<html><head /> <body> <META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-16"><title>The Rules of Engagement</title><meta name="keywords" content="rule,war,bosnia,chechnya,convention,culture,defence,defense,documentary,engagement,falklands,film,geneva,human,ignatieff,journalism,kosovo,law,media,michael,military,moral,opportunity,peace,peacekeeper,police,quote,rights,serbia,soldier,somalia,target,technology,television,tv,vietnam,virtual,"><table style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:larger; " align="center" border="0" width="50%"><tbody><tr> <td style="background-color:silver; border-color:white; border-left-style:none; border-style:none; " width="730"><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:larger; ">The Rules of Engagement</span></td> </tr> <tr> </tr> </tbody></table><br><table style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:medium; " align="center" bgcolor="white" border="0" width="50%"><tbody><tr> <td height="131" width="669"><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small;"><strong>Editors Introduction </strong></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The current conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya may look and sound like wars, but they have led to a rise in the role of the Western soldier as a peacekeeper rather than as a warrior. Soldiers have had to learn to act according to strict "Rules of Engagement," rather than to react according to their own survival instinct.</span> <p> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Michael Ignatieff suggests that during the twentieth century war became moralised and the use of violence legalised. By focusing the discussion on the ethical and practical codes of law, he questions whether "rogue states" will play by the same fixed rules in the future or act to turn the language of human rights back on the West.</span> <p> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><A HREF="1149_300.ram" TARGET="_blank"><IMG src="newaudio.gif" id="1212" type="3" align="left" width="72" height="27" name="" url="1149_300.ram"></A>Ignatieff discusses a moral revolution in the conduct of war.</span> <p> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>From warriors to peacekeepers</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">In the film <i>The Rules of Engagement</i>, which is the third film in a BBC series called "Future War," there is a training sequence on Salisbury Plain in which some soldiers are confronted with the following dilemma. When a guy takes a grenade out, can you fire at him? If he takes the pin out and throws it at you, can you fire at him? At what point can you use force in those situations?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Now, you would think, being a civilian, and I thought the same way, that if he's got the grenade in his hand, it's a threat and you can fire. If he throws it, it's even more of a threat; go for him. You will discover in the film that if you did either of those things, you would be making a serious code violation.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The key point to draw from these films is the highly counterintuitive nature of some of these Rules of Engagement. We're taking soldiers and we're asking them to turn off the instincts that made them soldiers in the first place. We're asking them to bottle up their aggression. We're asking them to second-guess their natural defensive reactions. We're asking them to second-guess their response to go and fire.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">A big question emerges from this. When you take a warrior and you do this to them, put them through Rules of Engagement training, are they warriors when they come out the other side, or have you turned them into cops, policemen, social workers? That is, what is the result of turning our warriors and soldiers into peacekeepers? Can we turn them back into soldiers, as it were? Because substantially different behaviour is required in these "operations other than war" situations.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">We need soldiers in these places, but are we slowly eroding our military culture in the process of creating soldiers who are no longer warriors but social workers and policemen? That's one issue raised by the film.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>Legalising war</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The second issue raised by the film is the enormous growth of legal control over the exercise of war. These Rules of Engagement packages that soldiers are given are little cards, laminated with twelve dos and don'ts. They're put together by military lawyers on the basis of the Geneva Conventions.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Now, the most elaborate attempt to legalise war is in the targeting process for air war. In 1965, during the Vietnam air war, American military lawyers--called JAGs, judge advocate generals--were not allowed within a country mile of a targeting cell. The B52's took off, the F11's took off, they did their business, they came home. If they hit something bad ... tough. Military operations in 1965 were basically unconstrained, with, as we know, catastrophic results.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Flash-forward to 1989. When the Americans go into Panama, suddenly there are lawyers crawling all over the process and making decisions. How close can you over-fly Cuba? What kinds of Rules of Engagement should apply when we deploy on the streets of Panama?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">That process by which lawyers began to enter the war rooms, the planning rooms, reaches a first kind of apotheosis in 1991, in the Gulf War. The film has Chuck Horner, who ran the air war, talk about the ways in which the lawyers sat at his shoulder. They went through every target in Baghdad and figured out whether these were consistent with Geneva-criterion rules on the laws of war.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Flash-forward to 1999, to the Kosovo war, and the process is automated. When I did some reportage for <I>The New Yorker</I> in the summer, I was astonished to discover by a call to one of the people who ends up in this film, Tony Montgomery, that they had put the entire 1949 Geneva Conventions plus the protocols on the computer. That was the first step.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Second step, they take all the lawyers who are actually sitting in a basement in, I think, Darmstadt, Germany, and hook them up to the computerised target acquisition process that Wes Clark was using to select his targets for the air war. As Michael Caine says, not a lot of people know this, that selection was a three-step process. First, targets were identified by intelligence, then they were narrowed down by the weaponeers, who choose what weapon to use. They were then narrowed down further by the politicians, in terms of what you can and cannot strike. At every point, there was a lawyer saying, "Do these fit the Geneva Convention rules on proportionality, civilian damage, mixed-use targets? Is this a military target, or is it a civilian target?" Etc., etc.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Five hundred targets were hit during that war, and all of them were reviewed by this computerised process. Tony Montgomery, who is in the film, spent the whole air war sitting there with this data stream going past his window, his computer window. He sat there saying, "No, don't hit this bridge, don't hit that bridge. Hit this power grid, but you can only hit it that way." So we've got a highly legalised process of waging war. The question for a citizen is: If you make something legal, do you make it moral?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Is it enough to have the Geneva Conventions lawyers sign off on these issues? You as citizens, as people, have to make up your mind whether the fact that we have Geneva Convention compliance on these issues is a necessary and sufficient answer to the question: Is this a just use of military force? So that's a second issue that we raise in the film.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">There's a larger issue kind of at the edge of this. The film ends with some shots of Chechnya, nice bloody shots. T55's pounding apartment buildings where you and I could live, hitting civilians, blasting away, while the rest of the film elaborates this highly legalistic, procedural, real constrained form of military violence, whose two rules are zero casualties, zero collateral damage.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The two desiderata are zero casualties to yourself, zero collateral damage to civilians. They are trying to work to a kind of technologically defined utopia in which every strike hits the target, and only the target is defined and approved according to Geneva Convention criteria.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">That is increasingly becoming the Western way of war, partly for moral reasons that have to do with 50 years of human rights and 50 years of the Geneva Conventions, partly because of the technology. The technology is a crucial guide here. What becomes technically feasible quickly becomes morally desirable. The technology is a driver, and the Americans have this driving lead in the technology. Partly because of the media, partly because of transparency.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>The Western way of war</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">A crucial fact in this business (one of the reasons that the West is extremely concerned to be accurate) is that CNN and the BBC are in Belgrade and Baghdad. They were not at Dresden; they were not at Hamburg. This is a new factor, and it's a new constraint on what you can do when you wage war, because the immediate effect of a mistake gets transmitted back to your domestic public, and your domestic public doesn't like it. That can very quickly shake the political basis upon which you can wage war in the first place, and your enemies know that.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Milosevic and Saddam Hussein knew that the most effective anti-aircraft defence of their two cities was not their anti-aircraft defence but CNN and the BBC. This is a crucial factor in the future of war. It pushes Western military force toward this procedural, legalised, rule-bound and very constrained form of war, in which the bottom line is that we can go to war in defence of human rights, but we are not going to go to war and die for human rights. We keep the risks very, very low.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>Breaking the rules</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Now, against this, and this gets us to Chechnya, is a Russian way of war. It's not confined to the Russians, but the Russians have given us a good example. It seems to me that they have looked at the Western way of war and concluded that the competitive advantage can't lie in out-Americaning the Americans, because they haven't got the kit. The competitive advantage lies in simply questioning all those assumptions. Who cares about casualties and who cares about collateral damage? In fact, the legitimacy of the Russian military power is displayed by precisely their capacity to sustain casualties and inflict them, right?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The Americans are coming into the war with a military violence whose legitimacy is always slightly in question, because they're not prepared to take those kinds of ultimate mortal risks. The Russians are saying, "While we haven't got the kit, we've got a low-tech army, but we definitely can gain a competitive advantage with it if we're prepared to take and inflict casualties." It seems to me that this is going on in the Chechen campaign. Not merely to smash an insurgency but also to send a signal to Western military forces that "we don't play by the rules."</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Consequently the film ends with a question, which I hope you will consider. It's a question that can be put in one form: Has the West gone soft?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I think that the sexual/macho elements of that argument are both distasteful and inaccurate. The real issue is that there are two philosophies of war competing here, two ways of using military violence to achieve political ends. It's clear to me that if we go down the road described in this film, the competitive advantage will lie in what is called asymmetrical responses. Our competitors, our military, political, civilisational competitors, will not play the game our way. So if we get out and fight a clean war, the smart thing to do would be to fight an extremely dirty war back. That's one of the things that we have to think about, because one of the implications of the Kosovo campaign is a sense that American technological vulnerability gives the West such a preponderant edge in the use of precision violence that we have no competitors.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>The implications</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I think one of the implications of the film is that our and the Americans' competitors will not play the game our way and, therefore, will respond to this highly rule-bound kind of violence with a deliberately lawless kind of violence. So, we, as Bette Davis used to say, should fasten our seat belts; we're going to have a bumpy twenty-first century.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Question:</b> In making the documentary, did NATO make any conditions about access to West Point, or did they supervise the project at all?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Michael Ignatieff:</b> To the best of my knowledge, no conditions. I am unaware of any conditions put on us as a film crew. Clearly, the BBC could not make a film if it accepted conditions which infringed our editorial independence. We interviewed people, and many of those interviews were 55 minutes long. We picked the bits that we wanted to run. The commandant of West Point had no say in the final cut. So I don't feel that the editorial independence of the programme is compromised, and I wouldn't have taken part had it been.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Q:</b> What happened to you? You were an old liberal and now you are making war films!</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Ignatieff:</b> I think the question makes a series of assumptions that I want to question. One of them is that liberal nice guys shouldn't say anything good about soldiers. I think that's just the wrong set of assumptions, for the following reason. And in some sense, yes, I have changed, but let me explain why. I don't think there's any reason why liberal nice guys can't talk about military power. The real reason has to do with the fall of Yugoslavia.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">From 1991 onward, I was one of those who called, as a journalist and as a writer and someone who's in and out of the region, for decisive military action by the West. I wanted it to stop what seemed to me to be horrendous ethnic cleansing of civilians and armed subversion of an independent state, Bosnia. I wanted military action taken. The problem with the "something must be done" brigade, of which I am a chartered, fully paid, liberal member, is that we don't know a single thing about military power when it comes to it. There is a complete disconnect between human rights principles, goals and values, and definitions, moral ends and military means.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Now, why military? I mean, most of the time I think human rights ends shouldn't be pursued by military means. I think military means should only be pursued when there are no other means available: when all diplomatic means have been exhausted, when all forms of persuasion have been exhausted, when sanctions have been exhausted. To be legitimate in the first place, military means should be the last resort. The thing that strikes me, very much, among all my liberal human rights friends, is that they don't know anything about military power. They don't know what military power can and cannot do. There's a disconnect between the community calling for military action and the military community that is actually supposed to do it.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Throughout the Bosnian campaign, people were saying, first of all, send in military teams to protect the delivery of humanitarian relief. Well, that was a crazy mission. It ended up with unperforce military legitimacy being in shreds. People then said, bring the military in to protect civilians. So we had safe havens, and 10,000 people got killed in Srebrenica as a result of the inability, in my view, to match human rights principles like the protection of civilians in zones of conflict with adequate military means to do so.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I mean, in retrospect, the blame for Srebrenica is not just on the UN, the Dutch government, the Dutch military and the Dutch commander on the ground. It's the whole human rights community that signed up to the proposition of safe havens under military defence, without attending to the details like Rules of Engagement, close air support, armour, the whole kit and caboodle. The reason I do these talks and will do it forever is that I never want us to make human rights promises using military power that we can't keep, because in Srebrenica 10,000 people got massacred because we didn't get it right.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Now flash-forward to Kosovo. I felt I was a proponent of military action in Kosovo, but I feel that many of the military actions we took in Kosovo made the problem worse. I think much of the use of air power at 15,000 feet could not achieve the goals that we set to achieve. So then you say we should have ground troops. Well, OK, what ground troops? You see, what I want is a responsible public discourse by human rights activists like myself. People who said "Let's have ground troops" didn't have the faintest idea what ground troops we're talking about.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">If you gave that assignment to the military, the American army said, "Right, we have to pave Albania. You do realise that, don't you? We have no landing stages in Albania that could sustain an invasion, so we'll pave Albania. That'll take six months. Then, because of the mountainous terrain and conditions, we have to have 175,000 troops. You know how long that takes to deploy, right?"</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">So here you have human rights liberals saying, "Do something about the poor suffering Kosovars," and the Pentagon quite rightly saying, "Well, what exactly did you have in mind?" Then you say, "Well, do something that is a dissuasive threat to Milosevic." They say, "What about the time problem, do you realise how long it takes to deploy?" It takes three months to get these guys into the theatre, six months before they're ready to fire a shot, right?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I'm loading you with the detail here to make a point, which is that I'm not a pro-war guy at all. I'm an antiwar guy, because the first political action in my whole life was against the Vietnam War. I'm not against interventions because of that, unless I feel there are strong, clear, humanitarian reasons for doing so. But if you're going to make a humanitarian case, you bloody well better get the military side right. That's my whole case. One of the final problems and one of the reasons why it's worth making films about this is that I think the public is fantastically ignorant about military detail.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">It's not a criticism of the public. It's the fact that military debate and argument is conducted by a very, very small elite in this country, in Chatham House, in Roussey, in IISS &#91;International Institute for Strategic Studies&#93. I just think these things are really too important to leave to the lawyers. They're too important to leave to the politicians. They're definitely too important to leave to the generals.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I can sum it up in a sentence. Let us never make military promises to protect endangered civilians that we cannot keep with adequately staffed military means. That's my mantra, and I've had to learn an awful lot about the military side so that I feel that when I'm making promises, or advocating things, I know what the hell I'm talking about. That's where it all comes from.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Q:</b> Could you explain the clear military command of "targets of opportunity." How did they work?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Ignatieff:</b> My understanding is that, for various reasons, targets of opportunity were limited. First, it was difficult to process targets of opportunity in the Kosovo war, particularly because of tight political and legal controls. Guys flying missions couldn't say, "Ah, there's a nice little target here," and just take it out. They had to be extremely careful about that. Their Rules of Engagement, I think, restrained gratuitous target acquisition on the fly. They had to fly a track, do it and go.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">There were other reasons that had to do with the management of air space. If you're up there, your flying patterns and your opportunity to engage targets of opportunity were limited. My sense was that as the campaign proceeded, a lot of pilots wanted to take on more targets of opportunity and wanted more flexibility, but the air tasking system in real time wasn't able for them to do that. My sense is that there was rather little target of opportunity, and that raises a general issue down the road about initiative.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">In another context, one of the battles that we looked at very closely in an earlier film was the Battle of 73 Easting--a tank battle during the Gulf War and the most important tank battle since the Second World War. It lasted about five minutes, and it was a decisive American victory. One of the little details about that battle is that it wouldn't have happened at all had the American military tank commanders not proceeded beyond their grid reference. Had they obeyed strict Rules of Engagement, strict grid-reference rules, the battle might not have occurred. It wasn't exactly a target of opportunity--they had an assignment to engage this enemy, but the enemy wasn't where the planners said it was--so they had to proceed slightly forward.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The broad issue is: What discretion is consistent with tight Rules of Engagement? My understanding of what's going on out there is that discretion is under very tight wraps. Political and military commanders don't want things to spiral out of control, but discretion is what makes for heroism, it makes for decisive breakthroughs. Discretion can make the difference between victory and defeat. So if you have Rules of Engagement that eliminate discretion utterly, you may have an army that's unable to respond fast. I'm improvising an answer to that question, so I hope I haven't said something that's radically inaccurate.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Q:</b> What about the element of incompetence, or things that weren't accidents but bad planning decisions? The two examples you gave were the bombing of the Serbian TV station in Belgrade and the bombing of the bridges over the River Danube. These were planning decisions that were simply bad.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Ignatieff:</b> I think the bridge point is well taken. I think that we'll live with the economic and social consequences and the diplomatic fallout of those bridge decisions for a long time. I think people are waking up to the ways in which that hit the economic infrastructure of the whole Danube Basin. It impacted a chain in ways that I think the military powers should have understood better. I take that point.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">That Serbian TV station's much more complicated, because it was hit at two in the morning. My understanding, on the basis of having been in Belgrade myself, is that that place was an evident target for days. Serbian military intelligence knew it was a target, and the place was deliberately staffed to create a collateral damage incident.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Well, 15 journalists died, and my source for this is not some tendentious Western propaganda, but angry Serbian journalists who felt very deeply that innocent people were suckered into a devious political operation. It was a very, very weird bombing. We pretend to bomb you, you pretend to resist. There was a tremendous amount of shadow play in which I think NATO was pretty well informed, either through public or through private channels.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The fact that 15 people were there just simply wasn't a military mistake by the West, because the building could easily have been evacuated. In fact, what has made the Serbian journalists so angry was that many of the bosses of the Serbian TV chose to take the night off. One of them famously left his vest jacket on the back of a chair, where the poor old makeup girl didn't get tipped off.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">It was clearly a mistake, but it highlights what makes this modern form of warfare such a complicated game, because you can select your target very carefully and still play into a collateral damage incident. That's point one.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Point two, which I think is very important, especially for a British audience, is that British military planners had substantial legal and moral doubts about the Serbian TV strikes. It's important that the public realise that it's not as if the Geneva Conventions is a cookbook in which all men and women come to the same conclusion.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The British thought this target stank from a legal, political and moral point of view and didn't fly the missions. The Americans did. There was substantial argument about these very questions at the heart of the alliance. One of the reasons that I think the alliance became a virtual alliance, not a real one, was, in fact, because of these disagreements. The French didn't like the bridge targets, not any of them. The British didn't like the TV station or the power-grid targets. But at the end of the day the Americans simply went ahead. What happened was that various allies would simply say, "We will not run, we will not fly tonight. If you want to do it, you do it, but we won't do it."</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">It's one of the forces that drove the level of American involvement up into the 90 percent range, simply because they read the Geneva Conventions this way and were prepared to go, and Europeans were not. There's a huge argument here about the legality and morality of this kind of targeting. My view is that this argument should be out in the open; it shouldn't be held down within the alliance.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Q:</b> Is virtual war an empty promise when you look at the messy smaller wars we are entering into?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Ignatieff:</b> I think the points you're making are well taken. Kosovo, I think, was a dire learning experience for all Western electorates faced with claims that high-precision weapons can do it for us. It was clear that high-precision weapons were astoundingly successful at what they were asked to do. It was a military success, but not necessarily a political one. It did not prevent the ethnic cleansing that we're talking about, and there are a lot of cases where precision weapons can't respond at all to the needs you're actually facing.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">In East Timor, what would precision weapons do against small gangs of Indonesian militiamen? This is also the problem; it's not merely that we have a risk-averse military culture now. We don't have a military culture that is training to engage with these specific kinds of threats, like the Indonesian military, like Somalia.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">In Somalia, as one of our early films shows, the American army was pursuing the factional leader, Farah Aideed, in Mogadishu in '93. They had everything. They had dominant battle-space awareness, they had helicopters up top, they had, I think, an AWACS or something, providing perfect signaling right throughout the whole battlefield of Mogadishu. They sent some Rangers and Delta Force people to snatch this, not even Aideed himself, but some of his people. The video technology tells a very large story.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">They had video cameras in the helicopters as the Rangers abseiled down to land on the roofs of buildings to begin this operation to take some of Aideed's people and to capture them. As they went down the abseil ropes, the rotor began to kick up dust off the roofs of Mogadishu and completely covered the landing site. Nobody had realised that Mogadishu is very dusty, that when you put the rotor blades in low enough you can't see a damn thing. Battle-space awareness disappeared within 35 seconds of the beginning of the mission. Then hubris comes into play, because they didn't bring their night-vision goggles, and they got into a night firefight without night vision. They had to fight themselves out the hard way. Eighteen people died and something like 700, 800 Somalis fighting them died, so two helicopters went down, and the entire mission had to be withdrawn and extracted.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">So, the message is not merely that the technology doesn't work in these situations, but that American and British military training is not often configured for this kind of mission. To a degree it still shocks me. The American army is still training for Desert Storm. You go to Fort Irwin, California, they run Desert Storm. They run tank battles over and over again, and they get better and better at tank battles in a world where the real threat is small-militia men with AK47's and, you know, ethnic cleansers moving from house to house.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">So there is a disconnect, in other words, between what the military train to do and what the threat is in these peace enforcements and "operations other than war." I exempt the British, because the British have the painful experience of Northern Ireland and have extremely good, probably the best, counterinsurgency, low-intensity-operation troops in the world, but I don't see the same capability in the US army. The US Marines are another story; they have realised that this is their window of opportunity.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Q:</b> You mentioned the issues of zero casualty and zero collateral damage. Do you think that this is an American attitude and not a particularly European attitude if you apply it to the Falklands War?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Ignatieff:</b> The Falklands is very interesting, because it seems to me that casualties were undertaken on the basis that this was a defence of vital national interest because it was a piece of sovereign British real estate. So there was a sense that all the old language of ultimate commitment could be cranked up. National interest, national honour and also another crucial thing, which is territorial invasion by one state of another peaceful state, so that the United Nations Charter basis for resistance were all squared away. But I think the hard fact is that the difference between America and Europe is less than you imply.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I mean, there is some difference in the sense that for any foreign power to capture, humiliate or kill an American soldier is just worth a lot more in brutal terms than it is to kill, injure or humiliate a British or French. The stakes are higher for the Americans. But I think there's a thing that's painful to face up to if you're a human rights activist and you believe that when people are being massacred, deported, brutalised in another state then there's a case for military intervention. The hard fact is that the political consensus, the democratic political consensus in support of casualty-taking in that area of human rights and humanitarian interventions, that consensus is paper-thin in my judgement. I think that's an issue that human rights activists have to confront honestly.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">We live in a democracy, we're asking soldiers to pay with their lives to defend values that we take for granted as being of ultimate value. If that's going to work, we have to convince our fellow citizens that that's a price worth paying, and so far I don't think we've been able to do that. It's not to say that the British public or the European public is parochial, provincial or isolationist. There was very strong genuine feeling about Kosovo, but people had a clearheaded view-we should do something but not everything.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I think that's where the consensus lies, and that's why I think that the zero-casualty rule is a quite stable feature of the future. People are not going to risk troops in defence of human rights. They're prepared to risk them when something absolutely essential is at stake. I think most people do not yet feel that human rights are indivisible and that what happens in Kosovo happens to us in some intimate way. I just don't think that's where we are, and human rights activists have to face that, so the zero-casualty rule is fixed.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">So I think both of these, the zero-casualty, zero-collateral rule, are structural to how we're going to have to do this stuff.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Q:</b> Is there a role for civilian nonmilitary policemen to be deployed in these situations?</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><b>Ignatieff:</b> I think one of the things that everybody is saying about the catastrophe in Kosovo is how underdeployed we are in what's called CIVPOL. That is, all of the nations have been asked to provide police and military police, and we just don't have enough. We don't have enough peacekeepers.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">I don't think the British public is aware of how tightly stretched the British army is now, even how tightly stretched the American army is. The Canadian army is absolutely at its limit. The Australians ditto.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">What's interesting here is the ways in which human rights language is pushing governments into deployments everywhere. They don't have the bodies, because they're spending, you know, 1.6 percent of GDP on national defence. It's just not enough. We're facing a crunch between human rights commitments and what we're prepared to stump up and pay all over the Western world. We're not going to get effective military deployments either in peacekeeping or in CIVPOL unless we're prepared to put more money into the defence budget, which is not a popular sell at a time when the Health Service is in trouble. Domestic expenditure will always have a priority over a military one, but if that's the case then we've got to stop talking this human rights talk, because we haven't got the guys to do the job.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">To respond directly to your question, it's obviously cheaper to send a civilian policeman than it is to send a bulked-up guy with a Kevlar helmet and a whole nine yards of military deployment. But we haven't developed a kind of rapid-reaction CIVPOL force, in which you simply take policemen off the beat in London, Saskatchewan or Adelaide and Sydney, and you train them in international deployments. They have six-month secondments, they do it, and they come back. It's a fantastic thing to do, it's fantastically rewarding and useful. If we could develop that kind of capacity, it would, I think, also make for better policemen when they came home. They would be very good on the ground.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Just to conclude. In 1993, when I was in Croatia, I saw Canadian Mounties who used to be traffic cops in Saskatchewan handing out tickets on the highways on Saturday night. They'd been deployed to Croatia and were escorting families across a demarcation line to visit their graves, like in enemy territory and then back. Was this more rewarding than handing out traffic tickets in Saskatchewan on Saturday night? You bet. So that's a place we can go, but I don't think there's an international capability to do that yet.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; font-style:italic; ">This story is developed from a March 29, 2000, talk at the London School of Economics and Political Science, on the third film in a BBC series called "Future War." Copyright The London School of Economics and Political Science.</span></td> </tr> </tbody></table> </body></html>