Haiti Strategy: Control, Legitimacy, Sovereignty, Rule of Law, Handoffs, and Exit

  • October 01, 1994
  • Dr Gabriel Marcella

Now that the armed forces of the United States have entered Haiti, what is the exit strategy? As the United States, the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the United Nations coalition establish order, it is best to be mindful of the tasks ahead: building a new authority system based on the rule of law, instilling respect for human rights, and developing those values common to democratic communities around the world. The two keys to the success of this strategy will be how Haiti handles the amnesty question and what kind of judicial and police system is developed. The United States should not allow its exit strategy to be determined by the success or failure of the above. In this paper, Professor Gabriel Marcella of the U.S. Army War College proposes an interlocking strategy that emphasizes the achievement of limited objectives by the United States. He contends that our strategy should emphasize the humanitarian dimensions of our assistance rather than pursue the open-ended goal of the restoration of democracy. Such an approach provides the United States greater hope for success and the probability of a dignified exit.