Segunda-feira, 26 de Julho de 2010

A CPLP military component?

By Paulo Gorjão

 

Manuel Alegre, member of the Portuguese Parliament elected by the Socialist Party and presidential candidate, said last week that the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) should have a military component, i.e. a reaction force. According to Alegre, this military component would intervene only in Portuguese-speaking countries.

Alegre is assuming that the Lusophone countries have capacity to project power by themselves in countries as far as Timor Leste. In other words, he is ignoring the logistical difficulties inherent to the deployment of a military force.

However, even if they did have capacity to do so, in the end the main issue is political. Alegre did not go as far as supporting a CPLP military force. But at this stage even the possibility of a reaction force under the umbrella of the CPLP is an awkward idea. Assuming that the member states were willing to do so – a great leap of faith: last April, no one was enthusiastic about the idea of sending a military force to Guinea-Bissau…  – one should not forget that Article 5 of the CPLP demands compliance with the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of each state. Thus, CPLP would always require a formal request to intervene. In other words, a reaction force would be helpless if the request was not done.

In the end, a UN Security Council resolution would be required. Moreover, there is no reason why a UN peacekeeping force could not be composed mainly – or exclusively – by military forces from the Lusophone countries.

Last but not the least, it is difficult to grasp what were the benefits brought by such reaction force. Why should only Portuguese-speaking countries intervene in Lusophone states? Does this mean that the Portuguese military should leave Lebanon or Kosovo?

This cultural/linguistic vision of military interventions is a Pandora's Box. One should think twice before open it.

 

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