Sending In Troops Isn't Always Appropriate

Regarding the Opinion page article ``US Needs to Take Control of Haiti Disaster,'' Oct. 29: The author seems to have mistaken the approaching new year to be 1915, the year of an earlier United States Marine Corps intervention in Haiti, not 1994. I hope that the experience 10 years ago of a Marine battalion in Lebanon, and more recently of Army Rangers in Somalia, has taught the foreign-policy intelligentsia about the limited utility of military force when humanitarian and political concerns take precedence over purely military objectives.

The author writes, ``Haiti should be another Grenada.'' However, Haiti is a nation of much greater size and population. Also, recent experiences of modern military forces with ragtag forces show that the latter have much more irregular fighting capability than they did in 1915, even when they do not have widespread popular support. Saying that a battalion of marines could deal with Haiti's complex problems today is shortsighted and simplistic. Charles E. Countryman, Spokane, Wash.

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