|By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 02:42 pm: Edit|
I hear bits and bits of stuff about this issue, and apparently it's the very reason why the UN is not a legitimate authority when it comes to making any decisions about IRAQ.
Some Iraqi guy was on TV talking about it and i only caught the end of it, basicallyt alkign about how UN money knowingly, could have funnelled money into the hands of Saddam Huseein or the terrorists in Iraq right now.
Can someone please tell me more about this?
|By Chavi (Chavi) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit|
The UN was in charge of this "oil for food" program instituted in the wake of the UN-imposed economic sanctions against Iraq after the first Gulf war. It was supposed to make sure that the sick and hungry in Iraq got the food and medicine they needed. It allowed Iraq to sell limited amounts of it's oil to UN nations, and the money was supposed to be used to buy food and medicine.
As it turns out, after the second Iraq war, we found out that much of the money was used to line the pockets of UN and other bureaucrats, as well as some bigwigs in Iraq, France and Germany, and maybe Russia. May explain their reluctance to join in the war.
There is currently an investigation ongoing, and I think former Pennsylvania governor Richard Thornburgh is in charge, but I might be getting that mixed up with something else. I also believe UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's son was in charge of the program.
|By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit|
I think Richard Thornburgh is investigating Dan Rather and C-BS. Paul Volker (not sure of spelling) is investigating the UN Food for Oil corruption. He lacks subpoena power so he will only get the info that the UN gives him. Volker is a former Federal Reserve Chairman. He is well-regarded but I doubt much will come out of this given the many countries with dirty hands.
The UN is pretty much worthless. People are dying by the thousands in the Sudan, but the UN won't do anything about it. If the UN actually does something, it will be on the back of countless dead bodies. If Pres. Bush does anything, the liberals will be all over him calling him a cowboy and the other countries in the UN will call America arrogant. The grim reaper loves the UN.
|By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:50 am: Edit|
Thinkingoutloud, the UN is indeed worthless because all nations, including the US, only follow their own best interests. They do not act on behalf of others unless there is something to gain. In order for the UN to be effective, three things have to happen:
1) Brazil, Egypt or Nigeria (Africa and the Middle East should be represented and either of those two countries will fit the bill) Germany, India and Japan have to be made permanent members of the security council, joining the current five (China, France, Russia, UK and USA). That would give you 10 permanent members.
2) Abolish the one veto rule for permanent members and make it a majority rule. In other words, if 6 of the 10 permanent members aprove a motion, it passes. If you have a 5-5 draw, the 10 rotational members act as the tie-breaker. In order to legitimize the process, the votes mush remain anonymous.
3) Build a UN military arm that is independent from national militaries and that is ready to act, violently if necessary, on the decisions of the UN security council. Those soldiers should be loyal to the UN, not to their country of orgin. The force does not have to be that large. 20,000 soldiers from the US, China, India, the Afircan candidate, Brazil, Japan and Russia. 10,000 soldiers from France, Germany and the UK. That's 170,000 soldiers ready to move on the UN's command, at the behest of its member nation's decision.
This is very idealistic and will most likely never happen, but I cannot see another system that will work.
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:07 pm: Edit|
#3 is Not going to happen I can tell you that.
170,000 multi-national troops who pledge allegiance to the UN instead of their own countries. Who will command them? How will they handle logistics and training?
A force of 170,000 means that you will have only about 57,000 troops ready to deploy at anytime. (Rule of Thirds) Hardly a adequate number for a sustained military operation.
|By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:29 pm: Edit|
Vancat, 170,000 troops just from the permanent 10 members. You can easily mount another 200,000 from the remaining 180 nations of the world. So you could have close to 400,000 soldiers assigned to the UN. And they will answer to the nations of the UN. The supreme commander could be elected by the security council, but the country from whence he/she hails from doesn't matter...he/she would be following the directions of the UN security council.
But I agree, it would never happen because countries like the US, France, Russia etc... would lose too much of their power. Unfortunately, so long as each of those countries is so powerful, we will newver get anywhere. Each of those countries has to accept to give up some of its power in order for multilateralism to succeed.
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:47 pm: Edit|
"Vancat, 170,000 troops just from the permanent 10 members. You can easily mount another 200,000 from the remaining 180 nations of the world."
I would like to see those 200,000 troops, especially those coming from the small South American, African, or Eastern European nations. They do NOT have the mobility, logistics ability, or capability to serve in a long term military action.
You cannot expect to slap along some third-world troops with a handful of more advanced forces and plop them into a middle of the war.
Now, how exactly are you going to get American leaders to allow a "handful" of american soldiers to swear allegiance to the UN instead of America?
And you are missing my point about the supreme commander. YOu are taking troops from dozens of widely varying nations (in terms of ability and language). In the field, it will be VERY difficult to coordinate any form of effective plan, considering how few troops can actually be deployed at a given time.
And how exactly is this UN force supposed to get its equipment, considering that most of the smaller country's equipment is already obsolete and outdated for a actual military action. Will the governments of all the nations really supply this "multi-national force" with the proper equipment to fight, even while risking having this force turn on them.
This plan is far to idealistic to work.
|By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 05:42 pm: Edit|
I have been saying all along that it is idealistic. Small nations and developing nations would welcome such a system. It is mainly the US and other powerful nations that would refuse. The problem is not logistical or technological. The World has over 30 million military personnel. Are you telling me that 400,000 of those (1%) cannot speak English?
As for the equipment and funding, it would, for the most part, be supplied by advanced economies, like the 25 EU nations, Australia, Japan, Canada and the US. Those 30 countries have a combined GDP of $25 trillion. I am pretty sure they can somehow raise enough money to make it work. I mean, such a force would probably cost $300 billion annually. We are talking $10 Billion/per nation. Obviously, the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, China and Canada would shoulder the brunt since they are the wealthiest, but we are not talking about impossible figures.
And Vancat, countries like South Africa, Poland, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Netherlands alone have a combined 1.2 million service men and women. Those 8 nations alone can supply close to 100,000 without breaking a sweat. Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Austria, Beligium, Portugal, Greece, can also supply a great deal of soldiers. Trust me, finding the men and women for the job is not difficult.
Language would not be a barrier since you can easily make it a requirement for all those soliders to speak English. Afterall, we are talking about 5% of each nation's military personal. Are you telling me that 5% of a country's military's personal does not speak English? I served in the French army for 18 months (required service for all French citizens). Roughly 10% of my fellow officers spoke English fluently and another 20% or so spoke it conversationally. I would say the same of Italian and Spanish soldiers.
But the key condition is that those soliders belong to the UN, not their national militaries. They would be paid for by the UN and they would follow instruction from the UN security council.
You say it is idealistic. I agree. I have said it all along. Not because it cannot be done, but rather, because the powerful nations of the World are not willing to do it.
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit|
"And Vancat, countries like South Africa, Poland, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Netherlands alone have a combined 1.2 million service men and women. Those 8 nations alone can supply close to 100,000 without breaking a sweat. Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Austria, Beligium, Portugal, Greece, can also supply a great deal of soldiers. Trust me, finding the men and women for the job is not difficult. "
Until you realize the logistical, equipment, training, and combat strain that sending any sort of force for a dedicated combat operation puts on these small nations, you should not be saying this.
Simply expecting to shell out a portion of your military to the UN is NOT as simple as you make it seem. Countries will NOT "just do it" for the sake of the UN. It is simply too difficult and too risky to even try to form a "UN Force" that swears allegiance to the UN and has the capability to fight a sustained operation.
And plus, let's say that this UN force goes to war against the US, Britain,Australia, many European nations, and other selected countries. (for sake of argument just pretend that these are always allied). Fighting a war on that scale demands IMMENSE industrial capability and manpower. And the US and the allies will have it. The other countries of the UN will most likely NOT allow their industries to become embroiled in this conflict simply because of future ramifications. The "UN FOrce" on the other hand, will be completely INDEPENDENT of their home countries (since they already swore allegiance to the UN). How exactly will they get supplies, train, operate, and fight on such a scale?
|By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 01:54 am: Edit|
Vancat, it can be done, with great ease. The problem, like I said, is not financial, logistical or technological. The problem is human. It is not in us to reliquish control or to trust. I guess the UN will remain weak as it always has. A tool to legitimize the strong's interests.But we should not criticize the UN. It is the way it is because its most important members refuse to make it more effective...by design.
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 03:59 pm: Edit|
no Alexandre, it cannot be done with great ease. The problem is human AND financial, logistical, and technological.
|By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 03:31 am: Edit|
I guess we will have to disagree. I do not believe that it is financial, logistical or technological. It is human and political. Unfortunately, it will take another global tragedy (this time, hundreds of millions will perish) for a more effective governing body to be formed. For now, the World is content with a UN that is nothing more than an excuse for powerful nation to carry out their interests.
|By Jl87d (Jl87d) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 05:45 am: Edit|
Vancat, and Alexandre,
I see both of your points, and let me say that you make them well. Allow me to also add, that it's nice to see a civilized discussion on a controversial topic for once instead of a slanderous, blown-out of proportion argument, filled with bias and falsified facts.
A valuer of your both of your respective opinions,
|By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 08:42 am: Edit|
JL, you will find that most adults on this forum, Vancat and myself included, are committed first and foremost to the pursuit of guiding students through their college selection and application process. We are far from perfect, but we try our hardest. As such, you will seldom find adults on this forum who cannot have a civilized and informative discussion, even when the topic is contraversial or personal.
|By Kissy (Kissy) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:58 am: Edit|
Here's a link to an article which outlines the UN Oil For Food investigation:
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 04:06 pm: Edit|
actually, I'm not quite an adult yet.
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