Biden Shows Little Appetite for Haiti’s Troop Request

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Some prominent Haitians were quick to denounce their government’s request.

“Absolutely not. We do not want U.S. troops, U.S. boots, U.S. uniforms, none of that,” Monique Clesca, a Haitian writer and civil society activist, told CNN on Saturday. “Because in Haiti, Haitians have been traumatized by the occupation of the country during 34 years by the United States, we do not want U.S. intervention or troops or anything.”

“The international community is complicit in what is going on in Haiti,” Ms. Clesca added.

Another disincentive for Biden is the seemingly vague nature of Haiti’s request, including what it is American troops would be expected to do.

“The best approach in Haiti is for the United States to turn to either the United Nations, the Organization of American States or a coalition of Latin American nations for a stability force — reprising the reasonably successful U.N. peacekeeping force from past decades,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral and a former head of the Pentagon’s Southern Command.

“But going into the island is very unlikely from a military standpoint, especially as we are wrapping up operations in Afghanistan,” he added.

It was under the auspices of the United Nations that the United States sent troops to Somalia in 1992, and Haiti in 1994, when Mr. Clinton approved an American force to depose a military junta on the island and restore a democratically-elected president.

For decades, the United States has sought to assist Haiti as part of the “Core Group,” an ad hoc collection of ambassadors and envoys from major Western nations and international bodies like the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

But multinational missions come with their own risks and political baggage: U.N. peacekeepers based in the country from 2004 to 2017 introduced cholera and were reported to have committed widespread rape and sexual abuse.



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