Fighting for Peace Offensive Intervention to Make Peace Support Possible

"There is a reasonably general understanding and acceptance of peacekeeping as a sometimes necessary task; less so of peace enforcement; and hardly any understanding or acceptance at all of offensive military interventions. However, some situations do require offensive military intervention to create a situation that will allow peace enforcement, let alone peacekeeping. Unfortunately, this reality seems to elude many academics, diplomats, journalists and politicians. The inability to grasp the harsh reality of human, group and state behaviour is what allowed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the 1995 mass murder at Srebrenica; what allowed the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone and the conflict in Darfur to carry on for so long; and what allowed extremists months of freedom in northern Mali. This policy brief starts from the premise that offensive military intervention operations will, in some cases, be a critical precursor to peace enforcement and peacekeeping. It discusses some of the challenges involved in intervention operations in Africa, and then outlines the capabilities the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will need if it is to be capable of such operations and, particularly, of autonomous intervention to provide the prompt and quick response that is essential to success."