Volume 24, Issue 2, Fall 2010
Harry van der Linden
Just Military Preparedness, U.S. Military Hegemony, and Contingency Planning for Intervention in Sudan
A Reply to Lango and Patterson
This paper rejects most aspects of John W. Lango and Eric Patterson’s proposal that the United States should plan for a possible intervention in Sudan on secessionist and humanitarian grounds and announce this planning as a deterrent to the central government of Sudan attacking the people of South Sudan if they would opt in a January 2011 referendum for independence. I argue that secession is not a just cause for armed intervention and that, rightfully, neither the American people nor many of its men and women in uniform would be prepared to engage in an intervention that might easily escalate. I also caution that American intervention against an Islamic regime might have high global security costs. For the sake of avoiding these negative consequences and harm to the people of Sudan, available nonviolent policy alternatives should be pursued. Still, I grant that the global community should intervene in Sudan if mass slaughter of civilians were to occur as a result of renewed hostilities between North and South Sudan. My objections to Lango and Patterson’s intervention proposal appeal to jus ad bellum principles as well as just military preparedness (jus ante bellum) principles.