Be mindful before committing troops to another country: Rizvi

September 16, 2014 3:21 PM

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Be mindful before committing troops to another country: Rizvi

Gowher Rizvi on Tuesday said humanitarian issues must be dealt with collectively, but he expressed dismay that sometimes humanitarian interventions became “a pretext for intervening in issues which have overt or covert political agenda”.

“I think the governments across the world need to be little bit more mindful before they commit their troops, their forces to action in other areas of the world,” he said while speaking at a session of the Asia-Pacific armies’ seminar in Dhaka.

Bangladesh Army is co-hosting the 38th episode of the seminar with the US Army, Pacific.

Gowher Rizvi on Tuesday said humanitarian issues must be dealt with collectively, but he expressed dismay that sometimes humanitarian interventions became “a pretext for intervening in issues which have overt or covert political agenda”.

“I think the governments across the world need to be little bit more mindful before they commit their troops, their forces to action in other areas of the world,” he said while speaking at a session of the Asia-Pacific armies’ seminar in Dhaka.

Bangladesh Army is co-hosting the 38th episode of the seminar with the US Army, Pacific.

Tuesday was the third day of the four-day seminar that drew land forces of the Asia-Pacific region.

Rizvi in his “personal capacity as an academic” moderated a session on “civil-military and multi-national co-operation, the essential elements for future stability”.

Military officials of Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Australia spoke at the session where they stressed on peace time co-operation and collaboration for effective management of any crisis like earthquake, tsunami.

Rizvi, who has nearly three decades of academic career in different universities and organisations around the world, gave a broad overview of the changing security perception particularly after the World War II and cold war before he questioned legitimacy of deploying troops to any country.

He did not mention any specific country, but he was pointing out the growing tensions in different parts of the world particularly in Asia, African region and of late in Europe.

He said towards the end of the last century, international security concerns became “enormous complicated by the appearance of non-state actors and that has truly complicated the security concerns and perceptions”.

He said insurgencies had been a growing issue during the last quarter of the last century.

But he said “all too often the focus was given on the symptoms rather than the cause of the threats or conflict”.

He identified absence of social justice, poverty, and inequalities as the “causes” of those insurgency and terrorism that he labelled as “symptoms”.

He said it was “very often failure of the government and states that cause this insurgency to become transnational issues”.

He said countries were putting troops in a way “without realising that military solution is only a part…it can deal with the symptoms, it cannot deal with the causes”.

Rizvi, before joining his current position in Dhaka in 2009, has been the vice-provost for International Programmes and Professor of Global Affairs at the University of Virginia.

Before that, he was the director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. School of Government, Harvard University.

He said in regional actions of armies, regional associations come together, they build consensus and “it enjoys legitimacy of the region, it enjoys support of the people”.

“But we now see numerous interventions where extra-regional actors, extra-regional powers are getting involved.

“We have to ask ourselves if regime change a legitimate area for our intervention,” he asked.

He cited example of the international peacekeeping that he said, “enjoys legitimacy and so no one asks any question.”

“So if we really want genuine regional, trans-national co-operation, our efforts must be backed by legitimate authorisation,” he said.

On one side of the triad, he said, was the institutional capacity and capability.

“Are armed forces have adequate forces, equipment and given expertise to deal with the problem for which they have been sent out? If not, we have to think twice, otherwise, we are endangering armed forces”.

“Does the government legitimate the action? Has the parliament legitimated the actions? Has the UN legitimated the actions and do the regional organisations have their say?” he asked.

He, however, said UN does not mean the UN Security Council only. “It should be the whole UN system”.

On the third side of the triad, he said, there were trans-national co-operation and enabling environment.

And for that, he said, the deployment or commitment must be backed by public support and public understanding of the issue for what the armed forces were deployed.

“….if the public not willing to endorse it, if media does not support you, the task becomes much more difficult”.

“…we need to be much more careful and much more conscience as to why we are committing our troops and countries are being urged to commit their forces without legitimisation and mobilisation of the enabling forces”.

“If we want to restore stability of the region we need to be much more mindful why we are intervening. Who have giving us the legitimate authorities,” he argued.

উত্স: bdnews24.com

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