- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Bruce Jones and Michael O’Hanlon (“World’s deadliest spot,” Opinion, April 29) may be correct that an escalated intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo is fully justified, but why do they, like everyone else, insist on going to the well of the Western world to draw their peacekeepers?

Both China and Russia are veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council that want to play a more prominent role on the world stage, and the provision of peacekeepers would allow them to do just that.

The mercantilists of China have long been taking from Africa, and this would allow them a chance to give a little back. It would also allow the Chinese, who claim that their military buildup is not a threat to their neighbors, to demonstrate the benevolent nature of the People’s Liberation Army. Besides, for the world’s largest standing army, 5,000 ground troops probably amounts to a rounding error.

Another way to get peacekeepers is to levy a requirement on all prospective members of the Security Council to provide 10,000 peacekeepers for the duration of their term. This would not only yield a pool of 100,000 troops, but it would also ensure that the holders of these highly sought-after seats would “have some skin in the game.”

Peacekeepers should come not only from the United States and NATO, but also from countries that were never traditional colonial powers. Once we realize this, we can draw on the deep wells of potential peacekeeping forces in the East.

PETER LOCKE

Ashburn

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