Former U.S. Envoy to Sudan says, “Arm the South”

The following is a great article by Andrew Natsios, the Bush Administration’s former envoy to Sudan. Natsios adds his voice to the growing number of people calling for sensible U.S. action in the current Sudan war.

Specifically, Natsios recommends the U.S. provide anti-aircraft weapons to South Sudan so it can defend itself against the daily bombings of civilian targets. Such action would force North Sudan back to the negotiating table. Recall that Samaritan’s Purse’s Franklin Graham recently called for U.S. airstrikes against the air bases in the north to send the message that Khartoum’s war crimes are not going unnoticed.

Our hope is that this continued pressure will force the Obama Administration to take seriously its responsibility in working towards a peaceful settlement in Sudan.

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To stop the war on South Sudan, the U.S. should send weapons

By Andrew S. Natsios, Published: May 11, 2012

North and South Sudan are at war. The reasons for the conflict are complex, but the solution is not: To stop the killing, the international community must arm South Sudan. Unlike interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States need not fire any shots. Just as we have provided weapons to support Israel but never put our own troops at risk, we can help bring peace to this region. We need only make sure that, for the North, attacking the South is a little bit harder than shooting fish in a barrel.

South Sudan is less than a year old. Its war with the North is the result of an imbalance of military power that has encouraged military adventurism. Omar al-Bashir, president of the North and a possible coup target, believes he can secure his future by bombing the South into submission instead of negotiating. For this reason, he has undertaken extensive bombing in South Sudanese civilian areas since January, killing hundreds — an act of war.

Although the South has a large, well-motivated ground army, it has no air force or antiaircraft weapons to defend its people. Southern leaders believe Bashir and his generals plan to invade, occupy oil fields and install a puppet government that will give them control over oil revenue lost when the South became independent.

The only way to end the North’s bullying and foster peace talks is to give the South the right tools: American antiaircraft weapons. If the United States provides the materiel, the South can end the North’s bombing campaign. Most Northern air force pilots are mercenaries — if they start taking heavy losses, they will leave Sudan quickly.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

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