding important aspects of the Army.

The Bush Administration earlier proposed eliminating this institute and reassigning all the staff by this month. Recent events have led the Defense Department to note the use of an office that can provide expertise on stabilizing nations as it struggles with providing stability in Iraq. The Bush Administration’s decision has been reversed. Not only has the Administration changed its mind, the office is being expanded from a $1 million annual budget to an annual budget between $1.3 million to $1.5 million with four new staff being added.

While I am glad to see four new jobs created in Pennsylvania, I am especially happy that these positions can benefit our nation. The office is being renamed the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute. This name better reflects its mission. I join fellow Pennsylvanians in welcoming this upgraded military unit to our state.


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