SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 10, Issue 1 - Page 11

Civil Security and Public Order – Operation Uphold Democracy [Haiti] (Lesson #2685) Observation: In Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti (1994), combat arms leaders/units – without any civil security training and little to no Haitian cultural understanding – almost jeopardized the entire operation early on through certain missteps, including heavy-handed actions. In contrast, military police (MPs) – i.e., soldiers/units specifically trained for law enforcement and prepared to deal with the public – were able to effectively accomplish civil security/ public order tasks and showcased their value for such operations/scenarios. Also, Special Forces (SF) personnel demonstrated keen cultural awareness and partnering skills – establishing security throughout rural areas. Discussion: Forces from the 82d Airborne Division (XVIII Airborne Corps) as well as an amphibious assault force (USMC) were deploying to invade Haiti on 18 September 1994 and oust the military junta headed by Lieutenant General Raoul Cédras (which had overthrown Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide three years earlier), but were called off the mission while en route to Haiti when diplomatic efforts (led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter) succeeded and the junta agreed to relinquish power. Other forces – namely the 10th Mountain Division (XVIII Airborne Corps) – then deployed to Haiti with the mission to restore and preserve civil order; protect U.S. citizens and interests and designated Haitians and third-country nationals; create a secure environment for the restoration of the legitimate government of Haiti; and, provide technical assistance to the government of Haiti. (Kretchik, p. 78). The combat arms leaders/units of those forces, however, did not receive civil security training or cultural awareness training to prepare them for such a mission. With regard to partnering in/with the host nation, the U.S. Government’s position was that the host nation security forces (many of which were tied to/associated with the Cédras-led junta) would continue to work in the public order realm, while the U.S. forces would ensure establishment of a safe and secure environment suitable to restoration of the Aristide presidency. As spelled out in the U.S.-Haiti Agreement of 18 September 1994, “the Haitian military and police forces will work in close cooperation with the U.S. military mission.” (Kretchik, pp. 95-97, 108, and 249) As a practical matter, the Armed Forces of Haiti (FAd’H), for all its grave faults, remained the only fully functioning public institution in Haitian society. In recent years, this situation, by default, had conferred on the FAd’H far-reaching civil and judicial authority. Its immediate dissolution would have left none but the American forces (and their multinational partners) in Haiti to fill the void, a role for which they were not adequately equipped due, among other things, to a shortage of Creole linguists and lack of cultural familiarity. Fulfillment of such a role by the Americans, furthermore, would have made the United States and its multinational partners entirely responsible for civil order and welfare across Haiti. Conversely, employment of the popularly despised FAd’H to establish a stable and secure environment in Haiti during the transition of power seemed at best paradoxical. (Kretchik et al, p. 96) Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 10 of 36