NEWS REPORTS



DATE=8/19/97
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-37298
TITLE=U-S MILITARY IN RWANDA
BYLINE= ED WARNER
DATELINE= WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 


INTRO:   U-S TROOPS ARE INCREASINGLY SENT TO VARIOUS PARTS OF THE
WORLD ON TRAINING AND PEACE-KEEPING MISSIONS.  BUT THEIR ROLE IN 
RWANDA HAS NOW BEEN QUESTIONED IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE CIVIL WAR 
IN CONGO AND THE KILLING OF GREAT NUMBERS OF CIVILIANS IN THE 
COURSE OF THE WAR. WHILE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS AND SOME MILITARY 
ANALYSTS CRITICIZE THE USE OF AMERICAN TROOPS IN PLACES LIKE 
RWANDA, OTHERS SAY U-S FORCES HAVE A NEW POST COLD WAR MISSION OF
HELPING BRING STABILITY AND DEMOCRACY TO NATIONS IN DISARRAY.    


TEXT:   FOR THREE YEARS, U-S FORCES HAVE HELPED TRAIN TROOPS IN 
RWANDA. THEIR AIM IS TO MAKE THE ARMY MORE PROFESSIONAL AND MORE 
ATTENTIVE TO HUMAN RIGHTS. BUT DURING THIS PERIOD, RWANDAN BACKED
REBELS IN WHAT IS NOW CONGO (FORMERLY ZAIRE)  WERE ACCUSED OF 
KILLING LARGE NUMBERS OF CIVILIANS, MOSTLY REFUGEES WHO HAD FLED 
RWANDA.

U-S OFFICIALS DENY ANY AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE CONGO CIVIL 
WAR .  

JIM WOODS, A FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR 
AFRICAN AFFAIRS, POINTS OUT THAT U-S FORCES ARE IN SOME EIGHTEEN 
AFRICAN COUNTRIES.  MILITARY TRAINING, HE SAYS, IS PART OF NORMAL
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS:                                  


                             // WOODS ACT //

         IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THIRTY OR FORTY COUNTRIES A YEAR
         WITH OUR TRAINING PROGRAMS, AND IN THE COURSE OF A YEAR,
         TWO OR THREE OF THEM GO BAD, THERE ARE THOSE WHO WILL 
         SAY, "WELL, WE HAD MILITARY TRAINING, AND THERE WAS A 
         COUP, AND THEREFORE WE HAVE DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTED." I 
         THINK THIS KIND OF CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP IS NONSENSE. AND 
         I THINK YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO TAKE IT IN STRIDE. THE 
         ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE TO SAY WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO THIS 
         ANY MORE, PACK UP AND GO HOME.

                                  // END ACT //

MR. WOODS SAYS THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO BE MORE INVOLVED IN  
HELPING OTHER NATIONS WITH THEIR MILITARY. 

WHERE DOES INVOLVEMENT END? ASKS COLONEL HARRY SUMMERS, A LEADING
MILITARY WRITER AND SENIOR MEMBER OF THE ARMY WAR COLLEGE. ONCE 
U-S FORCES ARE STATIONED IN A COUNTRY, HE SAYS, THEY ARE ALL TOO 
LIKELY TO BE DRAWN INTO ITS POLITICS, SOMETIMES WITH DEVASTATING 
EFFECT, AS IN LEBANON AND SOMALIA. 

COLONEL SUMMERS NOTES THE UNITED STATES NOW HAS SOME 40-THOUSAND 
TROOPS IN ABOUT ONE HUNDRED DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. WE CLAIM NOT TO 
BE THE WORLD'S POLICEMAN, HE SAYS, BUT WE ARE CERTAINLY ACTING 
LIKE ONE:

                               // SUMMERS ACT //

         I THINK WE ARE JUST NAIVE IN THINKING WE ARE GOING INTO 
         ANOTHER COUNTRY AND CHANGE ITS POLITICS AND ECONOMICS AT
         THE POINT OF A BAYONET. I DO NOT THINK IT CAN BE DONE. 
         NOW SINCE WE ARE THE SOLE SURVIVING SUPER POWER, WE 
         THINK WE HAVE A FREE HAND, AND WE ARE GOING TO MEDDLE IN
         EVERBODY'S AFFAIRS AROUND THE WORLD. I JUST DO NOT THINK
         THE UNITED STATES HAS ANY BUSINESS INTERFERING IN THE 
         INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF OTHER NATIONS TO THE DEGREE THAT WE 
         ARE DOING NOW.

                                  // END ACT //  

COLONEL SUMMERS SAYS ALL THE TROOP DEPLOYMENTS FOR LESS THAN 
VITAL MISSIONS ARE HURTING OUR MILITARY. MONEY SPENT ON 
PEACE-KEEPING FORCES IS DIVERTED FROM COMBAT UNITS:

                               // SUMMERS ACT //

         AS WE EXPAND OUR PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS, WE DEGRADE 
         OUR WAR-FIGHTING OPERATIONS, AND THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF 
         HAVING A MILITARY IS WAR-FIGHTING, NOT PEACE-KEEPING. IT
         IS ALL WELL AND GOOD AS LONG AS THE WORLD REMAINS 
         PEACEFUL, BUT WE ARE WHITTLING DOWN OUR COMBAT POWER. 
         WITH THESE CONSTANT RATHER UNIMPORTANT DEPLOYMENTS - AS 
         FAR AS THE NATIONAL INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES GOES -
         AROUND THE WORLD. 

                                  // END ACT //

BUT THE WORLD IS EXCEPTIONALLY DISORDERLY TODAY, SAYS CONSTANCE 
FREEMAN, DIRECTOR OF AFRICAN STUDIES AT THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC 
AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES. SHE BELIEVES THE U-S MILITARY CAN  
INTERVENE IN PLACES IN AFRICA TO PREVENT LARGE SCALE FIGHTING: 

                               // FREEMAN ACT //

         THE UNITED STATES HAS SHIED AWAY FROM MILITARY TRAINING 
         FOR YEARS BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN EXPLOITED AND MISUSED, 
         BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD BAD EXPERIENCES. IN SOME WAYS, I 
         THINK THAT IS UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT THAT 
         PEOPLE GET PROFESSIONALIZATION TRAINING. IF THE MILITARY
         INCREASINGLY CAN BE USED TO HELP FACILITATE HUMANITARIAN
         ASSISTANCE AND WORK ON GENUINE CONFLICT RESOLUTION, I 
         THINK THIS IS POSITIVE.

                                 // END ACT //

ALL AGREE THIS IS A NEW, AMBITIOUS AMERICAN UNDERTAKING THAT WILL
NOT ALWAYS BE WELL RECEIVED OR UNDERSTOOD.  AND THEY ASK IF 
OPPOSITION OCCURS AND FIGHTING ERUPTS, WILL AMERICA STAY THE 
COURSE?  (SIGNED)

NEB/PT

19-Aug-97 6:05 PM EDT (2205 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

.