U.S. Military Retreats from Haiti

17 May

The American military is getting out of the helping-Haitians business. U.S. soldiers hit the ground within hours of the earthquake, and played a crucial role in the emergency relief effort, getting the airport back in business, delivering tons of aid and maintaining order. There were over 20,000 of them in-country or on nearby ships by the end of January. But that number has dropped to some 850 and will soon be down to eight, according to my confreres at Wired.com’s Danger Room.

Now, I’m rarely someone who cheers for American military involvement in other countries. It tends not to work out well either for us or for them, and it’s usually them that get the worst of it. And of course what with Afghanistan and Iraq still dragging endlessly on, it’s understandable that the Pentagon would want to disengage as quickly as possible from a third theater of operations. But. There are still over a million Haitians living in tents, and the hurricane season starts soon. Personally, I wouldn’t mind taking a few troops off Taliban-hunting in Helmand so we could deploy more of them for nation-building in Haiti.

Photo courtesy of Stacy Bourne, stacy.haiti@live.com

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3 Responses to “U.S. Military Retreats from Haiti”

  1. Jeffery Lando May 18, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Because the military is SO good at nation building right?

    • vincelb May 18, 2010 at 9:35 am #

      Point well taken. But when you’re starting from pretty much zero, just about anything helps.

  2. Kaile May 18, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    I actually think the US Military involvement in Haiti may be an example of how it can be done right. Draw-down included, but seems like maintaining some support presence would be a good thing.

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