Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.
- In Foreign Policy this week, scholars Scott Gates and Simon Reich take on some of myths about child soldiers and highlight their prevalence in conflicts around the world, even in some countries where you might not think to be concerned about seeing children on the frontlines. The authors argue that, beyond a human rights issue, child soldiering is also a geostrategic and development issue. “Trained and educated in the ways of guerrilla war, many child combatants grow up in a world where brutality is the norm. The result is a violent gift that keeps on giving…” An interesting read.
- This New York Times op-ed by scholars Greg Mills and Jeffrey Herbst highlights an important – and controversial – argument for how Western governments and potential donors should handle Zimbabwe. The piece makes this week’s list not because it necessarily maps out the best way forward but because it addresses a primary argument circulating about how to resolve the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. The crux of Mills and Herbst argument is this:
The “soft landing” that [Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s] Movement for Democratic Change has chosen [to dislodge President Mugabe] is a difficult path but one which it has firm strategic reasons to opt for, reasons that deserve more careful consideration from international donors. (…) To consolidate progress, donors should end their ambivalence about the unity government and begin to support Mr. Tsvangirai’s aims.
- Blogging from AFRICOM’s HQ in Stuttgart, Germany, author and New Yorker contributor Steve Coll makes a case for a larger U.S. role in the military effort to halt the Lord’s Resistance Army that currently terrorizes Central Africa. Reflecting on the less-than-successful Operation Lightning Thunder, to which the United States provided some support, Coll writes:
Some here argue that the U.S. role, far from representing overreach, did not go far enough—if the U.S. is going to advise and equip a commando-style raid of this type, this argument goes, it ought to take fuller responsibility for its successful execution.
- The Root ran a valuable piece titled “Your Computer is Killing Congo,” which provides an overview of the conflict mineral trade and, framing it within the larger movement toward being more contentious consumers, gives some tips for what cell phone users (that would be all of us) should do to help end the violence. The author, Jennifer Brea, gives a shout-out to Enough, which is always appreciated.
- Sudan expert Eric Reeves laments the cancellation of the Mandate Darfur conference, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa this month, calling the initiative a “bold and innovative effort” that would’ve drawn together nearly 300 civil society representatives from Darfur. Reeves criticizes the “appalling indifference” of the international community that issued only “the mildest condemnations” when Khartoum refused to grant exit visas to the conference’s participants. Through the article, Reeves makes an important point that is far too often overlooked: “Men with guns can’t be the only ones at the peace table.” A view we strongly share and which is essential to the basic vision of ‘inclusive security.’
Rebecca Brocato and David Sullivan contributed to this post.