Can an Arab military force really work?


by Omar Ashour| The Daily Star

Such interventions were usually aimed at empowering a proxy political force over its military and political rivals, instead of averting humanitarian disaster or institutionalizing a nonviolent conflict-resolution mechanism following a war.

By 1982, when the Lebanese government failed to extend the ADF’s mandate, it had turned into a purely Syrian military force.

Brief and less complex interventions were also unsuccessful in ending violent crises – and in some cases even exacerbated them.

There is little to indicate that it will; indeed, despite hundreds of Saudi airstrikes on Houthi-controlled military bases and seaports, the rebels have advanced. If emerging Arab military coalitions are to avoid the mistakes of past interventions, their members must reconsider their approach, including the structural deficiencies that contributed to past failures.

If Arab leaders fail to overcome these deficiencies, the latest Arab force could become the Middle East’s newest source of anti-democratic, sectarian-based instability, potentially intensifying the Sunni-Shiite conflict.


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