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Strategic Implications of Biden’s Military Assistance to Haiti: Strengthening the Capacities of Multinational Security Support Forces

  • May 5, 2024
  • 8
  • 13
strategic-implications-of-biden’s-military-assistance-to-haiti:-strengthening-the-capacities-of-multinational-security-support-forces

Par Patrick Prézeau Stephenson

Introduction In a decisive move reflecting the urgency of the security situation in Haiti, the Biden administration approved a $60 million military aid package aimed at stemming gang violence that has destabilized the country [1,2,3]. This analysis explores the potential impact of this decision on the capacity of the Multinational Security Support Forces (MSS), focusing particularly on how this infusion of military resources could alter the tactical and strategic landscape in Haiti.

Context Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, Haiti has been engulfed by an escalation of gang violence that has challenged the authority of the Haitian National Police (PNH) and threatened the stability of the state. In response, a United Nations-endorsed multinational security mission, led by Kenya and supported by other nations including Jamaica and the Bahamas, was formulated to restore order and support law enforcement efforts local.

Analysis of Military Assistance The $60 million US aid package includes small arms, armored vehicles such as Humvees and MaxxPros, sniper rifles, riot gear, firearms, ammunition and surveillance drones. This significant improvement in military equipment is expected to have several key impacts:

1. Improved Operational Capacity : The provision of armored vehicles and advanced weapons will significantly strengthen the tactical capabilities of the Haitian National Police, the nascent army and the MSS forces. The armored vehicles will provide much-needed protection in urban combat scenarios against heavily armed gangs, thereby reducing casualties among security forces and increasing their operational longevity and effectiveness.[4,5,6].

2. Improved Surveillance and Intelligence : The inclusion of surveillance drones in the package is particularly crucial. These drones will improve MSS situational awareness, enabling real-time intelligence gathering and more effective strategic planning and execution of operations against gang strongholds[4,5,6].

3. Increased Deterrence : Visibly upgrading equipment and capabilities could act as a deterrent against gang activities. The psychological impact of a well-equipped and supported security force should not be underestimated in its potential to stabilize volatile situations[4,5,6].

Strategic Implications

The strategic implications of this military assistance, from a Haitian point of view, are multiple:

Political Lever : For the newly installed Transitional Presidential Council (CPT), American support could represent a diplomatic tool to obtain more substantial commitments from the United States and the international community in terms of development aid and support for governance. However, it is essential that this aid is not seen as a blank check for American intervention in Haitian internal affairs. Regional Stability : By strengthening the capacities of MSS to manage internal security challenges, Haiti could reduce the risk of violence spilling over into neighboring countries. To ensure broader regional stability, Haiti must also work closely with its neighbors through regional security and development mechanisms. Reviews and Polling : American military assistance is not unanimous in Haiti. Many fear it will repeat the historical mistakes of foreign intervention. It is therefore crucial that this assistance is accompanied by strengthening Haitian institutions and a solid national strategy that addresses the roots of instability, including corruption, poverty, and impunity. Conclusion

The Biden administration’s decision to accelerate military assistance through the MSS represents a major turning point in the international response to the crisis in Haiti. For this assistance to bear fruit, it must be accompanied by a renewed commitment to Haitian security forces, a significant improvement in governance, and a concerted effort to resolve the structural problems that fuel the violence.

Long-term success will largely depend on the political, economic and social interventions that follow. Haiti must seize this opportunity to rebuild its institutions, strengthen its social fabric and create an environment conducive to peace and stability.

References

[1] FACT SHEET: U.S. Assistance to Haiti | The White House

[2] How Biden’s using Ukraine, presidential authority for Haiti | Miami Herald

[3] US greenlights $60M in military assistance to Haiti amid rampant gang violence (msn.com)

[4] WHITE PAPER ON SECURITY AND DEFENSE…

HaitiLibre.com, https://www.haitilibre.com/docs/Livre_Blanc.pdf

[5] Stephenson Prézeau P 2024. Building a 10K Strong Army in Haiti: A Strategic Investment for National Security and Stability . https://prezeau.blogspot.com/2024/04/building-10k-strong-army-in-haiti.html

[6] Stephenson Prézeau P 2024. Doctrine overview for the army facing the major challenge of reconquering Haiti’s capital overrun by gangs. https://prezeau.blogspot.com/2024/04/doctrine-overview-for-army-facing-major.html

Contact Media Patrick Prézeau Stephenson: Editor [email protected]

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